BMC’s Yawkey building doors are now closed as an entrance as part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our campus and provide you with the best clinical care.

All patients and visitors on our main campus must enter our hospital via Shapiro, Menino, or Moakley buildings, where they will be greeted by team members at a new centralized check-in desk before continuing to the hospital. We are excited to welcome you and appreciate your patience as we improve our facilities.

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The Office of Equity, Vitality, and Inclusion, in partnership with Boston Medical Center, Boston University Medical Group, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and Boston University Graduate Medical Sciences collaboratively developed this Glossary as a tool to align our goals of justice, equity, and belonging and strengthen our collective understanding. Establishing shared language is foundational to creating common understanding by expanding our awareness of the world beyond our individual identities and experiences.

The Glossary is informed by experts across many fields and is consistent with our peer institutes. Most importantly, our students, faculty, staff, and leadership reviewed and revised it! Together, we developed the Glossary for Culture Transformation and together, we can promote an environment where everyone feels affirmed and valued!

| More About the Glossary | Tips for Using the Glossary: Inclusive Language Practices

Featured Terms



Beliefs or practices that rest on the assumption that being able-bodied is “normal” while other states of being need to be “fixed” or altered. This can result in devaluing or discriminating against people with physical, intellectual or psychiatric disabilities. Institutionalized ableism may include or take the form of un/intentional organizational barriers that result in disparate treatment of people with disabilities (PwDs).


Harvard Human Resources Glossary of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Terms

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Sign the Words Matter Pledge

Commit to using the Glossary for Culture Transformation as a tool to be an ally and champion of justice, equity, and belonging. This Words Matter pledge is adapted from and inspired by the work of BMC's Grayken Center for Addiction to end the stigma surrounding substance use disorders and people in recovery.

216 have pledged so far.

The Glossary for Culture Transformation is a living document to be revised on an annual basis. It was developed by the Office of Equity, Vitality, and Inclusion in partnership with Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center (BMC), and Boston University Medical Group (BUMG).

Suggested Citation: Office of Equity, Vitality, and Inclusion, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, and Boston University Medical Group. Glossary for Culture Transformation. 2021.

For questions or suggestions, please email