Self-Disclosure Glossary

Diversity, in the context of “equity & diversity in the arts,” essentially means “difference.” It specifically refers to the condition of having or being composed of differing elements. In human rights, “diversity” refers to the inclusion of different types of people in a community, group or organization.

Diverse refers to, as per human rights legislations in both Canada and Alberta, belonging to what are called “protected classes of people.” In Canada, this includes, but is not only limited to, Indigenous peoples, people of colour, women, seniors and children, members of the LGBTTIQ community, people with a minority gender identity, religious peoples and persons who live with impairment(s).

Equity-seeking refers to belonging to a diverse class of people and advocating against the barriers, exclusions and/or discrimination they face.

Equity refers to an approach to diversity in which the diverse differences among all people in a community, group or organization are accommodated on an individual basis, and historical exclusions and systemic barriers that are unique to diverse peoples are taken into account. Equity thus creates an equalized sense of belonging and shared authority for all people present. Equity achieves this by accommodating the differences between people. Equity is often contrasted with “equality,” in which all people are treated the same.

[1] Permanent resident refers to someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries.

[2] Immigrant refers to a person who has settled permanently in another country. An immigrant chooses to move to another country. A refugee is forced to flee for their life.

[3] Refugee refers to a person who is forced to flee from persecution in their home country, who is now located outside of their home country as a result of the persecution. “Refugee claimants” are persons who have fled their country and are asking for protection in another country. Refugee claimants are sometimes referred to as “asylum seekers.” Refugee claimants/asylum seekers receive a decision on whether they are refugees after they arrive in Canada. “Resettled refugees” are determined to be refugees by the Canadian government before they arrive in Canada.

[4] Newcomer refers to an immigrant or refugee who has been in Canada for a short time, usually less than three or five years.

[5] Other citizenship status refers to additional, related categories including internally displaced persons (those who are forced to leave their home, but who still live within the borders of their home country); stateless persons (people that no state recognizes as a citizen); temporary residents (people who have permission to remain in Canada only for a limited period of time); migrants (people who are outside their country of origin, currently on the move and/ or following available work); persons without status (those who have not been granted permission to stay in the country, or who have stayed after their permits have expired). 

Note that persons without status can cover people who fall between the cracks of the system, such as a refugee claimant who is refused refugee status but not removed from Canada because of a situation of generalized risk in the country of origin. 

Sometimes the terms “undocumented immigrant” or “illegal immigrant” are used, but using “illegal” is problematic because it criminalizes the person, rather than the act of entering or remaining irregularly in a country (outside of established laws, regulations, protocols, etc., for those whose circumstances are referred to as “grey areas”). International law recognizes refugees may need to enter a country without official documents or authorization. It would therefore be misleading to describe them as “illegal migrants.” Similarly, a person without status may have been coerced by traffickers: Such a person should be recognized as a victim of crime, not a criminal.

[6] Ethnic origin, as per Statistics Canada, refers to the ethnic or cultural origins of the respondent’s ancestors. An ancestor is someone from whom a person is descended and is usually more distant than a grandparent.

[7] Visibly minority, as per Statistics Canada, refers to persons other than Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour. According to The Employment Equity Act of Canada, the visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Arab, West Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Latin American, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean.

[8] Caucasian specifically refers to people who are native to the Caucasus mountains. This term is often mistaken for, and used interchangeably with, white.

[9] Mixed race refers to people who are descendant from two or more ethnic origin groups.

[10] Other ancestry refers to any ethnic origin that is not already specified above, for example: Canadian, English, French, Italian, German, Scottish, Irish, Ukrainian, Dutch, Polish, Greek, etc.

[11] Employee refers to any team member who is hired to perform services for an organization, in a supervised relationship, for which the person earns wages or a salary and receives source deductions from the employer.

[12] Contractor refers to any team member who is contracted (vs. hired) as a self-employed worker to complete agreed work for a company, without a supervisory relationship or the use of company equipment, and without source deductions.

[13] Volunteer refers to any team member who provides in-kind services to the company which may include, for example, ushers, advisors, board members, artistic directors, and so on.

[14] Identifying as poverty or working class refers not merely to a person’s economic income or status, but to a common, collective cultural ethos and/or ethic shared by “blue collar” workers.

Shared economic aspects of “being working class” can indeed include having little formalized higher education, outside of a trade apprenticeship; low or negative net worth (assets minus debts); living in rental housing, or one non-luxury home that was long saved for and lived in for decades; and occupations involving physical work and/or little control and authority in the workplace.

Shared cultural aspects of “being working class” include attending to necessity, having a collective vs. individual orientation, functioning more inter-dependently than independently, being proud of putting in “a good day’s work” regardless of what that work is, increased exposure to and collaboration with diverse community members, a proven ability to accomplish a great deal with fewer resources, and a strong association with affinity groups.