Building a Bridge Toward a 21st Century Multi-Racial Multi-Cultural Society: 
Tearing Down Walls of Hate, Ignorance and Fear
Developing a Common Language for All to Access

Glossary of Terms and Definitions  

A : B : C : D : E : F : G : H : I : L : M : N : O : P : Q : R : S : T : W



Classism is prejudice and/or discrimination against people because of their real or perceived economic status.

Coming Out:
The never ending process of becoming aware of one’s homosexual or bisexual orientation; accepting it, acting on it, and telling others about it.  Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people often are only partially “out”.

When used in Christian religious circles, this term usually refers to a set of attitudes and beliefs directed to the preservation of existing institutions and practices.  Adherents tend to value gradual change in social and religious matters.

Cultural Racism:
“When whites use power to perpetuate their cultural heritage and impose it upon others, while at the same time destroying the culture of ethnic minorities.”

Culture is the patterns of daily life learned consciously and unconsciously by a group of people.  These patterns can be seen in language, governing practices, arts, customs, holiday celebrations, food, religion, dating rituals, and clothing, to name a few examples.

Cross cultural:
Most writers seem to treat this term as synonymous with intercultural, referring to some sort of relating, or attempts to do so, between cultural groups.  Others use the term to highlight the differences (or the gap) between cultures; Sleeter and Grant refer to “cross cultural differences which might interfere with communication.”

Crossdresser is a person who, in order to relieve stress, dresses in clothes usually reserved for people not of their birth gender.


This list is compiled from a variety of sources by the Office of Racial Justice and Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural Transformation, United Church of Christ, Cleveland Based Team, Fall 2006