We are committed to using language intentionally, guided by our diversity, equity, and inclusion principles. To hold ourselves accountable, we welcome our community’s feedback if we are inconsistent in our language use, according to the following guidelines. Furthermore, we welcome comments on the guidelines themselves, as our community’s shared vocabulary evolves with time.
We follow AP Style, and respect cultural practices, such as writing out people’s names as accurately as possible with diacritical marks when using Roman alphabets.
We capitalize the “B” in Black when describing Black people and cultures because capitalization affirms respect: lowercase black refers to a color, whereas capitalized Black refers to people and cultures of African origin.
Out of respect for Indigenous peoples and cultures, we capitalize the “I” in Indigenous. Lowercase indigenous can refer to anything originating or occurring naturally in a particular place, whereas capitalized Indigenous refers specifically to Indigenous people and cultures.
We do not capitalize the “W” in white when describing white people because this practice is used by known white supremacist groups and publications, to connote supremacy of the white race. While we do not wish, through this language choice, to portray race as something separate from white folks, we take our lead from Black scholars who have noted that capitalizing the “W” in white people feeds white nationalist narratives.