Words like "crazy," "ghetto," and "illegal alien" are not inclusive. This, according to a new initiative launched by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The school's "Words Matter!" campaign vows to educate students on how to speak and think appropriately. The Daily Caller's Rob Shimshock summarizes:
“At UIC, diversity is our strength — our competitive edge,” says UIC on the page detailing the campaign. “The purpose of the campaign is not to tell people what they can or cannot say (i.e., inhibit free speech) but rather to acknowledge that on a diverse campus each and everyone one of us has a responsibility to be aware of the power of our words to promote a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment.”
The page features a slideshow with individuals holding signs displaying terms like “crazy,” “ghetto,” and “illegal alien,” as well as expressions like “man up” and “what’s your real name?” The university also showcases terms like “undocumented” and “Black Lives Matter.”
The two July workshops, sponsored by a handful of UIC departments such as the offices of diversity and faculty affairs, purport to “offer opportunities for UIC to engage with the concept of inclusive language and its connection to identities, inequality, and power” via readings, videos, and dialogue.
The UIC website goes on to state:
Promoting equity and inclusion are the cornerstones of UIC’s vision of being nationally recognized as a diverse learning and working community where human differences are embraced; and where neither difference nor disadvantage stands in the way of intellectual and professional achievement. Our realization of this vision requires an unwavering commitment by everyone to promoting a climate of respect, tolerance, and inclusion.
Words Matter! is designed to raise awareness about the power of language as well as offer opportunities for UIC campus members to engage with the concept of inclusive language and its connection to identities, inequality, and power. The workshop series is open to students, faculty, and staff across campus who are interested in learning more about the power of word choice and how to make their classrooms and workplaces more inclusive.
"Workshop participants will engage in dialogue with their fellow campus members, watch short videos, review current literature, and have an opportunity to discuss strategies for change," the school promises.
Just what we need.