Over the years I’ve observed how militaristic, sexist and ableist words, such as “war room”, “douchebag” and “lame”, are used with ease in our culture. The way we communicate has a direct impact on our behavior, our culture and our world. When hurtful language becomes accepted and normalized in our public discourse, it excludes certain people from fully engaging in our society.
History of Say This Not That
I was at NTEN’s Leading Change Summit in September 2014. A conversation about language in an environment about technology in nonprofit led to the idea of STNT. One of the highlights of the summit was Idea Accelerator, a fast pitch competition. I decided to enter my STNT idea into the Idea Accelerator competition after receiving positive feedback from several attendees. A panel of judges awarded STNT first place and the summit attendees voted for the Community Choice award.
A Long-term Commitment
STNT is not meant to “police” language or to promote political correctness. We want learners to have intrinsic desires to use just and inclusive language. We believe that extrinsic motivations generate short-lived behavior change. STNT encourages allies to oppressed communities to use STNT to learn on their own, and to explore the potential harms of using oppressive language.
Follow these links to find out more about STNT: