DEI Common Language

Words have energy and power. A single word can change everything about a conversation, interaction, or exchange of information. A first step to having productive, strategic exchanges about diversity, equity, and inclusion is adopting an accepted, shared language that guides how we engage, communicate, discuss, report, and measure across various topics and types of data.

Cultural competency around DEI language is an evolving skill that requires using a clearly defined yet malleable vocabulary to allow for change as our language evolves. This suite of modules offers guidance on effectively engaging in dialogue and communicating ideas and information on topics specific to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The first installment in this series provides baseline definitions of terms commonly used in discourse and communication about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our Common Language…

      • promotes clear and open dialogue with others
      • puts people first, making all feel included and valued
      • is free from words or phrases that explicitly or implicitly stereotype, discriminate, or express prejudice
      • helps to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations
      • can help to build trust across lines of difference
      • requires an ongoing commitment to learning and evolving

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DIVERSITY

 

Definition: Differences expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status, and political perspective
Examples:
  • Colleagues from multiple generations
  • Religions practiced by individuals on a team
  • Educational backgrounds of those in the same role
  • Unseen mental or physical abilities/disabilities
  • Differences in communication styles among staff

Source: https://diversity.umich.edu/about/defining-dei/

EQUITY

 

Definition: Promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources, ensuring an equal opportunity for success for all persons, regardless of sex, marital status, gender expression, and any other characteristics or identities
Examples:
  • Inclusive, competency-based hiring practices
  • Accommodations for health conditions
  • Policies that accommodate a wide variety of needs
  • Support for individual cultural and religious events
  • Opportunities for everyone to grow into positions of leadership

Source: https://diversity.umich.edu/about/defining-dei/

INCLUSION

 

Definition: Creating an environment where all perspectives are respectfully heard, differences are welcomed, and where every individual feels a sense of belonging, and is valued as a fully participating member of the community
Examples:
  • Engagement and learning opportunities
  • Participation in inclusive and diverse cultural celebrations
  • Implementation of stay interviews into unit operations
  • Elevation of those who have fewer opportunities to be heard
  • Celebrate individual employee successes

Source: https://diversity.umich.edu/about/defining-dei/

INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE

 

Definition: People-first language that is free from words, phrases, or expressions that stereotype or express forms of bias or prejudice. In a more general sense, language that acknowledges, accepts, affirms, and celebrates differences of those in our community
Examples:
  • Gender neutral language
  • Personal pronouns
  • Factual attributes instead of labels
  • Plain (non-colloquial) language

Source: https://cdn.outdoors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/13134722/Common-DEI-Language-Reference-Guide-UPDATE-4OCT2021.pdf

CULTURE

 

Definition: Languages, customs, beliefs, rules, arts, knowledge, and collective identities that make interactions and environments meaningful. More broadly, a set of unspoken rules that shape values, habits, patterns of thinking, behaviors, and styles of communication
Examples:
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Spiritual practices
  • Dress Traditions Arts (culinary, folk, visual)

Source: https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Key-Equity-Terms-and-Concepts-vol1.pdf

WORKPLACE CULTURE

 

Definition: Patterns of behavior that are supported by the shared experiences, values, and beliefs of an organization. Broadly speaking, the shared attitudes, standards, and priorities of teams, departments, units and other employee groups within an organization
Examples:
  • Communication
  • Sense of belonging
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Transparency Mission and values
  • Employee engagement

Source: https://culturejourney.umich.edu/about/; https://www.valamis.com/hub/work-culture

CULTURAL COMPETENCE

 

Definition: Grounded in the respect and appreciation of cultural differences, the set of interpersonal skills or attributes that allows one the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures
Examples:
  • Understanding the social norms of other cultures
  • Acknowledging and appreciating differences in communication styles across cultures
  • Respecting the religious beliefs and practices of others
  • Actively engaging with others from diverse backgrounds
  • Practicing constructive uncertainty

Source: https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Key-Equity-Terms-and-Concepts-vol1.pdf

ALLY

 

Definition: Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with marginalized groups in the struggle for justice
Examples:
  • One who:
      • Speaks out in support of those whose voices are seldom heard or acknowledged
      • Takes action when witnessing behavior or language that is degrading or offensive
      • Speaks less; Listens more Shares the spotlight and credit when appropriate

Source: https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary

PRIVILEGE

 

Definition: Operates on personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels, and gives unearned advantages, favors, and/or benefits to members of dominant groups, often at the expense of members of nondominant groups
Examples:
  • Often based on:
      • Socio-economic status
      • Gender
      • Age
      • Religion
      • Sexual identity

Source: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/oacs/wp-content/uploads/sites/140/Understanding-Privilege-and-Oppression-Handout.doc

MARGINALIZATION

 

Definition: Process by which individuals or groups are (intentionally or unintentionally) excluded, isolated, or distanced from access to power and resources granted to those in majority and/or privileged groups.
Examples:
  • Giving someone credit for another person’s ideas
  • Refusal to acknowledge the contributions of some, but praising the contributions of others
  • Use of derogatory, offensive, or bullying language
  • Speaking to an individual without acknowledging others in shared space

Source: https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary

INTERSECTIONALITY

 

Definition: The complex ways in which multiple forms of discrimination combine, overlap and/or intersect in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups; a framework for understanding how issues like sexism, racism, and classism can overlap in multiple ways.
Examples:
  • LGBTQI+ women with disabilities reported significantly higher levels of sexual harassment than both men with disabilities and non-disabled men and women.
  • White women in the US earn 81 cents for every dollar a white man earns; the same figure for American Indian, Alaska Native, Black, African American, and Hispanic women is 75 cents.

Source: https://cdn.outdoors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/13134722/Common-DEI-Language-Reference-Guide-UPDATE-4OCT2021.pdf; https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality/transcript?language=en; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/diversity-inclusion-equality-intersectionality/

Race & Ethnicity

RACE

The concept of race is a social construct (an idea that was created and accepted by people at a point in time in a society) that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance, ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, cultural history, ethnic classification, or the political needs of a society at a given time. Race is not a valid biological concept and, throughout history, has often been used to grant or deny access to benefits, resources, and/or privileges.

__________________________________

Source: https://www.amcp.org/resource-center/publications/dei-glossary#M-R

Source: https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8452910/

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10389293/

Source: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/historical-foundations-race

ETHNICITY / ETHNIC GROUP

Similar to race, ethnicity is also a social construct (an idea that was created and accepted by people at a point in time in a society) that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history, and ancestral geographical base.

__________________________________

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8452910/

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776936

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908006/

Source: https://www.amcp.org/resource-center/publications/dei-glossary

ASIAN / ASIAN AMERICAN

Asian describes an individual who identifies with one or more nationalities or ethnic groups originating in the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent. (i.e., Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Pakistan). Asian American is used when referring to Americans of Asian descent.

__________________________________

Source: https://www.ohsu.edu/inclusive-language-guide

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10389293/

Source: https://ohr.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ohr/page_content/attachments/OHR_ILG_RaceEthnicity_FINAL%20%281%29.pdf

BLACK / AFRICAN AMERICAN

African American generally refers to American people of African ancestry. African American and Black are not always interchangeable. Not all Black persons are African American, and not all African Americans are Black. African American should not be used as an umbrella term for people of African ancestry worldwide because it obscures other ethnicities or national origins

__________________________________

Source: https:Source: https://www.ohsu.edu/inclusive-language-guide

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10389293/

Source: https://www.uab.edu/dei/institutional-equity/inclusive-language-guide

Source: https://www.apa.org/about/apa/equity-diversity-inclusion/language-guidelines//cdn.outdoors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/13134722/Common-DEI-Language-Reference-Guide-UPDATE-4OCT2021.pdf

HISPANIC / LATINO / A / E / X

Hispanic describes a person who has lineage to a Spanish-speaking country, or whose heritage derives from it. Latino/a/e/x refers to people of Latin American origin or descent who can be of any background or language. The latter represents masculine (Latino), feminine (Latina) and nonbinary (Latinx and Latine).

__________________________________

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10389293/

Source: https://www.ohsu.edu/inclusive-language-guide

Source: https://ohr.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ohr/page_content/attachments/OHR_ILG_RaceEthnicity_FINAL%20%281%29.pdf

INDIGENOUS / INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Generally, this term is used to describe individuals identifying as existing descendants of the peoples who inhabited the present territory of a country wholly or partially, at the time when persons of a different culture or ethnic origin arrived there from other parts of the world, overcame them by conquest, settlement or other means, and reduced them to a non-dominant or colonial condition. Indigenous Peoples have distinct cultures, languages, landbase, kinship, and ties to their traditional homelands, and usually live as a minority within a majority-dominant culture.

__________________________________

Source: https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary

Source: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/about-us.html#

MIDDLE EASTERN / NORTH AFRICAN (MENA)

Middle Eastern / North African refers to individuals having origins in the MENA region, which includes at least two dozen countries and a number of ethnic groups: the 22 members of the League of Arab states (Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen), the three non-Arab MENA states (Iran, Israel, and Turkey), and Trans-national communities (Armenians, Assyrians/Chaldeans, Kurds, Amazigh).

___________________________________

Source: https://yallacountmenain.org/materials//s/mena-faqs-4pdf

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10389293/

Source: https://www.aaiusa.org/

NATIVE AMERICAN / AMERICAN INDIAN

Native American / American Indian describes a person having origins in any of the Indigenous peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment. Native peoples often have individual preferences on how they would like to be addressed. When talking about Native groups or people, use the terminology the members of the community use to describe themselves collectively.

___________________________________

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10389293/

Source: https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/faq/did-you-know#

Source: https://www.apa.org/about/apa/equity-diversity-inclusion/language-guidelines

NATIVE HAWAIIAN OR PACIFIC ISLANDER

Native Hawaiian refers to individuals who are descendants of the Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands and/or their descendants. Pacific Islander is a broader term that refers to an individual who descends from the original peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Polynesia includes Hawaii, Samoa, American Samoa, Tokelau, Tahiti, and Tonga. Micronesia includes Guam, Mariana Islands, Saipan, Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Marshall Islands, and Kiribati. Melanesia includes Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

__________________________________

Source: https://www.ohsu.edu/inclusive-language-guide

Source: https://www.csusm.edu/ccc/programs/diaspora.html

MINORITY

This term describes an individual, group, or community (ethnic, racial, religious, or other non-dominant identity related) with differential power than those who hold the power in the population. Members of minority groups often experience inequities and disadvantages that are not experienced by members of the dominant social group. Being a numerical minority is not a characteristic of being in a minority group; it is the lack of power that is the predominant characteristic of a minority group.

__________________________________

Source: https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/key-terms-definitions-diversity-equity-inclusion

Source: https://opentextbc.ca/introductiontosociology2ndedition/chapter/chapter-11-race-and-ethnicity/#section11.1.

UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY (URM)

Underrepresented Minority (URM) describes individuals in racial/ethnic minority groups categorized by the federal government as historically underrepresented in U.S. higher education across fields and disciplines. URM calls attention to the low participation rates of certain minority groups in specific fields relative to their representation in the U.S. population. The racial/ethnic minority groups most commonly defined as URMs are: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino(a/x), Native Hawaiian, and Native American/Alaskan Native.

__________________________________

Source: Source: https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf19304/digest/introduction

Source: LSA Anti-Racism Task Force Report

MARGINALIZED

This term refers to an individual, group, or community that is distanced from power and treated as insignificant or peripheral. Members of marginalized groups are often relegated to unimportant or powerless positions within a society as a result of systems and institutions that uplift and/or grant access to resources to those who are in dominant and/or privileged groups. Marginalized individuals experience discrimination and exclusion (social, political and economic) because of unequal power relationships across economic, political, social and cultural dimensions.

__________________________________

Source:https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary

Source: LSA Anti-Racism Task Force Report

Source: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/09722661221096681?icid=int.sj-abstract.citing-articles.32#:~:text=dimensions%20of%20marginality.-,Introduction,is%20regional%2C%20national%20or%20global

SHOULD I SAY: BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN

Black and African American are not always interchangeable. Historically, the term African American referred to people of African descent who were enslaved in the United States. Some people prefer the term Black because they do not identify as African and/or American, either because they can’t trace their lineage back to Africa or because being Black isn’t just about race, it’s also about culture. Some individuals identify as Black and African American and use the terms interchangeably for themselves, depending on the situation. As a default or if you’re unsure, use Black. If you are corrected, use the term the person asks you to use. Some people may identify as African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latino and many other races and ethnicities. Consider the necessity of using race within your context. Ask yourself: “Would I mention ‘white student’ or ‘white faculty member’ when discussing others?”

___________________________________

SHOULD I SAY: HISPANIC OR LATIN(A/O/X)?

Hispanic refers to people who have lineage to Spanish-speaking countries. Latino or Latina refers to people from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America, and it does not include those from Spain or Portugal. Latinx and Latine also relate to people in the US of Latin American origin or descent, but are used as gender-neutral or non-binary alternatives to Latino or Latina).

A person could be both Latino/a/x AND Hispanic, or one or the other, but the terms are not interchangeable. Those with lineage to Spain or Spanish-speaking countries outside of Latin American are Hispanic, but not Latino/a/x. When possible, be as specific as possible when describing someone’s heritage. Terms such as Cuban, Argentinean, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and other specific terms should be used when known.

___________________________________

SHOULD I SAY: NATIVE AMERICAN OR AMERICAN INDIAN?

Each of these Nations and its individual citizens may self-identify as many different terms, some that are traditionally accepted and those terms that have been placed on Native Nations by the dominant culture. Whenever possible, Native people should be referred to by using their specific tribal name or the terminology that the members of that community use to describe themselves. If a Tribal name is shared, ask for a phonetic spelling of the name to ensure appropriate pronunciation. When speaking broadly, Native American is preferred unless the individual or group specifies otherwise. Occasionally, some individuals may prefer American Indian; however, this is not universal. It is worth noting that Native American and American Indian are terms created by white Americans.

NOTE: The term ‘Indian’ is generally used to describe the people and cultures of India; this word should only be used to describe Native Americans in instances where an individual or group has expressed a preference to be identified using the term.

__________________________________

SHOULD I SAY: MINORITY, URM, OR MARGINALIZED?

 Use ‘marginalized’ when referring to an individual or group that is not a member of the dominant group, or the group that has historically held power in society. Reference to ‘marginalized groups’ is also appropriate when describing instances where groups or individuals were made to feel insignificant or “othered” in certain situations.

Avoid the use of the term ‘minority’ to describe marginalized or underrepresented groups. Instead, use the specific name of the group or groups to which you refer, or the accurate/specific identity of the individual being described.

URM can be used to describe racial/ethnic minority groups categorized by the federal government as historically underrepresented in the context of U.S. higher education across fields and disciplines. When speaking more broadly, instead of using URM, consider using the phrase historically marginalized communities. This language acknowledges that there are communities that have systematically been denied access to economic, political, and cultural participation.

__________________________________

Add’l Source: https://www.apa.org/about/apa/equity-diversity-inclusion/language-guidelines

MAKING MISTAKES…

Because cultural competency around DEI-focused topics is an evolving skillset, it requires time and practice, continuous engagement with ourselves, and learning from and about others. It is impossible to always “get it right”, and the fear of saying something wrong or harmful can prevent us from engaging meaningfully, especially across differences. Move away from the idea of perfection, and instead, lean into learning how to engage with others using language that minimizes harm. It is important that we learn to acknowledge our mistakes, take accountability for our actions, and then apologize with humility and vulnerability. Invest in owning your impact, not just your intent.

__________________________________

Add’l Sources: https://www.hello-collective.com/blog/3-crucial-dei-learnings-for-2021; https://www.diversitydana.com/onmakingmistakes/

WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE…
  • Own it – Don’t ignore it or pretend the harm did not occur. Be aware of the impact of your words or actions, take accountability, and commit to doing better
  • Take action – Acknowledge your mistake and apologize for its impact, then modify your language and/or behavior to prevent that mistake from occurring in the future
  • Educate yourself – It is YOUR responsibility to engage in learning opportunities that help you understand why your actions or words were problematic
  • Forgive yourself – Mistakes are inevitable. We ALL make them from time to time. Give yourself grace and then move forward
  • Share – Help educate others so they don’t make the same mistakes

__________________________________

Add’lSources: https://www.hello-collective.com/blog/3-crucial-dei-learnings-for-2021;https://www.diversitydana.com/onmakingmistakes

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Expression

GENDER IDENTITY

Refers to a person’s understanding and experience of their own gender. Everyone has a gender identity; for some people, it corresponds with the gender assigned at birth (cisgender), and for some others, it does not (transgender).

Additional Context:

Gender identities are expansive and can look very different in other cultures or time periods. There is no one authority that dictates the boundaries of gender, except for the individual concerned.

___________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

SEXUAL ORIENTATION

Describes how a person characterizes their sexual and emotional attraction to others. Sexual orientations exist on a spectrum, meaning that these aspects of identity are not static, may change over time, and can happen throughout the life course.

Examples:

  • Heterosexual: an attraction between people of the opposite sex or gender
  • Pansexual: an attraction to people of all genders.
  • Asexual / Aromantic: an instance where an individual does not experience sexual attraction. Asexuals may still be romantically, platonically, physically, and/or aesthetically attracted to people.

___________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

GENDER EXPRESSION

Refers to the ways in which a person chooses to present their gender to the world around them. This can include clothing, mannerisms, pronouns, names, etc.

Additional Context:

  • Clothing, mannerisms, pronouns, etc., do not need to have a gender attached to them.
  • Gender identity can sometimes inform one’s gender expression
  • Gender expression does not necessarily dictate someone‘s gender identity.

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

CISGENDER

Cisgender describes a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. ‘Cis’ can refer to men or women since those are genders that are assigned at birth. ‘Cis‘ is a Latin term that means “same”.

Additional Context:

A person’s gender is different from their sexuality / attractionality; therefore an individual can be cisgender and be heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or another sexuality. Any combination is possible; any combination can exist.

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

NON-BINARY GENDER

Non-binary identities are neither completely male nor female‍—identities that are outside of the gender binary. Non-binary identities fall under the transgender umbrella, since non-binary people typically identify with a gender that is different from their assigned sex, though some non-binary individuals do not consider themselves transgender.

Examples:

  • Agender – no gender to express
  • Genderfluid – moving through more than one gender identity
  • Non-Conforming – gender expression does not align with sex assigned at birth

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

LGBTQIA+

An acronym and umbrella term that is used to describe people who have gender identities and attractionalities that are diverse and other than cisgender and heterosexual.

Additional Context:

The LGBTQIA+ acronym is used to be more inclusive and provide better context. There are many variations of this acronym, and it can sometimes be challenging to remember all the letters. It is most important to know that there is no “official standard”. What is preferred varies by person, region and often evolves over time. The “+” allows is there to encompass all the other identities not represented in the acronym letters.

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

LESBIAN
A term that refers to a woman who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to another woman.
GAY
A term that describes a man who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to other men.

___________________________________

 Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

BISEXUAL

A term that refers to someone who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to two or more genders out of the many gender identities.

TRANSGENDER

A term that describes any person who has a gender identity that is different from the gender that they were assigned at birth.

___________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

QUEER

An umbrella term that sometimes refers to anyone who is not heterosexual and not cisgender. Many times, queer is used as a broad rejection of labels for gender and sexual orientation, however, because the term was historically used as a slur against people in the LGBTQIA+ community, some individuals still find the term offensive.

QUESTIONING

A term that refers to someone who is not sure how they identify. Someone can be questioning their sexual orientation and/or their gender identity.

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

INTERSEX

A term that refers to people who naturally have (are born with) biological traits such as chromosome patterns, hormonal levels, or genitalia that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.

Additional Context:

There are many different intersex variations. In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all. Being intersex is not linked to sexual orientation or gender identity; intersex people can have different sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

ASEXUAL

This is an umbrella term used for individuals who do not experience, or experience a low level, of sexual desire. This identity can include those who are interested in having romantic relationships, and those who are not. People of different sexual orientations and gender identities can be asexual.

AGENDER

This term refers to someone who has no gender to express, or who is not sure how they identify.

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

PLUS(+)

Encompasses the other identities not represented in the LGBTQIA acronym alone.

Additional Context:

Addition of the “+” is an additional effort towards inclusivity, and recognition of the diversity that exists within our community.

__________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

PRONOUNS

Pronouns are markers of identity that are used to refer to someone with using their name. Use of someone’s correct pronouns is a way to foster a respectful and inclusive environment.

Additional Context:

Commonly used pronouns:

        • He/Him (masculine)
        • She/Her (feminine)
        • They/Them (gender neutral; plural and singular)
        • Ze/Zim; Sie/Hir; Xe/Xem (gender neutral)
        • Some individuals may prefer not to use pronouns at all and will ask to be referred by their name alone.

___________________________________

Source: Organizational Learning – LGBTQIA+ An Introduction to Inclusive Language

MAKING MISTAKES…

Because cultural competency around DEI-focused topics is an evolving skillset, it requires time and practice, continuous engagement with ourselves, and learning from and about others. It is impossible to always “get it right”, and the fear of saying something wrong or harmful can prevent us from engaging meaningfully, especially across differences. Move away from the idea of perfection, and instead, lean into learning how to engage with others using language that minimizes harm. It is important that we learn to acknowledge our mistakes, take accountability for our actions, and then apologize with humility and vulnerability. Invest in owning your impact, not just your intent.

__________________________________

Add’l Sources: https://www.hello-collective.com/blog/3-crucial-dei-learnings-for-2021; https://www.diversitydana.com/onmakingmistakes/

WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE…

  • Own it – Don’t ignore it or pretend the harm did not occur. Be aware of the impact of your words or actions, take accountability, and commit to doing better
  • Take action – Acknowledge your mistake and apologize for its impact, then modify your language and/or behavior to prevent that mistake from occurring in the future
  • Educate yourself – It is YOUR responsibility to engage in learning opportunities that help you understand why your actions or words were problematic
  • Forgive yourself – Mistakes are inevitable. We ALL make them from time to time. Give yourself grace and then move forward
  • Share – Help educate others so they don’t make the same mistakes

__________________________________

Add’l Sources: https://www.hello-collective.com/blog/3-crucial-dei-learnings-for-2021; https://www.diversitydana.com/onmakingmistakes/

SOURCES/RESOURCES