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TWP Glossary

Below, please find our definitions of some of the key terms and concepts used in the TWP curriculum. For more detailed definitions and citations on some of these terms, see the main Racial Equity Tools Glossary

2024 UPDATE: TWP Is Now Managed By World Trust

World Trust Educational Services is excited to continue the legacy and deepen the work of the TWP curriculum as of January 25, 2024. World Trust is one of the original co-creators of TWP along with MP Associates and The Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD) which launched in 2016. They received support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create resources that a wide variety of groups might use address white privilege and white dominant culture as part of their racial equity and social justice training. The subjects of white culture and white privilege are often taboo, even in those settings. In addition, even very willing practitioners did not feel they had a wide variety of effective resources to help them tackle the issues well and with positive results. Should you have any questions, please email World Trust at


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In this training, a Conocimiento is a visualization and discussion exercise designed to ground participants by acknowledging and sharing the strengths of community members. Conocimiento is a Spanish term meaning “having knowledge of.” Roberto Vargas says, “Conocimiento stems from the Chicano Farm Workers’ movement.” As used in this training, Conocimiento is a process that validates the collective wisdom of the group in terms of learning and actions. When we engage in Conocimiento we are remembering (putting all the parts together) of our collective strengths and values. See here for more detail.

Dominant Culture

(in the training, also referred to as white culture)

The dominant, unquestioned standards of behavior and ways of functioning embodied by the vast majority of institutions in the United States.


Groups of two. For example, we might use this term to suggest each participant find a partner for a discussion or to turn to the person next to them to work an exercise together.

Entry Point

We are using this term as a shorthand label for opportunities in our individual and collective spheres of influence (see below) where we can begin to shift an aspect of the system of inequity. One premise of the training is that having a deeper and more nuanced understanding of white privilege and its consequences opens up new entry points for positive change that may have been overlooked in the past.

Leadership Practice Group

In this training, we use the term Leadership Practice Groups (LPGs) to refer to groups of participants the host organizations or facilitators form prior to the training (see Module B. Process Norms and Leadership Practice Groups for more information). The intent is for LPGs to help participants build deeper relationships with a smaller group of people within the larger group, for both support and accountability. We suggest that LPGs be assigned prior to the training; participants are asked to gather in LPGs at various points throughout. We also suggest that you encourage LPGs to continue to support each other beyond this training – through feedback, information sharing and talking through issues together.

Mental Checklist

An awareness and action tool, used in the TWP curriculum, that participants create for themselves to remain more fully conscious of how white privilege operates and how its consequences may be interrupted. More specifically, a mental checklist is a series of questions you can continually remember to ask yourself as a means for looking at how a particular action or decision is influenced by dominant cultural norms, expectations and power dynamics, and that you can use to look for entry points for change.


An instruction to facilitators to call on a few people for a comment or answer to a question. We usually are suggesting you use pop-ups to debrief a portion of the training quickly in a large group.

Sphere of Influence

We are using this term to refer broadly to places and spaces (work, community, home, church, mosque, synagogue or temple, among friends, as a consumer, as a voter, at school) where participants in the training might have access or influence to begin to change things, either as an individual or with others.

Strategic Questioning

An empowering method for discussion and creative problem solving, as described by Fran Peavey.

System of Inequity

The interconnected system through which internal and external forces, including history, culture, identity, power and economics, operate to create inequality. In the TWP training, the System of Inequity is examined from many different perspectives, including understanding how advantages and disadvantages have accumulated over time, and as a way to seek entry points for change. See World Trust's explanation.


Groups of three. We often suggest participants form triads for small group work.

White Privilege

Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it. 

SOURCE:  White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies. Peggy McIntosh. 1988.

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