The Evolving Language of Diversity and Inclusion: Stop Using the Word "Minority"
The language of diversity and inclusion is ever evolving and changing. This evolution of language can make communicating about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) intimidating. In my years of teaching and training, I have made my fair share of errors in judgement when communicating about various social/culture identity groups. These moments were often times embarrassing and sometimes even painful, but they were inevitable and provided me with valuable lessons that were important in developing my DEI insight and expertise.
Making mistakes when communicating about diversity is inevitable (this is especially true for people who are at the beginning stages of their Diversity and Inclusion journey). It's when we reflect on and learn from these mistakes that we gain increased awareness and are able to develop into culturally responsive and respectful communicators. One of the most important lessons I have learned through my own growing pains as a DEI practitioner is that WORDS MATTER. Words can work to empower and dis empower, so please consider the intersections of power and language and think critically about the words being used when referring to different social and cultural identity groups.
Because words matter, I want to encourage you to refrain from using the word "minority" when referring to women, people of color, or other historically under-represented populations. Watch the YouTube clip below to learn more about why I think we should stop using the word "minority" when speaking about historically under-represented populations and please feel free to share with others who might benefit from this awareness. Developing cultural competency and inclusive communication skills is a continual and life long process of learning, so commit to learning and evolving with the ever-changing language of DEI. 💗