Sample Cultural Identifiers

Below is a list of some sample cultural identifiers to consider as you implement your equity and justice, multicultural, and diversity initiatives. Some independent school leaders may recall a time when NAIS referred to a list of the "Big 8" or "Core Identifiers." We have moved away from these terms because they implied a sense of hierarchy, placing greater value on the identifiers in the list over other identifiers.

  • Ability
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Socioeconomic Status (Class)
  • Body Image ("lookism")
  • Educational Background
  • Academic/Social Achievement
  • Family of Origin, Family Make Up
  • Geographic/Regional Background
  • Language
  • Learning Style
  • Beliefs (political, social, religious)
  • Globalism/Internationalism
  • ?

If you have any questions, please contact us at or (202) 973-9700.