The second edition of the Inclusive Language Guide has been released by the American Psychological Association (APA). This year’s guide includes notable additions on gender-inclusive language, pregnancy-related language, neurodiversity, religious discrimination, and weight stigma, all of which are highly relevant topics in today’s workplace. The APA’s Chief Diversity Officer outlines the Guide’s intention to support DEI language progress in the forward:
“The guide is written to raise awareness, direct learning, and support the use of culturally sensitive terms and phrases that center the voices and perspectives of those who have been historically marginalized or stereotyped. The guide also explains the origins of problematic terms and phrases and offers suitable, more contemporary alternatives. Because this guide is not a legal treatise or advice, terms may differ from how they are defined, interpreted, and applied under law. Please recognize that cultural, global, and regional differences abound; in this guide, we concentrate on language used in a U.S. context.”
Language is powerful and often shapes the narrative around who holds power, privilege, and voice in our society. The Guide is a robust and helpful tool supporting efforts to adopt unbiased, inoffensive, and inclusive language. You can also check out my “Say This Instead” blog series, a brief and easily digestible way to gain awareness about harmful but regularly used words or phrases with suggestions on how to change our language to be more representative of the increasingly global community we live in.
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