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CORE Fellowship Program Glossary

Equity-Centered Capacity Building

CORE Fellowship Program Glossary

This glossary is considered a work in progress, and will continue to be updated as we uncover more terms that require definitions.

Abundance mindset – An abundance mindset refers to the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody.

Competition (scarcity) mindset – Scarcity mentality refers to people seeing life as a finite pie, so that if one person takes a big piece, that leaves less for everyone else.

Authenticity – the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are. It’s a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. Source: Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Capacity Building – the process of building and strengthening the systems, structures, cultures, skills, resources, and power that organizations need to serve their communities. Source: Sheikh, A. M., Valenzuela, A., Le, V., Nishimura, A., & Sampath, R. (2020). Transformational Capacity Building. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 18(4), 30–37.

Equity-Centered Capacity Building – Capacity building that pays attention to both the explicit and implicit roles that culture, systems, and power can play in how capacity building initiatives are designed and implemented. Source: Grantmakers of Effective Organizations, “Reimagining Capacity Building: Navigating Culture, Systems & Power. Available at Reimagining Capacity Building: Navigating Culture, Systems & Power • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (

Change Agent – Someone who aims to enable system-wide change within an organization through utilizing planned, deliberate strategies.

Co-creation – an approach to share power of creation, design, development and decision-making.

Container – Instead of a detailed, prescriptive program, building a container signifies that while the individuals designing the initiative are providing some structure, there is fluidity that is expected to occur, and how the program unfolds will possibly shift based on input and feedback from fellows. Using this approach, the process allows for co-creation of the program from facilitators and fellows.

Equity – We have found that there are different meanings of the term equity in the field with the interventions ranging in depth from Equity Lite to Deep Equity. In this fellowship, we will focus on what the field has termed Deep Equity.

“Deep” Equity – Deep equity is the work towards love, dignity, and justice that requires addressing multiple structural, institutional, interpersonal, and individual causes of inequity (both historic and current), and recognizes the social construction of identity, power, and privilege over time. Source: Change Elemental Available at Advancing Deep Equity – Change Elemental

Racial Equity – Racial equity is both an outcome and a process. As an outcome, we achieve racial equity when race no longer determines people’s socioeconomic outcomes — when everyone has what they need to thrive, no matter where they live. As a process, we apply racial equity when those most affected by structural racial inequity are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the institutional policies and practices that bear on their lives. When we achieve racial equity: • people, including people of color, are owners, planners and decision-makers in the systems that govern their lives; • we acknowledge and account for past and current inequities and provide all people, particularly those most affected by racial inequities, the infrastructure they need to thrive; and everyone benefits from a more just, equitable system. Source: Race Forward, “What is Racial Equity?” Available at

Fellowship – Fellowships are specially designed, study, research or engagement programs offering individuals an exciting opportunity to learn, create and experiment in a particular discipline. From entrepreneurship and design to human rights and social innovation, some of the top fellowship programs indulge in the development and propagation of multidimensional and intellectual knowledge. 

Inclusion – Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, decision-making, and policy making in a way that shares power. Source: Racial Equity Tools Glossary. 83

Inner Work –  Inner work are our individual and collective practices of nurturing health, vitality, clarity, and wholeness in ourselves as people and as a people. Such approaches include:

1. Continually refueling and replenishing our reserves when they are low and we are depleted (or not letting ourselves to get depleted);

2. Skillfully allowing and channeling the transformative energy of emotions (including love, joy, anger, and others) that can aid or hinder our ability to connect with ourselves and one another, re-ground in our individual and collective core purpose, and buoy timely, skillful action; and

3. Increasing our synergy, alignment, and collective strategy, and action, including a. Healing rifts inside ourselves, our organizations, our networks, and our movements.

Leadership – Individuals who influence a group of people to act towards a goal. Individuals may or may not be in positions of authority.

Racial Affinity Groups –  Racial Affinity Groups are opportunities for those who share a common identity to meet separately to gather, connect, and learn. Source: Just Lead Washington. Available at Caucuses-as-a-Racial-Justice-Strategy-JustLead-WA.pdf (

Racial Healing – To restore to health or soundness; to repair or set right; to restore to spiritual wholeness. SOURCE:  Michael R. Wenger, Racial Equity Resource Guide (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2012).

White Dominant Culture – Dominant culture in a society refers to the established language, religion, values, rituals, and social customs on which the society was built. It has the most power, is widespread, and influential within a social entity, such as an organization, in which multiple cultures are present. An organization’s dominant culture is heavily influenced by the leadership and management standards and preferences of those at the top of the hierarchy. In this paper, dominant culture refers specifically to the American context in which organizational culture is predominantly defined by white men and white women in positional power. Habits of White Dominant Culture refers to attitudes and behaviors that derive from many aspects of white culture that are harmful when they are considered the norm, or the only or most desirable ways of being and doing in the world. Source: White Dominant Culture and Something Different. Adapted from Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones. Available at Microsoft Word – Tools for Addressing White Dominant Culture .docx (