Taking British politics and colonialism out of our language

Bond’s language guide


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Does the language Bond uses reinforce colonial or outdated thinking?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 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.

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

Resource type: tool

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