Equity-Focused Language Examples

From the American Medical Associations health equity guide – Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narratives, and Concepts (link)

Contrasting Conventional (Well-intentioned) Phrasing with Equity-focused Language that Acknowledges Root Causes of Inequities

 

Conventional
Revision
Native Americans have the highest mortality rates in the United States.
Disposessed by the government of their land and culture, Native Americans have the highest mortality rates in the United States.
Low-income people have the highest level of coronary artery disease in the United States.
People underpaid and forced into poverty as a result of banking policies, real estate developers gentrifying neighborhoods, and corporations weakening the power of labor movements, among others, have the highest level of coronary artery disease in the United States.
Factors such as our race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status should not play a role in our health.
Social injustices including racism or class exploitation,e.g., social exclusion and marginalization, should be confronted directly so that they do not influence health outcomes.
For too many, prospects for good health are limited by where people live, how much money they make, or discrimination they face.
Decisions by landowners and large corporations, increasingly centralizing political and financial power wielded by a few, limit prospects for good health and well-being for many groups

Source: NACCHO, “Advancing Public Narrative for Health Equity and Social Justice” report.

 

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