Suggested Language List

About This Project

The Suggested Language List was one of many student-led projects at the Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC).

This list was developed, created, and reviewed by a team of students. It was a project that assisted them in considering what phrases might cause harm to their peers and fellow community members.

Suggestions were brought forth by students who have been impacted by violence, students who have sought out advanced training for intervening in potentially violent situations, and other Brandeis community members who were interested in submitting a suggestion. A committee of PARC members reviewed these suggestions and decided together what to add and how to change list items on a regular basis.

This list was meant to be a tool to share information and suggestions about language usage. Use of the suggested alternatives is not a university expectation, requirement or reflection of policy. As shared in Brandeis University's Principles of Free Speech and Free Expression, the language you choose to use or not use is entirely up to you.

The list was used as a learning tool for the student staff team at the time. The students most involved in creating this tool have graduated; it is no longer an active project and is not currently being updated or revised.


*Formerly known as the "Oppressive Language List," in August 2021 we retitled this list to center the suggested alternatives rather than the words and phrases that may cause harm.