WORDS WE USE
At Wellan, when we use the following terms. This is what we mean.
A measurable indicator of the extent to which a community includes individuals who represent a variety of social identities.
The establishment and enforcement of policies and practices that provide fair access to opportunities and advancement.
An organizational climate whose practices are designed and implemented to ensure any individual or group is welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.
An approach focused on eliminating language, practices, and resources that are biased in favor of or against certain groups of people.
A commitment to eradicating the unequal race-based distribution of power in social institutions.
At Wellan, we strive to use language that is clear, objective, and free of stereotypes or bias, as well as to avoid making generalizations when talking about gender identity or expression, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, or people with disabilities. Here’s a simple example: When speaking to a group of students, instead of saying “Boys and girls, it’s time to line up to go to Art,” a Wellan teacher says, “Okay, Primary friends, it’s time to line up to go to Art." This may seem like a minor change in language use, but it does something important. Children learn that we are seeing them as individuals who are part of a friendship or peer group, rather than as being divided into two separate group identities associated with societal stereotypes.
Language use is constantly changing, so it can sometimes be confusing to know what terms to use. One resource we use at Wellan is the Inclusive Language Guidelines published by the American Psychological Association (APA). These guidelines were developed to support the use of culturally sensitive terms and phrases that emphasize the voices and perspectives of those who are often marginalized or stereotyped.