Communicating inclusively is to share information in ways accessible and comprehensible by all. Such practices should be implemented across all modes of communication: written, digital, over the phone, and in-person. Inclusive communication better positions us to achieve successful outcomes for units, programs, projects, individuals, and the wider community. It is important to focus on improving listening, speaking, and facilitation skills. By understanding cultural biases and choosing language intentionally, we can better understand and communicate across different backgrounds. Inclusive communication helps to build an empathetic understanding of diverse identities.
This section of the AIR DEIJ Guidebook covers resources for inclusive communication in the following categories:
- Materials to Develop Skills in Facilitation, Communication, and Active Listening
- Regularly Updated List of Useful Communication Technologies and Infrastructure for Community Partnerships
- Guidance for Developing Outreach and AIR Program News
- Contact List for Questions about Diversity and Cultural Representation in Communications
- Guidance for Social Media
- Guidance on What Makes Newsworthy Stories and Avenues for Distributing or Pitching these Stories
- Resources that Detail DEIJ Considerations when Writing about Underrepresented Populations
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Materials to Develop Skills in Facilitation, Communication, and Active Listening
The ways we intentionally shape space can transform experiences and relationships cultivated in that space. In this area of the guidebook, you will find resources on shaping spaces both physically and relationally.
Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Classroom
This resource on college classroom dynamics comes from the UArizona Office for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. The document is intended to be a resource for "addressing difficult or challenging topics in the classroom" and offers "suggestions for faculty who want to engender the broadest possible perspectives, opinions, and experiences and to maximize free speech in the classroom."
Guidelines for Anti-Racism in the Classroom
This resource on designing inclusive classrooms comes from the UArizona College of Science.
Guidelines for Individual Student Interactions
This resource from the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences provides suggestions on interacting with Black, Indigenous, and students of color during and after heavy and traumatic societal events. The guidelines were developed in preparation for the Fall 2020 semester, in response to the murder of George Floyd and the associated heightened organizing for Black lives.
Creating Inclusive Classrooms from the UArizona Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI)
This is a list of resources from the UArizona Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) on Inclusive Teaching Techniques, Navigating Diversity in the Classroom, and Safeguarding Against Unconscious Bias. Here’s their description: “There are many considerations when working toward an inclusive classroom — from student participation to class discussions. Here, we’ve compiled a range of resources to help you incorporate inclusive teaching techniques into your classroom.”
Inclusive Teaching Techniques
- Creating Inclusive Learning Environments: This guide responds to the question "What is an inclusive classroom and how can you facilitate productive classroom discussions?"
- Inclusive Teaching Framework and Strategies: This resource from the University of Michigan offers tips for inclusive teaching from multiple view points, such as instructor-student interactions.
- Creating Inclusive College Classrooms: Drawing on findings from focus group interviews, this article from the University of Michigan uses examples to illustrate specific classroom issues.
- Inclusive Teaching Strategies: Learn why inclusive teaching strategies are important and how you can incorporate them into your classes in this resource from Cornell University.
Navigating Diversity in the Classroom
- Resources for Instructors in Increasing Accessibility in the Classroom: UA Disability Resources (DRC) ensures an accessible University experience for disabled students and is responsible for determining reasonable accommodation. DRC supports faculty with online resources and in-person consultations and trainings.
- College Choice and Transition Experiences of First-Year Native American Students: The Center for the Study of Higher Education (HED) conducted a study on the college choice and experience of first-year Native American students at UArizona.
Safeguarding Against Unconscious Bias
- Hidden/Unconscious Bias: This brief primer explains the basics of how an unconscious bias can affect behavior.
- Assessing and Addressing Our Biases: In this resource from the University of Michigan, you will find tips for becoming aware of your potential biases and adopting fair teaching techniques.
UArizona Learning Courses
There are UArizona Edge Learning Courses that aim to inform teaching and classroom management. These include:
- Faculty Learning Community: First-Gen and First-Year College Students
- Faculty Learning Community: Geeky Pedagogy
- Preventing Harassment and Discrimination
- Building Ethical and Productive Mentoring Relationships
Search for these courses in UArizona Edge Learning.
Acknowledging the Current Racial Crisis in the Classroom
This resource from the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) offers guidance for teachers for navigating the murder of George Floyd and the associated heightened organizing for Black lives.
Talking About Race
This resource from the National Museum of African American History and Culture presents a tool for guided discussion on race.
Navigating Difficult Moments in the Classroom
This resource from Harvard University offers four points of guidance for teachers.
Resources for Inclusive Pedagogy
This list of resources on inclusive communication, particularly in the classroom, is from the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
These resources on accessible event planning and hosting come from the UArizona Disability Resource Center (DRC).
A Guide to Planning Accessible and Inclusive Events
This resource is a guide to "identifying and removing barriers to access throughout our event planning process," which "results in inclusive and welcoming experiences for our diverse campus community."
Marketing, Communication, and Registration Processes
This resource lists guidance on including event accessibility features in marketing materials.
This resource details how to ensure audio/video elements of an event are accessible.
Diversity Access Statements
This resource provides examples of access statements when marketing events or resources. The resource also indicates who to contact when a request for disability-related accommodations is received.
Inclusive and Accessible Design Series - Resources from Presentations and Workshops
This presentation series on designing inclusive and accessible experiences comes from a partnership between the UArizona Disability Resources Center and University of Arizona Libraries.
Catalyst Event Planning: Accessibility Checklist - Accessibility Planning for Events and Meetings
This accessible event planning document was compiled by the Catalyst Project with support from Sins Invalid, a disability justice organization, and others.
Fragrance-free event planning
The following resources detail how to plan events that accommodate fragrance-free needs. While accommodating chemical sensitivities is important, please consider why some folks may use the products they do. We should avoid shaming folks for their social status and presentation needs. More accessible and affordable cleaners, body washes, and deodorants are often heavily scented. Some folks may have been raised to counter stigmas of being or smelling dirty. Others may be navigating hair and skin trauma. We encourage you to consider how we can accommodate all without imposing shame or guilt.
“How to be fragrance-free and why we request fragrance-free”
This resource from Think Again Training and Consulting offers guidance on how to communicate fragrance-free needs with participants as well as sample language you can adopt.
“Accessibility: A Beginner’s Guide to Fragrance and Chemical Sensitivities”
This resource from Rachel Rose details "how to navigate accessibility around fragrance and chemical sensitivities, how to figure out which products are okay to use, and how to decrypt misleading and intentionally vague product labels."
“Fragrance free femme of colour realness”
This resource from Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha reflects on the decision and process of going fragrance-free and offers fragrance-free options for hair, deodorant, lotion, facial cleanser, soap, laundry, and home cleaning products with several do-it-yourself recipes.
Healing Justice Practice Spaces: A How-To Guide
This guide details how to cultivate a Healing Justice Practice Space (HJPS), which is an "all-gender, all-bodied, inclusive and accessible space for practicing and receiving healing that is built in partnership with social justice movement work and sites of political action."
Inclusive designs for surveys
This resource from UArizona Assessment, Research, & Grant Development outlines strategies to make surveys more inclusive of students.
To practice active listening is to hear intentionally and thoughtfully. It is to be present and engaged when others choose to share. These resources cover how we can be better active listeners and how that can transform not only our conversations, but our relationships.
Active Listening in Dismantling Racism Workbook
The section on Active Listening in this workbook suggests behavior for when you are the one listening and when it is your turn to talk. Find the section on page 8 of the workbook.
"Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples"
This resource on active listening from Indeed offers background on and examples of active listening skills to help us improve our own.
"Active Listening: Hear What People Are Really Saying"
This resource on active listening from MindTools lists strategies for becoming active listener.
"How to Practice Active Listening"
This resource on active listening written by Arlin Cuncic for VeryWellMind covers features, purpose, benefits, tips, examples, research, and strategies for encouraging active listening.
Facilitation skills are central to work within and outside of our programs, especially in our roles as collaborators. The resources in this section focus on the skills our team members and leaders need to guide collaboration so that we reach our collective goals.
"Developing Facilitation Skills"
This resource on facilitation from Community Toolbox details "how to plan well, keep members involved, and create real leadership opportunities in your organization and skills in your members."
Developing Facilitation Skills: A Handbook for Group Facilitators
This handbook prepared by Patricia Prendiville for the Combat Poverty Agency is to aid those "who are working with groups in some context, who already have some experience of facilitating and who, most of all, are interested in developing skills in this area."
"Facilitation Skills: Definition and Examples"
This resource on facilitation from Indeed offers "examples of facilitation skills, how to become an effective facilitator, and how to use these skills in the workplace."
“Things we can do as facilitators and mediators” in Tips for Naming, Intervening and Addressing Systemic Power
This resource on Naming, Intervening and Addressing Systemic Power from the Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA) offers thoughts on our roles as facilitators and mediators. Find these suggestions on page 2.
"Facilitation as a Craft," with Bex Kwan and Jenna Peters-Golden
This episode of the podcast Next Economy Now features Bex Kwan and Jenna Peters-Golden. They both work at the Anti-Oppression and Resource Training Alliance (AORTA), "a worker-owned cooperative devoted to helping movements renew a stronger sense of liberatory vision, values, and purpose." They share about their "passion for facilitation, the limits of personality in this work, and their thoughts on the craft and power of facilitation."
Communication in the workplace refers to the exchange of ideas and information. This also encompasses "the way people comprehend, communicate, and make decisions across different types of cross-cultural backgrounds" (Neo, 2015). These resources detail ways we can be better communicators and why this should be a goal.
"Strategies for Effective Cross-Cultural Communication within the Workplace"
This resource on communication written by Shina Neo for Training Industry reflects on the observation that "how employees communicate can set the tone and foundation for a learning culture" in a multicultural organization.
To find more resources on building skills in facilitation, communication, and active listening, try consulting the resources of organizations that do community work. Additionally, new resources may come out of university offices and departments that regularly partner with communities.
Regularly Updated List of Useful Communication Technologies and Infrastructure for Community Partnerships
The tools we engage in fostering and maintaining community partnerships can be greatly meaningful and effective. In this area of the guidebook, we offer some ideas about technologies to help guide communication in these partnerships.
Technologies for Stakeholder Engagement
This table of stakeholder engagement technologies was crafted by Anna Murveit, a Ph.D. student in the Geography program at UArizona.
This web-based tool is useful in analyzing job descriptions for gender bias. This is how it works: “This tool checks job adverts for the appearance of any [words that research considers masculine- and feminine-coded], then calculates the relative proportion of masculine-coded and feminine-coded words to reach an overall verdict on the gender-coding of the [job] advert[isement].”
UArizona ASL Interpreting and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) Captioning
Accommodations for accessing audio materials are offered through the UArizona Disability Resource Center.
"The Disability Resource Center employs certified and licensed ASL Interpreters, and certified Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) captioners to provide services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. These services are available for all University sponsored activities, on or off campus (classes, meetings, workshops, performances, sports and other events, etc.)."
Find more information on increasing audio acessibility at UArizona. This webpage includes a link to the form to make requests for interpreters, CART captioners, and assistive listening devices.
UArizona: Test your website for accessibility
This webpage from UArizona's Information Technology (IT) Accessibility efforts lists different resources to consult if you want to check your website's accessibility.
Listings for Improving Outreach to Under-resourced Communities
City of Tucson
Guidance for Developing Outreach and AIR Program News
The resources herein are aimed at helping us learn what makes newsworthy stories, how to pitch them, and distribution channels for this news and other outreach.
Research Innovation and Impact (RII) Communications & Marketing
The UArizona Research Innovation and Impact (RII) Communications Team provides services, tools, and guidance needed to tell a compelling story and deliver it to your target audience on paper or online. They are able to provide:
- fliers, posters, and brochures
- invitations, announcements, and swag
- development case statements
- annual reports
- PowerPoint presentations
- social media
Find this information and the process to request these services on their website.
Contact List for Questions about Diversity and Cultural Representation in Communications
The resources in this area of the guidebook seek to aid you in learning about representation in communications. While representation itself does not ensure equity, inclusion, or justice, it is an important intervention in the media with which we interact.
For guidance on UArizona resources and contacts concerning appropriate diversity and inclusion in communications, you are welcome to call on Ivy K. Banks, Associate Vice Provost, Diversity & Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidance for Social Media
Similar to the previous section on representation, rethinking our best practices for social media is an important intervention in the media with which we regularly interact. In this area are resources on designing a more inclusive social media strategy, digital activism, and accessibility.
For guidance on UArizona resources and contacts concerning DEIJ communications to external audiences, you are welcome to call on Ivy K. Banks, Associate Vice Provost, Diversity & Inclusion at email@example.com.
A Checklist for an Inclusive Social Media Presence
This checklist from Cook Ross outlines how to build a more inclusive social media strategy. Their list includes guidance on language and imagery, gender-neutral language, diverse imagery and icons, emojis, removal of offensive comments, and engaging a diverse range of voices.
"Five ways to develop a long-term strategy for diversity, equity & inclusion on social media"
This blog post from Kristin Johnson, the Vice President of Content and Communications at Sprout Social, offers five points of reflection to inform your social media strategy.
DEI Guidelines for Marketing and Communication
This webpage from the University of Michigan lists suggestions for their community in developing all communications and marketing materials. While these are not UArizona requirements, they can encourage us to design more intentionally and inclusively.
"Building and Sustaining Diverse Functioning Networks Using Social Media and Digital Platforms to Improve Diversity and Inclusivity"
This journal article highlights the capacity of social media platforms to build community in higher education.
The following is an excerpt from the abstract: “I draw on published literature about using social media and digital platforms in higher education to build and cultivate “social networks” for connecting widely distributed individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to cultivate communities of interest, support and practice, including a focus on mentoring, sponsorship, and advocacy. I highlight the power of Twitter™ and social media platforms to build and cultivate connections of individuals underrepresented in science and the academy and to offer meaningful means for mitigating local deficits related to low structural diversity and inequity.”
Citation: Montgomery, B. L. (2018). Building and Sustaining Diverse Functioning Networks Using Social Media and Digital Platforms to Improve Diversity and Inclusivity. Frontiers in Digital Humanities, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fdigh.2018.00022
A Guide to Activism in the Digital Age
This guide from Maryville University is a "resource for nonprofits and social justice organizers to learn how to use social media for sharing a narrative, sharing information, or building a conversation around an issue.” It includes sections on “How Social Media Can Promote Social Justice” and “Best Social Media Strategies for Nonprofits.”
UArizona Heritage Month Celebration Cultural Logos
To recognize and celebrate our distinct cultures, a dedicated team of students, faculty, staff, campus cultural groups and alumni collaborated to create the first official University of Arizona Cultural Logos. The logos include Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American Heritage, Black History, Native American Heritage, and Hispanic Heritage.
The following quote gives more background on the logos: "Each cultural logo includes three distinct parts: Cultural icons, the Wildcat brand mark and a title that represents the expression or celebration of each culture. Every icon has been thoughtfully developed from team input and recognizes the importance of cultural nuance. While these represent the uniqueness of our cultural communities, they also form a common connection, the Wildcat brand mark."
"Inclusive Design for Social Media: Tips for Creating Accessible Channels"
This blog post by Katie Sehl for Hootsuite offers inclusive design tips for social media marketers.
Accessibility Best Practices for Social Media
This two-part series on accessible social media is written by Alexa Heinrich for MediaCause. Part 1 is "Why Your Social Media Needs To Be More Inclusive," while Part 2 is "How to be More Inclusive and Accessible on Social Media."
"How to Write Image Descriptions"
This post from @DisabilityTogether on Instagram offers instructions on how to prepare image descriptions in three steps, particularly for Instagram.
This is the caption from their post:
"Image descriptions help many disabled people access content. IDs are primarily intended for blind and visually impaired people, but can help people with processing disorders, chronic migraines, intellectual disabilities, and more!
Some disabled people may access image descriptions audibly with their screen reader, while others may read them visually in the caption or comments of a post. Either way, image descriptions always provide important context to help users access content fairly.
Image descriptions are equally as important as every other aspect of a post. When they are not included, the post is incomplete. If the creator is unable to currently write image descriptions, there are other ways to ensure IDs are present when the post is shared.
Remember — accessibility is not a perk or special. It is vital."
Guidance on What Makes Newsworthy Stories and Avenues for Distributing or Pitching these Stories
As we reconsider and reframe our communication strategies, we can more intentionally ask why certain stories should be shared and where we should share them. The resources in this section aim to help you navigate those questions. Remember that while representation itself does not ensure, equity, inclusion, or justice, it is an important intervention in the media with which we interact.
For guidance on UArizona resources and contacts concerning appropriate diversity and inclusion in communications, you are welcome to call on Ivy K. Banks, Associate Vice Provost, Diversity & Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When preparing and distributing stories, it’s important to think about your practice. When inviting folks to the storytelling process, consider power dynamics between you and them and their workload. We do not want to make folks feel as though they have to share their stories or add more to their already full plate. Also consider who is telling the story, who is (not) represented, and who is writing, reviewing, and incorporating feedback from the storyteller. When someone chooses to share their story with you, ask them what concerns or needs they have and work to address them before publishing the story.
Resources that Detail DEIJ Considerations when Writing about Underrepresented Populations
In reconsidering and reframing our communication strategies, we may have concerns about the best practices for writing about individuals and communities who have been misrepresented and excluded from communications/news materials. The resources in this section aim to help you navigate ideas about those best practices. Again, remember that while representation itself does not ensure equity, inclusion, or justice, it is an important intervention in the media with which we interact.
We recognize that writing about people and communities who come from communities that have been excluded and misrepresented is important to fostering belonging, building relationships, and changing the dominant narrative. However, this process is difficult, and it is understandable that you may be concerned about romanticizing and tokenizing folks and communities in your writing. One piece of advice we would like to offer to help you navigate these concerns is this: if you are set on featuring an individual or a community with a story, inquiry with someone who is their mentor or advisor and see if they might be willing to interview them, prepare the story, or even collaborate with you throughout the writing process. When asking to collaborate, be sure to respect their boundaries, especially if they already have a lot of commitments, and be open to them rejecting your request.
A Progressive’s Style Guide
Hanna Thomas (from SumOfUs.org) and Anna Hirsch (from ActivistEditor.com) "invite drivers of progressive change – community members, grassroots leaders, activists, and progressive funders – to peruse the vital movement frameworks, decolonizing usage, and up-to-date word choice and phrasing for current theory of change directions and momentum across groups and issue areas presented in this guide."
Style Guide from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
The NABJ Style Guide is "offered as a stylebook for newsrooms and others on terms and language usage of special interest or relevance to our membership and our community."
A Guide to Culturally Conscious Identifiers and Emojis
This guide prepared by Toni Harrison for PR News is offered for those looking to "learn cultural terms and utilize insights to craft respectful messages."
"Language of Appeasement"
This essay by Dafina-Lazarus Stewart written for Inside Higher Ed offers reflections on shifting from diversity and inclusion rhetoric to transformative efforts to promote equity and justice in order to achieve institutional change.
One organization that may have more resources on writing about people and communities who come from communities that have been excluded and misrepresented is the UArizona Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA), as they have years of experience in writing about their work with communities.
- Materials to develop skills in facilitation, communication, and active listening: Photo by fauxels from Pexels
- Regularly Updated List of Useful Communication Technologies and Infrastructure for Community Partnerships: Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels
- Guidance for Developing Outreach and AIR Program News: Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexels
- Contact List for Questions about Diversity and Cultural Representation in Communications: Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
- Guidance for Social Media: Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
- Guidance on What Makes Newsworthy Stories and Avenues for Distributing or Pitching these Stories: Photo by Leon from Unsplash
- Resources that Detail DEIJ Considerations when Writing about Underrepresented Populations: Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels