Inclusive Language Series: Reflecting on the Terms We’ve Shared this Semester

As part of our Inclusive Language Series, we introduced terms and resources to promote mutual learning and to create more inclusive communities. This week, we are reflecting on the terms we introduced this semester and will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on what you have learned through this series. If you have enjoyed reading this series, we also encourage you to share this newsletter series with a peer.

We shared the following terms with you: Cultural Appreciation, Cultural Appropriation, Indigenous Terms and Phrases, Gender Pronouns, Nonbinary, Fatphobia and Diet Culture, Tone Policing, and Allyship. We recognize that this doesn’t even begin to cover half of the terms or identities that exist but this is only the beginning of an ongoing conversation. We look forward to introducing more terms this spring and continuing our work supporting inclusive communities. Now that we have taken time to reflect on the terms we explored this semester, we encourage you to take some time to reflect on what you have learned about yourself and others through this newsletter series. Please utilize the reflection questions listed below to do this.

Reflection Questions

  • Is there an identity or term that you would like to learn more about?
  • Is there a term you would like for others to further explore? What are ways you can proactively create opportunities for learning?
  • What are ways you have challenged yourself to become more aware of issues that disproportionately affect some identities over others? If you can’t think of any examples from this semester, what are some ways that you can challenge yourself in the future?
  • What were your main takeaways from the Inclusive Language Series articles you read? How do you plan to incorporate what you learned into your everyday life?

Learning about identity is an ongoing journey that doesn’t have an end destination. There will always be something new to learn or unlearn, and that’s okay. This learning
requires vulnerability because you are going to make mistakes along the way. The most powerful thing you can do is turn those mistakes into moments of learning in order to be better and do better down the road. We plan to continue the Inclusive Language Series in the Spring 2024 semester. We encourage everyone to keep learning and growing in the meantime. As a disclaimer, it’s important to consider the source of your learning. You should never be learning (intentionally) at the expense of someone with a marginalized identity. If you want to learn, there are many spaces that exist for that very purpose. A quick internet search does wonders.

Thank you for engaging with us this semester, and take care!

Upcoming Holidays & Observances

December 21 — Winter Solstice: Marks the first day of the season of winter. The length of time between sunrise and sunset is the shortest of the year with the sun shining closest to the Southern Hemisphere and the arthest from the Northern Hemisphere.
December 24 — Christmas Eve: Christian celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
December 25 — Christmas: Western Christian Commemorates the birth of Jesus.
December 26, 2023—January 1, 2024 — Kwanzaa: A seven-day celebration honoring African American heritage and its continued vitality. “Kwanzaa” means “first fruits (of the harvest)” in Swahili
December 29 — Wounded Knee Day: On December 29, 1890 more than 200 Lakota Sioux were massacred by U.S. troops at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
December 31 — New Year’s Eve: In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. In many countries, New Year’s Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink. etc