Language is powerful, says academic writing advisor Kate Hargreaves: not only does it describe realities, it can create and reinforce them.
She will present a workshop on the use of inclusive language — which Hargreaves defines as that which does not exclude individuals or groups, does not perpetuate discrimination or stereotypes, and strives for equity — on Thursday, Nov. 5.
“When we use inclusive language, we are demonstrating respect, prioritizing equity, and embracing the diversity of our communities,” she says. “It is important to recognize that regardless of intention, language can reinforce stigmas and stereotypes, exclude people, and perpetuate real harm, especially to individuals and communities who are already marginalized.”
The workshop will run 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Blackboard Virtual Lounge. Find information on how to register on the website of the Writing Support Desk.
Hargreaves’ presentation will provide instruction applicable both to day-to-day life and an academic context. She acknowledges the assistance of people from across campus, including:
- Kathryn Pasquach of the Aboriginal Education Centre;
- Denice Shuker of the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility;
- Mike Houston and Christine Quaglia of Student Accessibility Services;
- English professor Nicole Markotić; and
- students Janet MacIsaac and Derrick Biso, who facilitated a workshop on pronouns.
Hargreaves has also recorded a video discussing many of these same issues. It is available through the video tutorials page on the website of the Student Success and Leadership Centre.