Intercultural Resources

Table of Contents

Definitions of General Concepts

All the ways of life, including the arts, beliefs, and institutions of a population, are passed down from generation to generation. Culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society." As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, and art.
Intercultural Competence
The ability to function effectively across cultures, to think and act appropriately, and to communicate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds – at home or abroad
A social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly skin color), ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation or history, ethnic classification, and/or the social, economic, and political needs of a society at a given period of time. Scientists agree that there is no biological or genetic basis for racial categories.
A system of advantage based on race and supported by institutional structures, policies and practices that create and sustain advantages for the dominant white group while systematically subordinating members of targeted racial groups. This relative advantage for Whites and subordination for people of color is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms, values, and society's institutional structures and practices.
Individual Racism
The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can occur at both unconscious and conscious levels and can be both active and passive. Examples include telling jokes, using racialized epithets, or believing in the inherent superiority of one race above all others.
Systemic Racism
When the way a society is structured systematically ends up giving advantages to some and disadvantages to others.
A social construct that divides people into social groups based on characteristics such as a shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history, and ancestral geographical location. Members of an ethnic group are often presumed to be culturally or biologically similar, although this is not necessarily the case. Examples of ethnic groups identified in the U.S. are Cape Verdean, Haitian, African American; Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese; Cherokee, Mohawk, Navajo; Jamaican, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican; Polish, Trinidadian, Irish, and French.
Racial and Ethnic Identity
An individual's awareness and experience of being a member of a racial and ethnic group; the racial and ethnic categories that an individual chooses to describe himself or herself based on such factors as genealogical or ancestral heritage, physical appearance, cultural affiliation, early socialization, and personal experience. Puerto Ricans, for example, may be racially European, African, indigenous or various blends, yet they refer to themselves collectively as Boricuas. Despite color differences, Puerto Ricans share a culture that shapes food, language, music, and customs.
Certain social advantages, benefits, or degrees of prestige and respect that an individual has by belonging to certain social identity groups. Within American and Western societies, these privileged social identities—of people who have historically occupied positions of dominance over others—include groups that identify as males, heterosexual, Christian, white, and the wealthy, among others.

For more definitions, check out the  Racial Equity Tools Glossary .

Intercultural Life Resources

Web Resources

Video Resources

Watch video: Studying Privilege Systems To Strengthen Compassion
Watch video: The Danger of a Single Story

George Fox Talks Podcast Episodes

Watch video: Cultural Lenses and Traditional Education
Watch video: Diversity in Healthcare
Watch video: The Trouble with Normal and the Order of Love

Learn About the Native Kalapuya Land


Additional Resources

Undocumented Student Support

George Fox University is committed to supporting all our students regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. We seek to stand in solidarity with and support our undocumented students. 

Your Rights

Navigating College

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

Financial Aid and Undocumented Students

On-Campus Support

Reporting Discrimination, Bias, & Harassment

Bias-related incidents and hate crimes are not tolerated in the George Fox community. These actions may also violate local, state, and federal law. Designated University personnel investigate all complaints or allegations of harassment promptly. 

Appropriate, corrective action may be implemented based on the investigation findings. Although demeaning, discriminating, or harassing messages on such things as flyers, posters, emails, social media, voicemails, and graffiti are often obnoxious or worse, it is helpful to preserve them as evidence and not to disturb or remove anything that could help identify the source and/or targets or other affected persons.

If any student or employee believes he or she has witnessed or has been subjected to, harassment, discrimination, bias-related incidents, or hate crimes, the person is encouraged to immediately report the incident to the Dean of Student Belonging and Equity/Title IX Coordinators or student life personnel. Any person violating these policies may be subject to appropriate community accountability, up to and including termination if they are an employee, and suspension or dismissal, if they are an undergraduate, graduate, or Adult Degree Programs student.

More information on Discrimination, Bias, and Harassment Policy at George Fox University