MCPA Support Staff Conference – Session II – Inclusive Language 101

**** Please remember that I am Live blogging at the conference so these are my comments and pardon the typos, etc.

Your Words Hold POWER: Inclusive Language 101 – Chianti Blackmon, Director of the Center for Student Diversity, Mt. St. Mary’s University
– This workshop will challenge participants to consider the effect of how our words enhance or dimish people’s feelings as well as how we can use words to build more inclusive community. Participants will engage in activities as well as learn skills to speak up and educate others on the imp ace of non-inclusive language

  • Inclusive and Diversity – words can make you uncomfortable – what does inclusive language means –
    • Respect
    • Open – Remain OPEN
    • P – It is a personal choice to PARTICIPATE based on what feels safe or comfortable This is a challenge by choice experience
    • E – Take the opportunity to learn or EDUCATE yourself
    • S – What is said & shared in this space is to be kept in this SAFE Space

Inclusive language 101

  • the power of language and how it influences attitudes about people

Inclusive Language

  • language that does not exclude, insult, trivialize or stereotype on the basis of gender, disability…
  • “Language that avoids the use of certain expressions or words that might be considered to exclude particular groups of people – i.e. mailman
  • avoid language that could offend, demean or promote stereotypes about a particular group

What are Non-inclusive language?

  • “You are acting ghetto”
  • “you are retarded / that’s retarded”
  • “I raped this exam”
  • “You people”
  • “That’s so Gay” – what does that mean?
  • when we use racial / ethnic backgrounds to describe someone – is it necessary in the context of the description – unnecessary details if it is irrelevant
  • Imposed labeling? Those buzz words that we don’t say
  • language is not fixed but it is constantly evolving
  • gender language – “mankind” – is there any change? “Actress v. aren’t we all Actors?” Implies that the woman is less.
  • “No Homo”
  • “I’m helping the homeless people”
  • “I’m starving” – there ARE people who are starving
  • “Those illegal aliens” – how would that make students feel
  • Using a more assertive way to call someone out – are we defining people by labels –

Why is Inclusive Language so important? Choosing Inclusive Language

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