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Taking Action

Increase Your Awareness

You must start by acknowledging there is a problem by understanding the history and impact of language. This in itself is an important part of creating an equitable and just campus. You need to check yourself. How often are YOU using terms like ghetto, crazy, lame, or bitch? You should also check the environment around you. How often do you hear these terms used on TV, in the movies, in the classroom, and around campus? Awareness is the first step!

Taking Action

Once you are aware, what do you do? Here are a few strategies for interrupting and educating.

  • Check yourself and use different words.
  • Talk to your friends about these and other words. Do they know the history or thought about the meaning and impact these words have?
  • When you hear people using harmful language, ask them to clarify what they mean or define the word: “What do you mean by _____?”
  • Ask the person to use a different word.
  • Share Words Matter campaign posters with others!
Words Matter

Words Matter

What you say | How you say it | Your word choice