Taking British politics and colonialism out of our language

Bond’s language guide

Bond

Maryam Mohsin

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Over the last few months, working with UK NGO sector and from international civil society groups, we have been reflecting on the language we use through our communications, advocacy and training. 

Does the language Bond uses reinforce colonial or outdated thinking? Has Bond’s language evolved to capture our efforts to be more progressive, considered, inclusive and community-led? Are we reinforcing political language that undermines our remit? Is the language we use both publicly and privately consistent with Bond’s values of being open, dynamic, influential and collaborative?

At Bond, we believe we have a responsibility to take a position on these questions and have agreed on language that we will no longer use in our communications. This work sits amongst a suite of work we are doing to support the sector on several issues, including pay transparency and fairness, inclusive recruitment, gender equality, shifting power, diverse leadership and safeguarding.

This guide outlines our depoliticised and decolonised language grid, which states phrases we will no longer use and the alternative language we are adopting. The guide also includes the principles guiding us and our reasons for underaking this work now.

Read the blog: Taking British politics, jargon and colonialism out of our language

Resource type: tool

Related Resources

Liz Truss speaks with Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State ahead of a plenary session at the G7 Foreign Summit at the Museum of Liverpool in Liverpool. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street
The UK government published its strategy for international development in May 2022, which sets out its approach to international development over the following decade. This paper analyses the strategy and makes some suggestions for next steps.
5 July 2022
Daytime long exposure towards Whitehall
How can we improve engagement so that it delivers on its promise of greater inclusion and impact for all? This paper looks at the principles behind effective engagement and outlines key steps that government and CSOs can take to improve it for all.
6 June 2022
A single Mangrove growing between the cracks of beach rock on the coast of KaNyaka Island in Southern Mozambique
CAN-UK's policy response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's sixth assessment report, looking at adaptation, loss and damage financing, investment and ecosystem preservation.
4 May 2022