Vocabulary and Concepts


Hostility towards Jews as an ethnic or religious group, often accompanied by social, economic and political discrimination.

Key Words: Discrimination, Propaganda, Racism, Stereotype

Civil Rights

Personal and property rights guaranteed by the Constitution and by law.

Key Words: 14th Amendment, Bill of Rights, Voting Rights

The Civil Rights Movement

The post World War II struggle to end legal segregation and racial discrimination. This modern freedom struggle led by African Americans expanded awareness of human rights and the role of the Federal government in protecting citizens' rights.

Key Words: A. Philip Randolph, Brown v. Board of Education, Freedom Summer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nonviolent protest, Rosa Parks


Action based on prejudice or racist beliefs that results in unfair treatment of individuals or groups; unjust conditions in areas such as employment, housing and education.

Key Words: Antisemitism, Chinese Exclusion Act, Heterosexism and Homophobia, Inequity, Racism, Sexism


The deliberate and systematic attempted annihilation of a national, racial, ethnic or religious group of people.

Key Words:Armenian Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Ethnic Cleansing, the Holocaust, "Killing Fields," War Crimes


Originally, a section of a European city in which all Jews were forced to live. Today, a section of a city inhabited primarily by a single minority group, to which the group is restricted socially or economically.

Key Words: Discrimination, Exclusion, Segregation, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Hate Crime

A crime of violence, property damage or threat that is motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias based on the target's real or perceived 'race,' religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

Key Words: California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 (AB 537), "Gay-Bashing," Harassment, Hateful Graffiti

back to top

The Holocaust

The Holocaust took place in Europe between 1933 and 1945. Six million Jews were systematically and brutally murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. Millions of non-Jews, including Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), Serbs, political dissidents, people with disabilities, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses, were also persecuted by the Nazis.

Key Words: Concentration Camps, Crimes Against Humanity, Death Camps, "Final Solution," Genocide, Liberation, Mass Murder, Nazi Party, War Criminals


A preconceived attitude, opinion or feeling, usually negative, formed without adequate knowledge, thought or reason.

Key Words: Bias, Bigotry, Prejudgment, Stereotype


The deliberate spreading of ideas or information, true or untrue, with the purpose of manipulating public opinion to gain support for one's cause or to discourage support for another.

Key Words: Dehumanization, Demagogue, Media literacy, Spin doctor


An old word that once referred to nationality, in the 18th century the term was imbued with the scientific theory that people are classified into biologically different groupings. Theories of biological distinctions included ideas about which groups were innately superior and which were inferior. Western Europeans during colonialism used the idea to justify colonization, conquest, enslavement, and inequality. Modern science proves that among humans there are no races except the human race. Humans are basically the same on the inside with endless differentiation on the outside. It is a made up category. Today, although the concept is discredited, racism persists. The centrality and power of the idea in society and politics continues to shape the way we see ourselves and others.


A set of beliefs based on perceived 'racial' superiority and inferiority.
A system of domination that is played out in everyday interactions, and the unequal distribution of privilege, resources and power.

Key Words: Discrimination, Jim Crow Laws, Oppression, White Supremacy


An individual or group unfairly blamed for problems not of their making.

Key Words: California Proposition 187, Japanese American Internment, Stereotyping


A simplistic, firmly held belief, often negative, about individual characteristics generalized to all people within that group.

Key Words: Bias, Image, Label, Racial Profiling


A fair and objective attitude toward those whose opinions and practices differ from one's own. The commitment to respect human dignity.

Key Words: Civil Rights, Human Rights, Peace Building, Personal Responsibility, Social Justice

back to top

In This Section

Buy Tickets Contact Us

Become a Member Volunteer Calendar

Sign up for E-News