Unsurprisingly, trendy words like yolo, selfie, and omg have all made their way to the regality of the dictionary - but slang isn’t the only way we adapt our language: it's constantly evolving to fit the needs of an ever-changing society.
September 15th to October 15th is Latinx Heritage Month and we hope you’ve joined us in celebrating! “Latinx” offers a term that intersects gender and race in a more inclusive way. Originally, it stems from the term Latino and moves beyond Latin@ to encompass gender identities outside of the man-woman binary.
Spanish, and many other languages, exist as gendered languages where the masculinized version of words is considered gender-neutral. But that reinforces a predominantly masculine society, which is why activists began using Latinx as a form of “linguistic revolution.” In an effort to move toward true equity for all people, this shift in language is a step forward.
We introduce the concept of cultural humility to breakers at almost every training we do. The idea transcends pre-trip education or best practices during service, and can be applied to daily interactions as we move in and out of communities that are and are not our own. Social justice is a goal and a process for every person to have full and equal access to participation and resources. This requires accountability from everyone to build strong, welcoming spaces.
As alternative breakers and active citizens, it’s essential to practice language and behaviors that are respectful for folks in the communities we’re entering into. We need a willingness to ask, listen, and learn. To start, we must increase our personal awareness of our own individuality and then recognize every person holds different identities. Inclusion is not a one-size-fits-all attitude: a society in which everyone feels welcome is an ongoing process of empathizing and adapting. We’d love for you to take a small step forward with us and add Latinx to your lexicon (right along with hype and noice - our latest favorites).