Taking British politics and colonialism out of our language

Bond’s language guide


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Over the last few months, 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Does the language Bond uses reinforce colonial or outdated thinking?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 locally-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.

Join us at the online Bond Conference 2021 on 25 May for our session on how organisations can depoliticise and decolonise the development narrative. You'll hear diverse perspectives from MSF Canada, Health Poverty Action and Maynooth University. 

Resource type: tool

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