Brandeis Releases 'Oppressive Language List' As A Push For Inclusivity


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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Students and faculty working at Brandeis University’s Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center released a list of words and phrases that have been deemed oppressive.

“Rule of thumb,” “you guys,” “spirit animal,” are a few of the commonly used phrases that are on PARC’s “Oppressive Language List.”

The list offers suggested alternatives in hopes of creating a more inclusive campus.

“PARC recognizes that language is a powerful tool that can be used to perpetrate and perpetuate oppression. As a community, we can strive to remove language that may hurt those who have experienced violence from our everyday use,” PARC stated on their website. “These recommendations for more-neutral language are brought forth by students who have been subject to violence or who have worked with others who are healing from violence, as well as students who have sought out advanced training for intervening in potentially violent situations.”

For example, instead of using the phrase “spirit animal,” they recommend saying “favorite animal" or "animal I would most like to be.” They explain that in some cultural and spiritual traditions, spirit animals refer to a guide that protects a person through a journey.

Since this list is being updated frequently, there is a suggestion form so people can submit new words and alternatives.

The list was released as part of PARC’s Holding Ourselves Accountable in Response to Anti-Blackness.


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