Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment

Skill Sets for Targets

Skill Sets for Agents

There is a work sheet that i like… not found it yet…

Rank Categories and Rank Roles

Nine Categories of Rank

The nine categories of Rank are age, disability, religious culture, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, indigenous background, national origin, and gender.   We use the acronym “ADRESSING,” developed by Pamela A. Hays, to remember the categories, as follows:

Social Rank Category Agent Rank Target Rank
Age Adults (18 – 64) Children, Adolescents, Elders
Disability Able-persons Persons with Disabilities
Religious Culture Cultural Christians,   Agnostics and Atheists Jews, Muslims, and all other non-Christian religions
Ethnicity White Euro-Americans People of Color
Social Class Culture Owning and Middle Class (more than enough & enough; access to higher education) Poor and Working Class (less than enough; no access to higher education)
Sexual Orientation Heterosexuals Gay men, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Queer and Questioning
Indigenous Background Non-Native Native
National Origin US Born Immigrants and Refugees
Gender Male Female ,Transgendered, and Inter-sexed

Developed by Dr. Leticia Nieto; ADRESSING acronym by Pamela A. Hays

Rank Roles

  • The ranking system sorts each of us into Target and Agent ranks.
  • Rank is an essentially artificial or cultural marker, something determined by society, based on socially ascribed memberships, such as age, ethnicity, religion, and gender.
  • Individuals have little or no influence on how they are ranked.
  • The ranking mechanism reflects programmed behavior, convention, role-bound consciousness.
  • This ranking mechanism acts very fast, before our conscious thought can catch up.
  • The rank role is a prescribed script, given to each individual early in life, which determines how that person is supposed to behave in the world.
  • As individuals, we cannot change the way the rank machine sorts people out.
  • Becoming aware of the operation of the rank system enables us to act as free human beings, regardless of prescribed rank roles.

Truth versus Reality

  • The rank mechanism cannot tell the difference between perception and reality.
  • The Truth is that human beings cannot actually be sorted into dyadic, dualistic, binary categories. This is not a meaningful way to organize human beings. People are much too complex, and the possible categories are infinite.
  • Yet the reality of daily life is that people’s experience, and their chances of getting their needs met, are strongly influenced by the rank ascribed to them. To be defined by the Rank machine as White or Black, as Straight or Gay, as Male or Female, as Able or Disabled, has a tremendous effect on people’s lives. That’s reality.
  • These categories are not True, but they are real. They make a difference. We may criticize these terms, analyze them, and challenge them, but they remain as powerful influences on our daily experience.
  • Understanding how the mechanism operates is essential to changing how it affects us.


Nieto, Leticia et al.  Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment: A Developmental Strategy to Liberate Everyone, 2010.  For more information or to order a copy, look at Dr. Nieto’s website at: . Not to be reproduced without permission.