DEIB: The Value of Representation, Language, and Belonging

Based on an Article from the Eton Faculty and Staff DEIB Newsletter created by Laurren Chase, Admissions and Communications Associate
A graphic of a mirror.

 

Representation Matters

Representation is how societal aspects like race, gender, age, physical appearance and ability, mental health, sexual orientation, and ethnicity are presented in literature, media, advertising, and more. The subtle messaging that is sent when there is a lack of representation or misrepresentation is that folks belonging to that group do not matter as much as those that do. Watch the following short video to see why representation matters.

 

 

 

Graphic of speech bubbles in green, yellow, and red.

 

Language is Important

Inclusive language is purposefully avoiding expressions that assume or imply the exclusion of an underrepresented group. All of us have unintentionally used language that is not inclusive, most likely in several different settings. Language evolves, and it can be tricky to keep up. Poppy Louthan, our Library Teacher, volunteered to share a time in her classroom when the language she chose wasn’t as inclusive as it could have been. 

 

 

 

 

Belonging is Key

Belonging is to be seen, heard, valued, and loved. Ensuring representation in books and using inclusive language can go great lengths in creating places where everyone can feel like they belong. 

 

 

 

Resources

Childen’s Books as Windows and Mirrors

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or both, it’s important to spend some time seeking out books that will be windows and mirrors for the children you read to. (More Good Days – Parenting Blog)

 

Challenging Biased Language

“On a daily basis—in the lunchroom, at the grocery store, in school hallways, and even at home—people hear and sometimes use words and phrases that demean, ridicule, or demonstrate ignorance about people from different groups and backgrounds. “(ADL)

 

Talking to Your Kids About Racism

It can be hard to talk to your children about racism. Some parents worry about exposing their children to issues like racism and discrimination at an early age. Others shy away from talking about something they themselves might not fully understand or don’t feel comfortable discussing. Yet others, especially those who have experienced racism, simply do not have such choices. Conversations about racism and discrimination will look different for each family. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the science is clear: the earlier parents start the conversation with their children the better. (Unicef)

 

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