“Change Your Words, Change The World Week” at CSUN to Focus on the Importance of Using Inclusive Language

February 1, 2016


Northridge — “Words can hurt. Words can heal. The choice is yours.” With the motivation inherent in that statement, the University Student Union (USU) is proud to present “Change Your Words, Change The World Week” from Monday, Feb. 15 to Thursday Feb. 18. This will be the second annual event at CSUN focused on the importance of using inclusive language. The week-long program is intended to encourage students, faculty and staff to start a dialogue around the power of language as well as challenging everyone to reconsider the words we use everyday that may be hurtful, disrespectful or offensive to others from different backgrounds and experiences.

“The University Student Union is reaching out to encourage the entire CSUN community to join together in better communicating the importance of using inclusive language,” said USU Events Supervisor, Randy Sorensen, “We want ‘Change Your Words, Change The World Week’ to inspire the use of more inclusive words and phrases throughout the campus.”

The purpose of the week’s various events is to encourage everyone to consider the power of their language before they use potentially hurtful phrases such as “That’s so gay” or use the word “Guys” as a reference to all genders. Using non-inclusive language can have a negative affect on others, whether it’s your intention or not.

“Change Your Words, Change The World Week” starts off with “Word Bubble” on Monday, Feb. 15. This event will take place all day on the Plaza del Sol at the USU and will provide a way for students, faculty and staff to write down words they find hurtful or offensive to be posted on the front windows of the Sol Center to showcase the need for more inclusive language.                                                              

On Tuesday, Feb. 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Grand Salon at the USU, dynamic diversity educator Jessica Pettitt will speak on the power of inclusive language in her presentation, “Mean It!? The Impact of Our Words”. Pettitt uses her years of experience in student affairs, national consulting work and stand-up comedy to teach audiences how to take action and make real changes in their lives to be more inclusive and accepting of diversity.

A special edition of the USU’s popular “Espressions” Open Mic Night will dedicate its first event of the spring semester to inclusive language on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 8 to 10:30 p.m. in the Northridge Center at the USU. Students can enjoy light refreshments and music while listening to powerful messages in spoken word and poetry delivered by fellow Matadors.

For the exciting finale event of “Change Your Words, Change The World Week”, come out Thursday, Feb. 18 to be a part of “The Soapbox: A Celebration of Free & Inclusive Speech” on the Plaza del Sol at the USU from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees will get a better understanding of the impact of inclusive language through a performance by the CSUN Poetry Slam Team, live music and more. Everyone can also join in the interactive fun of the Vent Tent, Wheel of Words, Craft Corner, Ball Pit and a photo booth.

For more information on “Change Your Words, Change The World Week” please visit

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