Encouraging diversity through the mindful use of diversity-related language: Opinion

August 12, 2021
Two recently published opinion pieces from Maria Qadri and Jill Stoner discuss the challenges with using acronyms and vague language to discuss diversity in academia. Qadri argues that educators should take time to consider the true meanings of words such as “equity,” “diversity,” “inclusion, “equality,” and “representation.” Shortening these words to acronyms is problematic, Qadri writes, because it obscures their meanings. Stoner discusses the military and corporate history of acronyms, and explains that they were typically used in cultures of secrecy or irreverence. Stoner argues that acronyms diminish the significance of the words and link them together in instances when they may not all be relevant. “To effectively do the work of dismantling systemic racism, we cannot afford to take shortcuts, linguistic or otherwise,” writes Stoner. Inside Higher Ed (Qadri) | Inside Higher Ed (Stoner) (Editorial)