Who and how does one get into the art university — and out again? Who listens, who speaks? Which language? Who is considered suitable or talented? What are the criteria? To which art or music, to whose knowledge and skills do we refer? What and who is left out?

At art universities there are deeply rooted structures of discrimination and favouritism. Dealing with them is an important step towards creating more equality and justice.
The Critical Diversity Blog brings together contributions on diversity and anti-discrimination at the Berlin University of the Arts and beyond. It also offers the possibility for you to share experiences of exclusion or discrimination, so that they can be taken into account in a future diversity strategy. The more contributions and experience reports from members and guests of this university come together, the better.
Suggestions for texts, artistic contributions and discussions are always welcome. Let us set out on the path to an art university that is sensitive to diversity and critical of discrimination.

Alliances I – Students, Scholars and Artists at Risk

The first podcast of the series “Alliances with representatives of Berlin’s Universities” focuses on exchanging ideas, analyzing and building stronger alliances. The meeting takes place against the backdrop of the discontinuation of DAAD funding for refugees at universities in Germany. The first guest is author and activist Sanaz Azimipour. Together with moderator Johanna Madden, they reflect on the expiring programs and ideas for further development.

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Code of Conduct

On May 22nd, 2024, the Code of Conduct of the UdK Berlin was approved by the Academic Senate of the UdK Berlin. Unfortunately, this paper is currently not available in English. As soon as this is the case, it will be updated immediately on this website
The German version can be read here.

„Wir können nicht 500 Jahre Universitätsgeschichte in fünf Jahren verändern.“

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Interview zu Unlearning University mit Mika Ebbing und Kathrin Peters, wissenschaftskommunikation.de

Unlearning University: Programme Booklet

A programme booklet for the Unlearning University symposium (7-10.2.24) is now available in German and English, as a PDF (Unlearning-programme_english) and as a printed broshure on site.

Reading Version of the Critical Diversity Policy

The Critical Diversity Policy has been published in a bound reading version including an English translation. Here you can find the PDF (CDP broshure). It is distributed to all mailboxes at the UdK Berlin and can be ordered from us: diversity@udk-berlin.de

Many thanks to Elena Buscaino and Charlotte Hornung for the beautiful design and illustrations! The publication was made possible by funds from the university management.

Critical Diversity in the Arts

Our application to the call for proposals of the German Rectors’ Conference was approved!

Critical Diversity Policy published in UdK-Anzeiger

The Critical Diversity Policy – Concept for Antidiscrimination and Diversity of the UdK Berlin – was officially published in the UdK-Anzeiger on March 22, 2023. You can download the Anzeiger 04/23 here. (Available only in German. An English translation of the Critical Diversity Policy is coming soon.)

Critical Diversity Policy

On December 7th, 2022, the Critical Diversity Policy – Concept for Antidiscrimination and Diversity of the UdK Berlin – was unanimously approved by the Academic Senate of the UdK Berlin after many years of intensive work by various actors and committees.
It can be read here.

Day of Action at UdK Berlin: Recognizing Barriers – 5th December 2022


The first step to ending discrimination is to recognise that it exists. The UdK is not a discrimination-free space. On the contrary: students, staff and teachers experience intersectional discrimination e.g. racism, (cis/hetero)sexism and ableism. The action day “Recognizing Barriers” will focus on critical voices and empowering strategies for challenging systemic discrimination.
Further Information

Hochschulöffentliche Workshopreihe zur Entwicklung eines Code of Conducts für die UdK Berlin

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

#10 How to create a safer space II: Anti-Discrimination-Clause
4. November 2022, 12:00 Uhr – 15:00 Uhr, Einsteinufer Raum 531

How to create a safer space @ Zukunftstag der UdK Berlin
18. November 2022, 14:00 Uhr – 16:00 Uhr, Design Transfer/Einsteinufer Raum 203

#11 How to create a safer space III @ Recognizing Barriers
5. Dezember 2022, 14:30 Uhr – 16:30 Uhr, tba

Rückfragen und Anmeldungen bitte an: artisttraining-ziw@udk-berlin.de

Open Letters for the Equal Treatment of BIPoC Refugee Students

Open Letter by the Student Coalition for Equal Rights, published 30th of May 2022
Open Letter by RAA Berlin, published 11th July 2022

“We got a List of Demands…” – Online Panel Discussion: (Art) University, Racism & Empowerment: Diversity Officer (UdK Berlin) in conversation with students and anti-racism experts

Friday, March 25th, 7 pm, online: Webex-Link
Event language: English and German

A good one and a half/two years ago, students demonstrated under the title #exitracismudk and drew attention to racism at the UdK. At the same time, in a broad coalition, the students formulated a number of demands on the UdK. As the title of the event (based on the rap song by Saul Williams “List of Demands (Reparations)“) suggests, the panel will focus on the open letter that the UdK students formulated as part of the #exitracismUdK protests. Some of the demands made in this open letter read like recommendations from a professional, intersectional diversity consultancy.

Together with the new diversity officer (focus on racism) Dr. Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz (UdK Berlin), students Dalís Pacheco (Interflugs UdK) and Elena Buscaino (AG Critical Diversity UdK) discuss these demands for intersectional anti-discrimination work. Joining the conversation will be postcolonial urban researcher Noa K. Ha and anti-racism and empowerment officer Aki Krishnamurthy at the ASH. Thereby the panel addresses also racism and empowerment at (art) universities in general.

Guest Lecture: “Juarez’s maquilas, catrinas and the female body. From ‘feminicidios’ at the border to #NiUnaMas and #NiUnaMenos”

Lecture held in English by Sarah Ibáñez O’Donnell (MA, University of Heidelberg)
Date: Wednesday, 26 January 2022, 6 pm, via Webex
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Miriam Oesterreich


Feminicides (feminicidios) became a word linked to female bodies – many of them from maquiladoras or textile workers – appearing tortured, murdered and often sexually abused in Ciudad Juarez, at the US-Mexico border in the early 1990s – the same place where activist Susana Chavez, whose poetry gave name to the now global movements Ni Una Mas and Ni Una Menos, was born and murdered. Victims’ families and allies began to denounce these acts of violence by marking them publicly and placing the names of their dead on pink crosses and phone boxes. Such visual and performative practices denouncing violence against women more broadly have become more and more mediated blurring the lines between artistic and activist intervention.

Online Gespräch „Das Patriarchat der Dinge“ ⁠am 16. Dezember

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Gespräch mit Rebekka Endler, Moderation: Miriam Oesterreich

16.12.2021, 17 Uhr, online via Big Blue Button

Wer überlebt einen Herzinfarkt? Wer friert am Arbeitsplatz und für wen ist er gestaltet? Für wen sind technische Geräte gut zu bedienen? Für wen ist das Internet? Die Journalistin und Autorin Rebekka Endler zeigt das Patriarchat als Urheber und Designer unserer Umwelt auf. Sie kritisiert ein am Mann ausgerichtetes Design und problematisiert mögliche Konsequenzen für alle anderen*. Im Rahmen der #4GenderStudies-Aktionswoche laden wir zum moderierten Gespräch und zur Diskussion mit Rebekka Endler ein.

Um vorherige Anmeldung wird gebeten unter: http://bit.ly/3G9PBu0

Signing of the Statement of Academic Freedom

The AG Critical Diversity signed the Statement of Academic Freedom, a coalition of scientists who understand academic freedom as a process to extend participation in science.

Book presentation “Eine Krise bekommen” on July 19

On July 19, texts from the student publication “Eine Krise bekommen” will be read, which takes a critical look at the effects of the pandemic, ambivalent identities, and the political responsibility of the art academy. The editors invite to discussions, drinks and book browsing in the courtyard of the UdK main building at Hardenbergstraße 33 starting at 6pm. Please register for the event here and bring FFP2 masks and rapid test results. (The event will be held in German).

Edited by Destina Atasayar, Sarah Böttcher, Katharina Brenner, Lucie Jo Knilli, Luisa Herbst. Illustrated by Sarah Böttcher.

Student assistant at AG Critical Diversity

AG Critical Diversity is looking for student assistance in the editorial team of the Critical Diversity Blog starting in June or July. If you’re interested in the intersection of art and anti-discrimination work and would like to contribute with new texts and/or podcast episodes, send a brief letter of intent to: diversity@udk.berlin.de.

The position is at the moment unpaid, but there is a possibility of a paid position in the next semester (WS 2021). The work may also be compensated in the form of ECTS credits.

Platz für Diversität!? Festival for Alliances Between Art and Education Critical of Discrimination

27.-29. May 2021

Platz für Diversität!? is a festival that creates space for knowledge about diversity and discrimination at the intersection of art and education: knowledge from art educators about exclusion in cultural institutions, from activists about strategies for dealing with structural discrimination, and from students and teachers about gaps in the curriculum.

The festival is organised by KontextSchule and numerous cooperation partners.  
More info available in the program.

On February 19, we commemorate the victims of the racist terrorist attack one year ago in Hanau:

Fatih Saraçoğlu
Ferhat Unvar
Gökhan Gültekin
Hamza Kurtović
Kaloyan Velkov
Mercedes Kierpacz
Said Nessar Hashemi
Sedat Gürbüz
Vili Viorel Păun


Practicing anti-discriminatory educational work

Lectures, workshops, and networking to raise awareness of discrimination and racism in educational work among school and university teachers as well as cultural mediators. A cooperation of the artistic teacher training programs at the University of Applied Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in the framework of the “Alliance Art and Education against Racism and Fascism“. To the program and registration.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and #wessenfreiheit Day of Action

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the UdK Berlin is sending a visible signal of condemning violence against women by raising the flag “Berlin says no to violence against women”, designed by the Berlin Senate, on November 25th.
The UdK is also participating in #wessenfreiheit – the digital day of action of Berlin’s art and music colleges. Further information on the various initiatives will be available from 25th November on the UdK website or at wessenfreiheit.de, on Instagram and Facebook.

sharing/learning as a Scaffold of Traces

The now published 9th issue of wissenderkuenste.de acts as a collection of materials and reflections on and about the artistic-academic symposium sharing/learning: methods of the collective in art, research and activism, which took place on June 28th and 29th, 2019, at (and in cooperation with) District * School without Center.

Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with differing physical and mental abilities and needs. It typically involves a negative assessment of a person’s body and mind due to skills and abilities, based on a supposed biological (physical and/or mental) norm of what an able-bodied, neurotypical person should be. Ableism can intersect with other forms of oppression such as racism and sexism. 

Adultism is the discrimination found in everyday life and law based on unequal power relationships between adults, on the one hand, and children, adolescents, and young people on the other. 

The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), enforced since 2006, is the uniform central body of regulations in Germany for the implementation of four European anti-discrimination directives. For the first time, a law was created in Germany that comprehensively regulates protection against discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender identification, religion or belief, ability, age, or sexual orientation.

Antisemitism is a belief system based on hatred/hostility towards or discrimination against Jewish people as a religious or racial group, Jewish institutions or anyone/anything that is perceived Jewish. Antisemitism varies over time and between cultures, with antisemitism intensifying in different historical moments.   

Accessibility names the extent to which a product, service, or environment can be used and accessed by as many people as possible. Inclusive accessibility therefore assesses the needs and desires of all possible people—including those who are neurodivergent or who have varying abilities—and incorporates these into its design and function. Changes to enable those with different abilities to have equal opportunity and participation are often referred to as accommodations.  

Harassment is undesired and non-consensual conduct that violates the dignity of another person. Harassment can often create intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive environments, and can be based on someone’s sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, age, race, gender, and more. Harassment can take a variety of forms, including verbal, physical, and/or sexual. 

The gender binary is the classification of gender into two distinct and opposite categories of man/masculine and woman/feminine. This belief system assumes that one’s sex or gender assigned at birth will align with traditional social constructions of masculine and feminine identity, expression, and sexuality. Assignment beyond the gender binary is typically viewed as a deviation of the norm. 

Sex refers to a person’s biological status and is typically assigned at birth, usually based on external anatomy. Sex is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex. 

Cisgender, or simply cis, refers to people who identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. Cis comes from the Latin prefix which means “on this side of.” 

This concept, according to Birgit Rommelspacher, assumes that there is a system of hierarchies, rule and power in which the various racist, sexist, classist, and other forms of governance intertwine. In this interconnectedness, a dominant group maintains power, which is socially negotiated again and again. In a given society, the dominant group achieves their role by being perceived as pertaining to a majority of the population and having a significant presence in societal institutions. 

The prison-industrial complex (PIC) is a term that describes the complex and interrelated dependencies between a government and the various businesses and institutions that benefit from practices of incarceration (such as prisons, jails, detention facilities, and psychiatric hospitals). Based on the term “military-industrial complex,” PIC urges a more comprehensive analysis of how imprisonment is used in a society, noting all the interest groups that prioritize financial gain over keeping people out of prisons. 

Gender-expansive is an adjective that can describe someone with a more flexible and fluid gender identity than might be associated with the typical gender binary. 

Gender is often defined as a social construct of norms, behaviors, and roles that vary between societies and over time. Gender is often categorized as male, female, or nonbinary. 

Gender transition is a process a person might take to bring themselves and/or their bodies into alignment with their gender identity. This process is not a singular step nor does it have a definite end. Rather, it can include any, none, or all of the following: telling one’s family and social circles; changing one’s name and pronouns; updating legal documents; medical interventions such as hormone therapy; or surgical intervention, often called gender confirmation surgery. 

Gender expression is how a person presents gender outwardly, most typically signalled through clothing, voice, behavior, and other perceived characteristics. Society identifies these cues and performances as masculine or feminine, although what is considered masculine or feminine varies over time and between cultures.  

Gender dysphoria refers to psychological distress that results from the incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity. People of all genders may experience dysphoria at varying levels of intensity, or not at all. 

Gender identity is one’s own internal sense of self and their gender. Unlike gender expression, gender identity is not externally visible to others. 

Heteronormativity is the concept that heterosexuality—romantic and/or sexual attraction between people of the “opposite” gender—is the normative or acceptable sexual orientation in a society. Heteronormativity assumes the gender binary, and therefore involves a belief in the alignment between sexuality, gender identity, gender roles, and biological sex. As a dominant social norm, heteronormativity results in discrimination and oppression against those who do not identify as heterosexual.   

Hormone therapy, sometimes called gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is the process by which sex hormones or other hormonal medications are administered. These hormone changes can trigger physical changes, called secondary sex characteristics, that can help better align the body with a person’s gender identity.

Institutional discrimination refers to prejudiced organizational policies and practices within institutions – such as universities, workplaces, and more – such that an individual or groups of individuals who are marginalized are unequally considered and have unequal rights. 

Inter*, or intersex, is an umbrella term that can describe people who have differences in reproductive anatomy, chromosomes, or hormones that do not fit typical definitions of male and female. The asterisks (*) emphasizes the plurality of intersex realities and physicalities. 

Intergenerational trauma refers to the trauma that is passed from a trauma survivor to their descendent. Due to violent and terrifying events—such as war, ethnic cleansing, political conflict, environmental catastrophe, and more—experienced by previous generations, descendants may experience adverse emotional, physical, and psychological effects. As the original sources of trauma are structured by forms of discrimination such as race and gender, intergenerational trauma also occurs along intersectional axes of oppression. For example, Black communities have brought to light the intergenerational trauma of enslavement. 
Intergenerational trauma is sometimes called historical trauma, multi- or transgenerational trauma, or secondary traumatization. 

Intersectionality names the interconnected nature of systems of oppression and social categorizations such as race, gender, sexuality, migratory background, and class. Intersectionality emphasizes how individual forms of discrimination do not exist independently of each other, nor can they be considered and addressed independently. Rather, addressing oppression should take into account the cumulative and interconnected axes of multiple forms of discrimination. 

Islamophobia is a belief system based on hatred/hostility towards or discrimination against Muslim people as a religious or racial group, muslim institutions or anyone/anything that is perceived Muslim. Islamophobia varies over time and between cultures, with Islamophobia intensifying in different historical moments.

Classism is a term that describes discrimination based on the belief that a person’s social or economic status determines their value in society. Classism, as a form of discrimination and stigmatization, is based on actual or assumed financial means, educational status, and social inclusion. “Inferior” classes in the hierarchy are problematised and stereotyped, and often receive unequal access and rights within society. 

Colonialism is the control and dominance of one power over a dependent area or people. In subjugating another people and land, colonialism entails violently conquering the population, often including mass displacement of people and the systematic exploitation of resources. Beyond material consequences, colonialism also includes processes of forcing the dominant power’s language and cultural values upon the subjugated people, thereby effecting cultural, psychological, and intergenerational trauma. 

Culturally argued racism is directed against people based on their presumed cultural or religious background. This form of discrimination can occur regardless of whether they actually practice one culture or religion and how religious they are (e.g. anti-Muslim racism and anti-Semitism). 

Cultural appropriation is the act of taking on aspects of a marginalized culture by a person or an institution who is outside of that culture, without comprehensive understanding of the context and often lacking respect for the significance of the original. Cultural appropriation, when promoting negative cultural or racial stereotypes, reproduces harm. Acts of cultural appropriation can often reveal power dynamics within a society: for example, a white person who wears a marginalized culture’s traditional dress is praised as fashionable, while a racialized person could be isolated from the dominant group and marked as foreign.  

Marginalization describes any process of displacing minorities to the social fringe. As a rule, marginalised groups are presumed to not correspond to the norm-oriented majority of society and are severely restricted in their ability to behave freely, have equal material access, enjoy public safety, and more.  

Microaggression names individual comments or actions that unconsciously or consciously demonstrate prejudice and enact discrimination against members of marginalized groups. As small, common, and cumulative occurrences, microaggressions can comprise of insults, stereotypes, devaluation, and/or exclusion. Microaggressions often negatively affect the person on the receiving end, affecting their psychological and physical health and wellbeing. 

Misogyny is a term for sexist oppression and contempt for women that is used to keep women at a lower social status than men, thereby maintaining patriarchal social roles. Misogyny can indicate an attitude held by individuals and a widespread cultural system that often devalues anything perceived as feminine. Misogyny can overlap with other instances of oppression and hate—such as homophobia, trans*-misogyny, and racism. 

Neurodiversity is a term that describes the unique ways each person’s brain structures function. The basic assumption of what kind of brain functioning is healthy and acceptable within a norm-oriented majority society is called neurotypical. 

Nonbinary is a term that can be used by persons who do not describe themselves or their genders as fitting into the binary categories of man or woman. A range of terms are used for these experiences, with nonbinary and genderqueer often used. 

Patriarchy is a social system whereby cis men dominantly hold positions of privilege both in public and private spheres. In feminist theory, patriarchy can be used to describe the power relationship between genders that favors male dominance, as well as the ideology of male superiority that justifies and enacts oppression against women and all non-normative genders. 

Pronouns, or personal gender pronouns (PGPs), are the set of pronouns that an individual uses to refer to themselves and desires for others to use when referring to them. The list of pronouns is continuously evolving. An individual may have several sets of preferred pronouns, or none. The intention of both asking and using a person’s pronouns correctly is to reduce the negative societal effects for those whose personal pronouns don’t match with the gender identity that’s assumed by a cisnormative society. Using gender-neutral wording and terms to refer to groups of people (such as “folks,” instead of “guys”) are also inclusive steps that resist the gender binary and cis-normativity. 

Racism is the process by which systems, policies, actions, and attitudes create unequal opportunities and outcomes for people based on race. More than individual or institutional prejudice, racism occurs when this discrimination is accompanied by the power to limit or oppress the rights of people and/or groups. Racism varies over time and between cultures, with racism towards different groups intensifying in different historical moments.   

Sex-gender difference names the distinction between the concept of “sex” as a biological fact and the concept of “gender” as a product of cultural and social processes, such as socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and gendered identities.

Sexism is the process by which systems, policies, actions, and attitudes create unequal opportunities and outcomes for people based on their attributed or supposed sex and the ideology underlying these phenomena. It is mostly used to name the power relations between dominant and marginalised genders within cisheteronormative patriarchal societies.

Sexual orientation is the term that describes which sex or gender a person feels emotionally, physically, romantically and/or sexually attracted to.

Social origin describes the socio-cultural values and norms into which one is born, including factors such as environment, class, caste, education biography, and more. The values that accompany one’s social origin are constructed, but often have material impact that privileges or under-privileges certain groups and people. For example, someone whose social origin includes living in a Western country, inheriting intergenerational wealth, and having a consistently good education will increase their chances for a high-paying job as an adult. Their social origin must therefore be taken into account, rather than their inherent worthiness for such a job. 

A social norm is a shared belief in the standard of acceptable behaviour by groups, both informal as well as institutionalized into policy or law. Social norms differ over time and between cultures and societies. 

Socioeconomic status, usually described as low, medium, or high, is a way of describing people based on their education, income, and type of job. The values and norms assigned to each socioeconomic class are socially constructed but have material impact. 

Structural discrimination refers to patterns of behaviour, policies, and attitudes found at the macro-level conditions of society. This discrimination of social groups is based on the nature of the structure of society as a whole. Structural discrimination is distinct from individual forms of discrimination (such as a single racist remark, which is a microaggression), though it often provides the contextual framework to understand why these individual instances occur. 

Tokenism is a superficial or symbolic gesture that includes minority members without significantly changing or addressing the structural discrimination of marginalization. Tokenism is a strategy intended to create the appearance of inclusion and to divert allegations of discrimination by requiring a single person to be representative of a minority. 

White supremacy names the beliefs and practices that privilege white people as an inherently superior race, built on the exclusion and detriment of other racial and ethnic groups. It can refer to the interconnected social, economic, and political systems that enable white people to enjoy structural advantages over other racial groups both on a collective and individual level. It can also refer to the underlying political ideology that imposes and maintains multiple forms of domination by white people and non-white supporters, from justifying European colonialism to present-day neo-fascisms. 

Whiteness is a socially and politically constructed behaviour that perpetuates an ideology, culture, history, and economy that results in the unequal distribution of power and privilege favoring those socially deemed white. The material benefits of whiteness are gained at the expense of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, who are systematically denied equal access to those material benefits. 
On our blog, white is often written in small italics to mark it as a political category and emphasize the privileges of whiteness which are often not named as such, but rather taken for granted as the invisible norm. 

Xenophobia names the hostility towards groups or individuals perceived as “outsiders” based on their culture. Xenophobic attitudes are often associated with hostile reception of immigrants or refugees who arrive in societies and communities that are not their homelands. Xenophobic discrimination can result in barriers to equally access socioeconomic opportunities, as well as ethnic, racial, or religious prejudice.

Abolition is a term that names officially ending a system, practice, or institution. Rooted in 19th century movements to abolish slavery, present day abolitionism is often invoked to end the practice of policing and military and/or the interconnected carceral systems of prisons, refugee camps, detention centers, and more. For more, see the definition of prison-industrial complex). 

Accountability is the obligation and willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions. In the context of social justice, accountability refers to the ways in which individuals and communities hold themselves to their principles and goals, as well as acknowledging the groups to which they are responsible. Accountability often requires a transparent process and continuous self- and collective awareness. 

Ageism is discrimination or prejudice based on a person’s age, such as when skills and abilities are questioned and assessed based on one’s older or younger age. 

Agender is an adjective that can be used by persons who do not identify as any gender.

BIPoC stands for Black, Indigenous and people of color. A term that originated in the U.S., it is a self-designation intended to center the specific experiences of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized groups, who are severely impacted by systemic racial injustice rooted in histories of enslavement and colonialism, and to unite people and groups affected by racism. 

Colorism is a term that describes the prejudice or discrimination favoring people with lighter skin tones over those with darker skin tones. This is especially used to describe the nuanced discrimination faced within a racial or ethnic group. 

The Critical Diversity Policy at UdK is a document whose intention is to emphasize and enforce the idea that differences in values, attitudes, cultural perspective, beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender identity, abilities, knowledge and life experiences of each individual in each group of people should be considered and overcome within the university.

Deadnaming is the act of calling a trans*, nonbinary, or gender-expansive person by their birth name, or an incorrect name, when they have changed their name as part of their gender expression. It is never okay or necessary to use a person’s deadname when they have changed their name, including when describing past events. If you deadname someone, take accountability by apologizing and commit to not doing so in the future. Take steps to know someone’s current name and commit to using it.   

This sociological term focuses on how people observe, (re-)produce, and make gender relevant in everyday life. Rather than taking gender as an innate quality, the acts of “doing gender” emphasize how gender is a social construct that is prevalent in daily human interaction. 

Misogynoir is a term, coined by Black feminist Moya Bailey in 2010, that describes the gendered and racial oppression faced by Black cis and transgender women (the latter sometimes referred to as trans*-misogynoir). Taking an intersectional lens, misogynoir examines how anti-Black racism and misogyny combine into a particular form of oppression and discrimination. 

Queer is an umbrella term for people who are not heterosexual or cisgender. It Is used for a broad spectrum of non-normative sexual and/or gender identities and politics. 

Safer spaces are intended to be places where marginalized communities can gather and communicate shared experiences, free of bias, conflict, or harm perpetrated by members of a dominant group. Recognizing that there is no such thing as a perfectly safe space for marginalized people under the current systems of our society, the term “safer” indicates the goal of temporary relief, as well as acknowledging the fact that harm can be reproduced even within marginalized communities. 
Examples of safer spaces created in organizations and institutions are queer-only spaces and/or spaces only for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. 

Social justice is a form of activism and political movement that promotes the process of transforming society from an injust and unequal state to one that is just and equitable. Social justice is rooted in the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities, and the fundamental right to feel psychologically and physically secure. Social justice therefore aims to change governing laws and societal norms that have historically and presently oppressed some groups over others. Social justice is not just the absence of discrimination, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports that achieve and sustain equity along lines of race, gender, class, ability, religion, and more. 

Transgender, or simply trans*, is an adjective that refers to people whose gender identity is different than the sex assigned at birth. Trans comes from the Latin prefix which means “across” or “beyond.” The self-designation is not an identity feature that automatically indicates whether this person identifies with a different gender, no gender or multiple genders. Thus, there are several trans* identities. The asterisks (*) emphasizes the plurality and fluidity of trans identities.