DEI Commitment & Resources
The Communication Professionals’ Declaration for Diverse and Inclusive Impact
This declaration is by communication professionals who deliver oral, written, or visual messages that influence perception, build awareness, drive decisions, or affect behavior. Our collective commitment to intentionally supporting diversity and inclusion means acknowledging, seeking, learning about, celebrating, and embracing likenesses and differences, as well as building connections.
Communication professionals believe that we must proactively speak truth to power and take a “seat at the table.” Our world is shifting, and we must do more than just respond: We must be leaders. We find ourselves with an opportunity to chart the course in our profession and build a culture of respect for all people. This is the moment to proclaim that our field has the resources, networks, skills, and platforms—to make socially responsible decisions. After all, communicators are connectors. It is our responsibility to open dialogue, influence the groups we engage with, and nurture relationships with our members, peer organizations, company leaders, employees, and stakeholders.
We must improve how marginalized groups are represented in marketing, news, and media; we must amplify the voices of our members, peer organizations, company leaders, employees, and stakeholders who are members of marginalized groups; and we must provide content that celebrates and supports diversity throughout the communication field.
We will constantly ask: What specific impact can we have in our organizations and circles of influence? How can we improve diversity and inclusion of race, age, socioeconomic status, disability, neurodiversity, faith, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national origin? To lead change, we must be courageous and step outside of our comfort zones with intention, conviction, and action. We must use our skills, our compassion, our networks, and our resources to emphasize the decisions we recommend or make.
The communicator’s role will be a catalyst that encourages dialogue and demonstrates human dignity within our profession. We will: communicate hope, inspire, challenge outdated perceptions, and widen the door of opportunity and accessibility.
We, the undersigned organizations, promise to:
- Act on this declaration for our members and the public-at-large.
We will accomplish this through our selection of topics and speakers for professional development, shared content on media channels/platforms, and by engaging in credible content shared by others.
- Support our peer organizations.
Call on each other for feedback, support, and resources; provide connections to subject matter experts; attend fellow functions and programs; and share best practices and innovative thinking.
- Build and maintain momentum.
Look for ways to bring diversity in leadership roles (in our professional communication organizations and our work organizations) as well as diverse resources to achieve our organizations’ and business’ needs (subject matter experts, authors, researchers, vendors, etc.).
View the Declaration form to sign.
Make a commitment to intentionally support diversity and inclusion.
There are many resources which provide information, reports, and insights into diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. This is not a comprehensive list. If you use one you'd like to recommend, please let us know.
Across the wide diversity spectrum, we have organized resources by category:
Note: you may need to scroll up slightly to view all listings.
Have a resource to share?
Let us know!
Business communicators will benefit from information related to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility.
International Association for Business Communicators
The Centre for Global Inclusion
Serves as a resource for research and education for individuals and organizations in their quest to improve diversity and inclusion practices around the world.
Diversity Action Alliance
Bringing together the world’s top leaders in Public Relations and Communication in pursuit of an urgent and critically essential goal: to achieve continuous improvement for people of color as measured by recruitment, retention, and representation in management.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, transgender status, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
News stories and events across the wide diversity spectrum in both the public and private sectors worldwide.
Graduate School of Stanford Business DEI
We are committed to making positive change in the diversity, equity, and inclusion of our community, teaching, and research, now and into the future.
Harvard Implicit Association Test
Harvard University's Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about.
International Association of Business Communicators
JustWorks Blog Posts
Understanding Microaggressions: 7 Examples and How to Reduce Them
Not only has implications for nonprofit organizations. Content and thought leaders on:
Siemens - Belonging Transforms podcast series
Episode 1: The role of big business in driving diversity, equity and inclusion.
Episode 2: Creating places where we can all belong
Episode 3: How inclusive language creates belonging
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Bias in the Workplace
Articles and resources for thinking about and working with bias in the workplace.
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Organizations located in the Southwest Ohio/Northern Kentucky/Southeast Indiana Area with a focus on serving diverse populations.
- African-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky
- Apoyo Latino: The Greater Cincinnati Latino Coalition
- Asian American Council of Dayton
- Association for India’s Development (AID) – Cincinnati Chapter
- Black Freedom
a combined effort of Cincinnati’s Freedom Center, America’s Black Holocaust Museum (Milwaukee), Amistad Research Center of Tulane University (New Orleans), August Wilson African American Cultural Center (Pittsburgh), California African American Museum (Los Angeles), Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit), Harvey Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture (Charlotte), Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park (Hilton Head Island, SC), National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis) and the Northwest African American Museum (Seattle).
- Cincinnati Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Dayton Association of Chinese Americans (DACA)
- Greater Dayton LGBT Center
- Huenited Collective, a Cincinnati initiative to build Black talent
- Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati
- Midwest USA Chinese Chamber of Commerce
- National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center
- National Association of Asian American Professionals - Cincinnati Chapter (NAAAP Cincinnati)
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a beacon of light for inclusive freedom around the globe. The site gives users access to learning resources, online, and permanent exhibits.
- Ohio Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Council
- The Voice of Black Cincinnati
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Greater cincinnati Area Celebrations, Events & Projects
Ways to learn and become involved.
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Resources for better understanding of and accommodating people LIVING with disabilities.
- American Association of People with Disabilities
- American Foundation for the Blind
- DeafBlind Communities May Be Creating a New Language of Touch (New Yorker)
- Deaf Choice, Inc. (Interpreters, Captionist services)
- Disability Discrimination
- Disability Unite
- Emily Goodson, CultureSmart
- Hearing Speech and Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati
- Implicit Biases & People with Disabilities
- The ESG Imperative of Disability Inclusion - Institute for Public Relationsby Robert Ludke
- Gem Turner, Disabled Content Creator
- National Public Radio:
- Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness
- Picture Book Creators Center Joy While Portraying Disability
by Margaret Kingsbury, School Library Journal, Jul 20, 2022
- Remfrey Educational Consulting: Guest Post: Learning to Embrace My Disability
by Nicole Demos
- Washington State Department of Social & Health Services (for resources accessible to Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafPlus, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened Community)
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Resources for understanding issues impacting gender equality.
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Resources for understanding generational bias & Diversity.
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Resources for identifying and understanding LGBTQ+ bias.
Articles, Research & Projects
NBC News - LGBTQ History Month: The road to America's first gay pride march
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Resources for identifying and understanding bias and discrimination based on race and ethnicity.
- American Writers Museum: My America blog series introduces writers featured in the special exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers
- Anti-Racism Daily - offers a free daily newsletter addressing a range of issues to build a more inclusive community including media & culture, politics, health, social justice, history, criminal justice, neighborhoods, environment, education, workplace
- Association for the Study of American African Life and History (ASAHL)
- Bringing Caste into the DEI Conversation - This Harvard Business Review article by Simran Jeet Singh and Aarti Shyamsunder addresses caste as a basis of discrimination. Caste is a system of social hierarchy in India that dates back over 3,000 years and assigns purity or status to specific groups of people. Caste is a form of social organization and identity in the South Asian context. It affects more than one billion people around the world — and 5.4 million in the United States. Companies should become more aware of caste as a factor in their own DEI efforts.
- Capital B, a local-national nonprofit news organization that centers Black voices, audience needs and experiences, and partners with the communities it serves.
- Editors of Color database. Editors of Color can help you tap into a diverse and representative workforce, to create an exciting expansion of ideas, expertise, and perspectives. Our database highlights language and content editors, sensitivity readers, proofreaders, and other editorial professionals from underrepresented communities and cultures.
- History Channel: Origins of Black History Month
- White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color
by Ruby Hamad
- Black hair and professionalism
- The Crown Coalition - created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition, in partnership with then State Senator Holly J. Mitchell of California, to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools.
- Research Suggests Bias Against Natural Hair Limits Job Opportunities for Black Women by Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, a management professor and a senior associate dean, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
- How hair discrimination impacts Black Americans in their personal lives and the workplace by Yamiche Alcindor, Rachel Wellford, Bria Lloyd, Candice Norwood,
on PBS News Hour, April 2, 2021
- Natural Hair Discrimination, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 22 Corporate Women Share What Wearing Their Natural Hair to Work Means
by Maya Allen, Byrdie, December 4, 2021
- More states are trying to protect black employees who want to wear natural hairstyles at work by Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, September 19, 2019
- National Archives
- National Endowment for the Humanities
- National Park Service
- New York Public Library: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- The New York Times: The 1619 Project
Politico: I Helped Fact-Check the 1619 Project. The Times Ignored Me. by Leslie M. Harris.
- Nonprofit Quarterly:
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Resources for identifying and overcoming Religious bias
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Information about and resources for considering neurodiversity in the workplace.
"The word neurodiversity refers to the diversity of all people, but it is often used in the context of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as other neurological or developmental conditions such as ADHD or learning disabilities. The neurodiversity movement emerged during the 1990s, aiming to increase acceptance and inclusion of all people while embracing neurological differences."
CBC News: Canada needs workers — so why aren't more companies hiring the neurodivergent?
Fast Company: Neurodiversity is critical for innovation in the workplace.
Harvard Business Review: Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage: Why you should embrace it in your workforce.
Harvard Business Review: Autism doesn't hold people back at work. Discrimination does.
Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School: What is neurodiversity?
HR Brew: People with Autism seek allies in the workplace. Advocates say HR can help
HR Brew: New Microsoft program connects recruiters with neurodivergent talent
Hubspot's The Hustle Daily Newsletter, How To Manage and Accommodate ADHD at Work
Ologies Podcast episodes (includes other resources in the show notes):
Stanford Neurodiversity Project
Stanford University Research: Neurodiversity at Work
Website: Neurodiversity Celebration Week
World Autism Acceptance Day
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Minority- and Women-owned Businesses
Greater Cincinnati Area Businesses
- Calibrated Lens - helping organizations create more inclusive environments, brands, and reputations
- CultureSmart - specializes in scaling high-performing and inclusive workplace cultures
- Lori Tingle Coaching & Training
- Olivetree Insights - equip brands with the right research and intelligence for a better return on investment
- RRight Now Communications - communications advisor providing best in class solutions to complex communications problems
- Spotted Yeti Media - smart video, telling your story and getting results
- The Marketing Collective - creates brand work that differentiates and resonates no matter the medium
- The Voice of Your Customer - Black-owned and minority-certified marketing consulting firm that uses research, secret shopping, outreach campaigns and our call center to engage hard-to-reach populations
- Zumwald & Company, LLC - a woman-owned small business providing speechwriting, speech coaching, executive communications, brand messaging, corporate storytelling, and speaking and training.
- A Woman's Touch Moving, Inc. (Washington and Virginia areas)
- American Moving and Hauling (North Carolina)
- American Moving & Installation, Inc.
- Little Joe Movers and Storage, LLC (Texas)
- Move Solutions
- NorthStar Moving (Los Angeles County, CA)
- Perfect Moving (New York City, Hudson Valley, Southern Florida)
- Piggy Back Moving (Florida)
- Tital Relocation Services (Arizona)
- Worldwide Moving Systems (Maryland)
Have one to suggest?
Let us know.
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We all carry our own implicit biases with us every day, even as we attempt to make casual conversation.
We cannot necessarily see the environments we swim in.
This information is a starting point and a flexible framework for using language that is empowering and respectful. It is meant to help start consideration for best practices and general guidelines; it is by no means exhaustive or definitive.
As the Linguistic Society of America defines it, "Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities."
Terminology that refers to attributes or identities such as race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, religion, age, or immigration or veteran status can adversely overemphasize an identity, feed stereotypes, or be discriminatory.
Conversely, there are times when noting a person’s identity or attribute can be an important affirmation and recognition and needs to be included.
People have complex identities. Language should avoid boxing people into a specific identity.
- Use: A baby with Down syndrome
Avoid: A Down’s baby
- Use: A person living on a subsistence-level income
- Avoid: Jane Doe is low-income
- Use: A woman on our sales team
A woman salesperson
What this might look like:
Harvard Business Review - Equitable Health Care Requires Inclusive Language
by Nkem Chukwumerije
Word on the Street: How to Respect my Ethnic Name
From an article by Anparasan Sivakumaran, also known as Anpu
The BBC/Worklife published an article that calls attention to language that unintentionally hurts people, "The harmful ableist language you unknowingly use."
Handshake’s Employee Resource Groups identified language principles that would ensures all students are treated with respect and dignity. The list of terms includes concepts to know, expressions to avoid, and words to incorporate into your vocabulary, job descriptions, and conversations with students.
Details, concepts and explanations for creating more inclusive language.
Assessing phrases and words that usually go unchallenged, and changing personal habits requires patience and empathy. Some of these words are harmless and meant to be educational. Others are hurtful; usually said unintentionally without knowledge of their history or implications.
This guide provides principles to remember:
- Put people first
- Use universal phrases
- Recognize the impact of mental health language
- Use gender neutral language
- Come with a growth mindset
- Ask if you aren’t sure
Explains a wide range of concepts: Ableism, Cisgender, Dominant culture, HUGs, Inclusive development, LGBTQIA, Mansplain, Neurodiversity, Pronouns, Transgender, and more. Includes a list of phrases to avoid (and why) from "bossy" to "hacker" to "peanut gallery."
Provides shared definitions and concepts on terms necessary for anti-racist work.
The Conscious Language Newsletter
Offers a range of articles covering inclusive language topics such as:
- An (incomplete) list of gender pronouns, LGBTQ Nation, August 16, 2022
- Avoiding Harm: Copyediting for Conscious Language
by Erin, Right Touch Editing, July 28, 2022
- How Sexist Language Hurts Men, by Karen Yin 2016, Conscious Style Guide, July 7, 2016
- Sho’ You Right: The Oxford Dictionary of African American English Is on the Way
The Root. There is no denying this simple fact: “These are people who love language.” by Alexandra Jane, on The Root, July 24, 2022
This breaks down exclusive language into categories to raise awareness and inclusivity:
- Ability & Disability
- Ethnicity, Race, Nationality
- Environmental Justice Language
- Gender, Sex, Sexuality
- Socioeconomic Status
- Spirituality, Religion, Atheism
- and so much more
Covers Background of word/phrase, NCDJ’s Recommendation, and any alignment/differences with AP Style
An organization focused exclusively on LGBTQ workplace equality, they have a number of resources and toolkits, including their pronouns guide.
Are you in love with language? This podcast examines language through family, history, and culture. The focus is on an understanding that language and respect; language and fairness; and language and justice are all tied together. Treating people with humanity is a part of really knowing how language works.
Weight Bias / Fatphobia
Weight bias (also referred to as fatphobia) is prevalent across countries, including the US, Canada, and the UK. It’s still legal in much of the US to pass over an applicant based solely on their weight and size.
In an article in the Journal of Eating Disorders, the authors define weight bias as “negative weight-related attitudes, beliefs, assumptions and judgments toward individuals who are overweight and obese.”
They note, "We extend this definition to include individuals of low as well as high weights. Weight-related issues include obesity and eating disorders, but importantly also include disordered eating and non- or sub-clinical variants or symptoms, such as overweight, body image dissatisfaction, restrained eating, disinhibited eating, emotional eating, and compensatory behaviors.
The causes of weight-related issues are complex and multi-factorial. For the purpose of this paper, we emphasize the important role played by social, economic, and political influences. Though individual agency plays a role, fixation on individuals’ responsibility for weight serves to oversimplify and overstate.
Weight bias is associated with higher rates of stress, depression, and unhealthy relationships with food for those who experience it,