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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.

 


 

Make These Important Changes in your Language

"Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes." - Desmond Tutu


Language is coded in hierarchy, caste, racism, and inequities which results in who is seen as superior vs. inferior, human vs. less human, and worthy vs. less worthy.

Here are some examples of important changes in language so that we tell the truth and uproot the racist and inequitable narratives we perpetuate consciously and unconsciously.

DON'T use language like third world, developing and underdeveloped country, or first world issues/country or developed country.

 

DO use language like Global South, the Global Majority, over-exploited and over-extracted countries impacted by colonialism and white supremacy, and Black and Brown countries.

 

DON’T use language like minority, diverse groups/populations or underprivileged, underserved, underrepresented, or marginalized.

 

DO use language like ‘people of the Global Majority’, Black, Brown, Racialized, Indigenous, and Muslim, equity-denied communities, equity-deserving communities, and communities owed reparations due to racist systems.
 

 

DON’T use language like slave or slave master/owner.

 

DO use language like enslaved Black people, enslaved African people. African mothers, fathers, men, women, and children who were enslaved by white people. Enslavers and white enslavers who enslaved Black people.
 

 

DON’T use language like coloured people or reference all non-white people as people of colour or racialized.

 

DO use language that does not lump everyone together like Black, Indigenous, and racialized, or Black, Brown, and racialized peoples/groups.

 

DON’T as a white person ask Black, Brown, and racialized people "Where are you from?"

 

DO acknowledge that everyone in ‘Canada’ is an immigrant unless you’re Indigenous. Practice cultural reciprocity in a genuine, authentic, and conscious way.
 

 

DON’T ask questions about a Black person's hair and never EVER ask to touch or attempt to touch our hair.

 

DO mind your business and google. ✌��



with revolutionary gratitude,

Selam Debs

 

 

Trish Coupal at 10:18 AM
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