Words matter in profound and palpable ways - David Johns
Too often language is used as a tool of oppression, perpetuating stereotypes about individuals and communities that shape our views, interactions, safety, and opportunities. Negative Language can reinforce layered forms of oppression and discrimination based on gender, race, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, and more. When we are repeatedly exposed to this abuse, erasure, and misrepresentation, it takes a deadly toll on our health and well-being.
But language can be used to build connections and to heal. Words are what we use to process, define, and express our human experience. Words have the power to build or break our perceptions, understandings, and expectations. Words can empower or destroy, encourage or discourage, give value or render worthless. At NBJC, we use language to create a better, safer, more vibrant world. We know that the more we leverage language to come together, the healthier we will all be.
Use words to eliminate HIV stigma so people can get tested and treated without the fear of experiencing discrimination. Support and respect people who are living with HIV or AIDS. The opposite gets in the way of securing life’s necessities like housing, employment, medical care, and necessary social support. Everybody deserves to live.