The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate and bring their full, authentic selves to work. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in the words/actions/ thoughts of all people.*

Self Reflection:

• How do I feel included in spaces?

• How do I welcome others into this space?

• Is my space good for folks of all identities? (be honest)

Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (like she, it, them, and this). Gender pronouns (he/she/they/ze etc.) specifically refer to people that you are talking about.

  • An important thing that we do when introducing ourselves is let other folks know our pronouns, either verbally or nonverbally. It helps folks who reside outside the gender binary, or don’t present/look/”pass” as their gender. Examples, I am nonbinary, but I am also aware that I pass as masculine/a man - So when I tell you my pronouns I am letting you know who I am.
  • It’s also important to do so because not everyone is ‘out’ or ‘passing’, and having only the trans/nonconforming/nonbinary people introduce themselves with their own pronouns can risk outing themselves and creating unsafe spaces for their own well being. In addition, spaces that normalize letting people know your pronouns helps realize a safe space for people who are trans/nonconforming/nonbinary.
  • It is a bad move to make jokes/statements like “any pronouns are welcome” if that’s not an honest answer. It makes folks who are trans/nonconforming/nonbinary feel unwelcome in the space. If someone does this, please stop the conversation and call them in.

 Website: 

Gender Pronouns | LGBT Resource Center Look at the FAQs (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

 Website: 

Why Pronouns Matter (mypronouns.org)

Tokenism

The practice of making only a symbolic effort to be inclusive to members of marginalized groups, especially by recruiting people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of equality within an organization, movement or group. Exploiting, marginalizing, decentering or isolating a group of people based on isolated attributes.

Inspiration Porn - the portrayal of individuals with disabilities as ‘inspirational’ solely because of their disability. (Term coined by Stella Young)

 Video: 

I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much (TEDxSydney, Stella Young, 2014, 9 min.)

  Self Reflection:

• How does inspiration porn divert from a realistic understanding of disability?

• How does inspiration porn contribute to the association that being disabled is equal to being incapable?

Calling In vs. Calling Out

 Article: 

What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In? Prof. Loretta J. Ross is combating cancel culture with a popular class at Smith College. (New York Times article by Jessica Bennett, November 19, 2020)

Radio Broadcast:

Why Scholar Loretta Ross Is 'Calling In' Callout Culture (WBUR On Point Radio Show: December 3, 2020, 47 minutes)

Lived Experience

Lived experience may be defined as people's perspective on the social, political and economic situation within their areas and the way that they interact with them.

Sometimes when we speak, we don't talk from our own perspective and instead use someone else's. while it is important to have a plethora of perspectives in the room, it's also important to tell the stories that hold the most relevance to you, which are often your own stories. it is also important that before you tell somebody else's story, you ask them for permission to tell it. Within climate Justice circles, there is sometimes an issue where folks, often white, speak on others behalf, instead of allowing them to speak their truth.

  Self Reflection:

• When I am speaking, am I speaking from my lived experience?

• Am I listening to others' lived experience?

• Is my lived experience relevant to the conversation, and could someone else’s lived experience be more relevant? Am I taking up space?

Cultural Knowledge

The distinct and varied wisdom that comes from one community, lived experience, and history. This is different within each community. Cultural awareness builds off this knowledge to include multiple identities, ethnicities and perspectives.

 Video: 

Education System v. Cultural Competence, Gracia Bareti (TEDxDirigo, 2019, 13 min.) This is a young person from here in Maine.

Microaggression*

The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

 Video: 

Ouch...Did You Really Mean That? ([email protected], Naiya Davis, 2015, 10 min)

 Personal Story: 

"One of my 'Favorite' microaggressions is when I mention that I’m mixed Filipinx, and folks generally assume that it’s my mom. It’s frustrating because it both denies the idea that my dad can’t catch a nice white lady, and upholds the assumption that white men are allowed to date/marry outside their race, while Filipino men cannot, especially if their significant other is white. This is rooted in the miscegenation laws of the 1900s, which forbade Filipino manongs from being able to marry outside their race as they came over to work the fields out west. And that’s the shitty thing about microaggressions - they happen without asking, they make you feel like shit, and people don’t hold themselves accountable when they do it.

"My other one is being asked if I’m Italian because my name is Anthony and people’s brains explode when they meet a mixed person, so they head into the ambiguous 'white' identity zone." --Anthony, Portland, Maine

  Self Reflection:

• How do I hold folks accountable for their microaggressions? How do I hold myself accountable?

• Have I ever committed a microaggression? (be honest). Have I taken the time to reflect on my actions? Have I apologized/made amends for it?

• Have I ever witnessed a microaggression? What did I do when I saw it? What didn’t I do?

Content/Trigger Warnings

Verbal or written notices that precede potentially sensitive content. These notices flag the contents of the material that follows, so readers, listeners, or viewers can prepare themselves to adequately engage or, if necessary, disengage for their own wellbeing.

 Article: 

A guide to content and trigger warnings (The Mix, October 9, 2020)

 Self Reflection:

• Does my work include content warnings about traumatizing material, if that’s in it?

• Have I ever been traumatized by having to read/listen to/watch something? How did it make me feel?

• Have I ever traumatized someone else through my own content?

*Note: any entry with an asterisk (*) comes from the US Climate Action Network glossary.