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Term Definition

Ancestral ceremonies

A dance with spirit, the soul’s way of interacting with the other worlds, the human psyche’s opportunity to develop a relationship with the symbols of this world and the spirits of the other55
Archival research Research that involves searching for and gathering information and evidence from original archives56

Having a meaningful voice and the opportunity to participate in the design of political, social, and cultural structures, including the right to both contribute to and make demands upon society and political institutions57


A term used to describe the ways in which cisgenderism, heterosexism, and patriarchy simultaneously privilege cisgender, heterosexual men and dehumanize women, LGBTQ+ people, and gender non-conforming individuals58
Collective liberation The understanding that no one is free until we are all free. The struggle for healing and justice for everyone.59
Community governance Community participation, engagement, and decision-making in public matters; related to terms such as local governance, social governance, network governance, and participatory governance.60 Does not necessarily refer to interaction with government and can happen at a variety of scales from a block to an identity group.
Community needs assessment A systematic process of understanding the most pressing needs of your community
Cosmology Beliefs about the origin of the universe61
Critical map literacy

Vigilance to the inherently political nature of the mapping process, no matter who is involved or how the mapping will be “performed”62

Cultural strategy

The intentional decision within social change efforts to acknowledge, validate, notice, and integrate knowledge, practices, and worldviews that have led to survival, continuity, and thriving in the context of racial capitalism and white supremacy

Culture bearers

A person who is deeply rooted in the layers of their heritage, to the degree that they are confident in transmitting the eligible parts of their culture to others63
Data A collection of items of information64
Evidence Any fact, information, or data provided by a research study65
Generalizable Describes findings from a study that can be applied to a larger population or different circumstance66
Geographic Information System (GIS) A computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface67
Healing justice The practice of reimagining wholeness at the intersection of intergenerational trauma, current structures of oppression, and a generative and cocreated future68
Indigenous sacred science The long history of knowledge(s) systems of civilization development, cosmology, and ancestors’ traditions
Internalized oppression Members of oppressed groups internalize the negative stereotypes, self-doubt, and powerlessness imposed by colonial, racist, and other actors and systems advancing social hierarchy and domination69
Law A rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority70
Life-affirming Indicating that life has value and evokes energy and creativity.71
Methods of survival A frame for community analysis that support healing of the generational harm and injustices
Mixed method Ways in which qualitative and quantitative research activities are brought together to achieve greater insight72
Ordinance A law set forth by a governmental authority73
Participatory action research (PAR) A collective process of investigation, knowledge generation, and action for social transformation
Pedagogy The art, science, or profession of teaching74 and learning
Praxis Practical application of a theory and the evolution of theory learned through its practical application
Primary data First-hand data gathered by the researchers themselves75
Policy A high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures, especially of a governmental body76
Policy analysis A research-based process of understanding past, current, or future impacts of a policy on a community, public government, environment, or specific group
Policy placebo effect A finding that the passing of policies can make people think something is being done about an issue, even if it hasn’t produced any real material change or the policy hasn't been implemented
Facilitating learning by centering people’s lived experience and knowledge and fostering people’s development of their own language, theory, and political engagement in the world77
Positionality The disclosure of how an author’s racial, gender, class, or other self-identifications, experiences, and privileges influence research methods78
Power mapping The visualization of the relationships between different stakeholders’ power and interests related to a specific issue, decision, or campaign
Power over

A term that describes collective action or solidarity and includes both the psychological and political power that comes from being united79

Power to The ability to act, which can begin with the awareness that it is possible to act and can grow in the process of taking action, developing skills and capacities, and realizing that one can effect change80
Power with A term that describes collective action or solidarity and includes both the psychological and political power that comes from being united81
Power within

Describes the sense of confidence, dignity, and self-esteem that comes from gaining awareness of one’s situation and realizing the possibility of doing something about it82

Randomized The result of assigning participants to treatment and control groups, assuming that each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to any group83
Reach Expanding who is engaged and activated in research and who has access to the findings
Regeneration Seeking to heal, energize, and (re)connect through the research process
Resolution legislation introduced in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, but unlike bills, it may be limited in effect to the Congress or one of its chambers84
Resonance Deep alignment between the research process and people’s inner experiences
Rigor Thorough and accurate study design, data collection, and interpretation phases of research
Sample size

The number of participants or observations included in a study85

Scientific racism

A historical pattern of ideologies that generate pseudoscientific racist beliefs86

Secondary data

Using existing data generated by large government institutions, health-care facilities, etc., as part of organizational record keeping, and the data is then extracted from more varied data files87
Social desirability bias The tendency of research subjects to choose responses they believe are more socially desirable or acceptable rather than choosing responses that are reflective of their true thoughts or feelings88

Social movement

A loosely organized but sustained campaign in support of a social goal, typically either the implementation or the prevention of a change in society’s structure or values89
Stakeholders People or organizations that have an interest in your research project or affect, or are affected by its outcomes90
Technical experts People, such as academics, graduate students, or professional consultants, with specialized skills to use tools or techniques for carrying out research activities 
Technocratic Relating to or involving scientific or technological solutions proposed or developed by experts in science or technology who generally hold decision-making power in society
Traditional knowledge knowledge, know-how, skills, and practices that are developed, sustained, and passed on from generation to generation within a community, often forming part of its cultural or spiritual identity91
Transformative research A range of processes where people center their lived experience and visions for social transformation, lead a process that systematically builds on this knowledge through investigation and learning rooted in their own ways of knowing, and take action to influence public narratives, policies, and power dynamics toward collective liberation


  • 55Somé, The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose through Nature, Ritual, and Community.
  • 56LexisNexis, “What Is Archival Research?,” LexisNexis France, https://internationalsales.lexisnexis.com/glossary/research/archival-research.
  • 57“Our Story,” Othering & Belonging Institute,https://belonging.berkeley.edu/our-story.
  • 58Sage A. Mauldin, Disrupting Cisheteropatriarchy in Society and the Workplace: The Role of HRD Education. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 25 no. 4, (2023): 279-287. https://doi.org/10.1177/15234223231191815
  • 59“Terminology”, Organizing White Men for Collective Liberation, https://www.owmcl.org/terminology/
  • 60Vicky Totikidis, Anona Armstrong, and Ronald Francis, “The Concept of Community Governance: A Preliminary Review,” ResearchGate, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/37376941_The_concept_of_community_governance_a_preliminary_review.
  • 61Joel Primack, “Cosmology and Culture ,” Cosmology and Culture, http://physics.ucsc.edu/cosmo/primack_abrams/COSMO.HTM.
  • 62Jay T. Johnson, Renee Pualani Louis, and Albertus Hadi Pramono, “Facing the Future: Encouraging Critical Cartographic Literacies In Indigenous Communities,” ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 4, no. 1 (2015): 80-98, https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/729.
  • 63“Culture Bearer Pathways,” The Rhapsody Project, https://www.therhapsodyproject.org/culture-bearer-pathways
  • 64“Data,” in A Dictionary of Epidemiology (Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • 65“What Is Evidence?,” The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, https://www.csp.org.uk/professional-clinical/clinical-evidence/evidence-based-practice/what-evidence.
  • 66“Generalizability,” The Sociology Dictionary, https://sociologydictionary.org/generalizability/
  • 67“GIS (Geographic Information System),” Education, https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/geographic-information-system-gis/.
  • 68“Healing Justice for Equity,” Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing, https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/healing-justice-equity.
  • 69E. J. David and Annie O. Derthick, “What Is Internalized Oppression, and so What?,” Internalized Oppression, 2013, https://doi.org/10.1891/9780826199263.0001.
  • 70Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. “law,”https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/law.
  • 71“Life–Affirming,” Encyclopædia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/dictionary/life%E2%80%93affirming.
  • 72“Mixed Methods Research,” Mixed Methods Research - Harvard Catalyst, https://catalyst.harvard.edu/community-engagement/mmr/.
  • 73Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. “ordinance,” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordinance.
  • 74Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. “pedagogy,” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedagogy.
  • 75“Research Guides: Public Health Research Guide: Primary & Secondary Data Definitions,” Research Guides at Benedictine University Library, https://researchguides.ben.edu/c.php?g=282050&p=4036581.
  • 76Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. “policy,” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/policy.
  • 77Paulo Freire and Myra Bergman Ramos, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
  • 78Mark Fathi Massoud, “The Price of Positionality: Assessing the Benefits and Burdens of Self‐identification in Research Methods,” Journal of Law and Society 49, no. S1 (2022), https://doi.org/10.1111/jols.12372.
  • 79Lisa VeneKlasen and Valerie Miller, A New Weave of Power, People and Politics: The Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation (Rugby, 2007).
  • 80Ibid.
  • 81Ibid.
  • 82Ibid.
  • 83Minsoo Kang, Brian G. Ragan, and Jae-Hyeon Park, “Issues in Outcomes Research: An Overview of Randomization Techniques for Clinical Trials,” Journal of Athletic Training 43, no. 2 (2008): 215–21, https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-43.2.215.
  • 84“Congressional Information on the Library of Congress Web Site,” Congressional Information on the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/congress/congress-glossary.html.
  • 85“Sample Size and Power,” Institute for Work & Health, https://www.iwh.on.ca/what-researchers-mean-by/sample-size-and-power.
  • 86“Scientific Racism,” Genome.gov, https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Scientific-Racism.
  • 87“Research Guides: Public Health Research Guide: Primary & Secondary Data Definitions,” Research Guides at Benedictine University Library, https://researchguides.ben.edu/c.php?g=282050&p=4036581.
  • 88Pamela Grimm, “Social Desirability Bias,” Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing, 2010, https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444316568.wiem02057.
  • 89L. M. Killian, Neil J. Smelser, and Ralph H. Turner, "social movement." Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/topic/social-movement.
  • 90“Research Project Stakeholders,” Vitae, https://www.vitae.ac.uk/doing-research/leadership-development-for-principal-investigators-pis/leading-a-research-project/applying-for-research-funding/research-project-stakeholders.
  • 91Traditional Knowledge,” WIPO, accessed October 24, 2023, https://www.wipo.int/tk/en/tk/.