Inclusive Language Guidelines


CMA has been dedicating our social media space over the last few months to celebrating our diverse colleagues– from Black History Month in February to Women’s History Month in March. Particularly coming off of International Women’s Day (March 8th), we have been taking special consideration to acknowledge those colleagues who experience multiple layers of diversity – focusing not just on race and gender, but also culture, religion, age, sexual orientation, and disability status.

While it seems simple, a first step to celebrating these differences are properly communicating them. The words that we use are powerful – and taking the time to educate ourselves on the language we use to describe others can help position ourselves to have powerful, respectful, and inclusive conversations.

To help you do this, we wanted to share a resource provided by the American Psychological Association (APA). The Inclusive Language Guidelines acknowledge that language is a powerful tool, and that our words are a key aspect of creating an inclusive and welcoming work environment. These guidelines can help raise your own personal awareness on the terms and descriptors we use to describe others – and they suggest contemporary replacements for some of our more outdated common terms.

Inclusive Language Guidelines - APA 12-21