Writing Inclusivity Guide

This guide is to assist in inclusive writing across marketing mediums. All included recommendations are based on AP Stylebook’s best practices for written content.

GENDER & SEXUALITY​

  • Use gender-neutral pronouns (they/them/their) in reference to unspecified singular people​

    • When they is used in the singular tense, still use a plural verb: “Taylor said they need a new car.”​

    • If their desired pronoun is known, use that pronoun (he/she/they)​

    • NOTE: Avoid reliance on pronouns – rewording usually is possible and always is preferable​

  • Gay, lesbian: Preferred over homosexual​

  • LGBT, LGBTQ: Best as an adjective and an umbrella term​

    • Acceptable in all references for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and/or queer​

    • Other forms such as LGBTQIA and other variations are also acceptable with the additional letters explained​

    • Don't use LGBTQ+ (with the plus sign) unless it's in a quote or the formal name of organizations and events​

RACE​

  • Avoid broad generalizations and labels; race and ethnicity are one part of a person’s identity​

  • Do not write in a way that assumes white is default​

    • Not: "The moderator asked the Black attendee to share his experience."​

    • Instead: "The white moderator asked the Black attendee to share his experience."​

  • Use the capitalized term Black as an adjective in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense: Black people, Black culture, Black literature, Black studies, Black colleges​

    • Reasoning: People who are Black have strong historical and cultural commonalities, even if they are from different parts of the world and even if they now reside different parts of the world. That includes the shared experience of discrimination due solely to the color of one’s skin​

  • White should remain uncapitalized​

    • Reasoning: White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color. There is considerable disagreement, ambiguity and confusion about whom the term includes​

  • African American: (no hyphen) is only acceptable for an American Black person of African descent​

  • Latino, Latina: Latino is often the preferred noun or adjective for a person from, or whose ancestors were from, a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America; some prefer the recently coined gender-neutral term “Latinx,” which should be confined to quotations​

  • People of color: Acceptable when necessary in broad references to multiple races other than white​

    • Do not use person of color for an individual​

    • Do not use the shorthand POC, BIPOC or BAME unless necessary in a direct quotation; when used, explain it​

 

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