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Library Resources for Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competence

Subject Terms: Use the subject headings below to find materials in the library subject.

NOTE on subject headings: Terminology changes and like all classification systems, the Library of Congress Subject Headings contain some outdated and possibly offensive terms and may not contain the newest terminology, as the documentary above shows.

(Cornell University Library, 2019)

Keywords vs subject terms:

Keywords are the everyday words you use to describe your topic, sometimes referred to as "natural language".

A subject term is a standardized word or phrase (controlled vocabulary) that describes a main idea in the resource. When an item (book, article, video) is added to a database or catalog, the database will assign subject terms to it from the database's list of subjects.

American Library Association definitions pertaining to equity, diversity, and inclusion:


Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. Visible diversity is generally those attributes or characteristics that are external. However, diversity goes beyond the external to internal characteristics that we choose to define as “invisible” diversity. Invisible diversity includes those characteristics and attributes that are not readily seen. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual.


Equity is not the same as formal equality. Formal equality implies sameness. Equity, on the other hand, assumes difference and takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair (or equitable) outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. The effects of that exclusion often linger systemically within organizational policies, practices, and procedures. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups.


Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.


I​ntersectionality refers to the ways in which multiple identities, and systems of oppression, combine and overlap in marginalized communities’ lived experiences. The term was first coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in her 1989 essay and is used to highlight the ways in which gender, race, ability, and other systems cannot be explored in a vacuum from one another. 


Marginalization refers to the treatment of a person or group as insignificant, “less-than,” or otherwise second-class. People may hold multiple marginalized identities (see “intersectionality” above) and thus experience compounding barriers. Examples of marginalized identities include people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, refugees and immigrants, and people with disabilities. 


A microaggression is an intentional or unintentional interaction that communicates or reinforces hostile, oppressive, or prejudiced attitudes towards a marginalized group. The term was first coined by Dr. Chester Pierce in the 1970s, and expanded by Dr. Derald Wing Sue et al. in a 2007 article about white psychologists and their interactions with clients of color. 


Oppression may be defined as “unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power.” Oppression can occur on various levels via laws that work to keep specific groups in power in which they continue to benefit, media representation or lack thereof, and the erasure of marginalized communities’ history or voices.


Privilege refers to the ways in which those individuals or groups with more power and access benefit, both directly and indirectly, from structures and institutions designed by and for that group, to the detriment of other groups. “Privilege is often invisible to those who have it.”

Social Justice

Social justice refers to both the process and the aim of creating an equitable world. It involves acknowledging oppressive systems and institutions and actively working to dismantle them. The goal is to promote egalitarianism regardless of race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. 


Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity:
Cultural pluralism
Cultural psychiatry
Psychiatry, transcultural
Psychoanalysis--Cross cultural studies
Psychotherapy-- Cross cultural studies
Psychoanalysis and culture
Psychoanalysis and feminism
Race Awareness
Sex differences--Psychology

Gender and Sexuality studies




Feminist criticism

Gay liberation movement

Gay rights


Gays > United States > Social conditions

Gender identity

Gender nonconformity

Genderqueer people





Intersex people





Nonbinary gender identities

Same-sex marriage

Sex differences

Sex discrimination in higher education

Sex role


Sexual freedom

Sexual minorities

Sexual minority youth

Sexual orientation

​Transgender people

Transgender youth




Women > United States > Social conditions.

Women's rights