Words Matter: Inclusive Language

Have you ever heard the saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”? In theory, this sounds great, but in reality, it’s not true. 2020 taught us many lessons, including the fact that words have power. As CSR professionals the words we use in speaking to our communities, to our employees, and to our leaders matter and can have a profound impact on the work we do. So, as you think about your programs and initiatives, keep in mind these helpful tips about the language you use:

  • Gender-inclusive language is a powerful tool to promote gender equity. For best practices and strategies to implement gender-inclusive language, view the United Nations resource page.
  • Diminishing words make our communications less impactful. Check out Fast Company’s list of 10 words and phrases to stop using in 2021.
  • Overused words, words used incorrectly, and words that reinforce harmful ideas are included in Candid’s list of words to avoid in 2021.
  • Words and phrases that seem commonplace may have racist roots. It’s important to understand the origin, history, and impact of the words we are using as explained in these articles from CNN and Fast Company.
  • These articles by Vox and The New Yorker article explain that there is no “one size fits all” language when it comes to talking about race.

Are you interested in learning more about the importance of equity, and how an equity lens is important in your company’s community work, employee volunteerism, and impact measurement? Join us for Advancing Equity: An ACCP Summit, June 23-24. For more information or to register, visit our website.