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PLU digital campaign explores the meaning of the words “anti-racist,” “anti-Black,” “decolonize” and “BIPOC”

PLU digital campaign explores the meaning of the words “anti-racist,” “anti-Black,” “decolonize” and “BIPOC”

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Image: Members of PLU’s “MLMC: Words Mean Things” team include (from left to right) Angie Hambrick (co-producer), Ami Shah (discussion facilitator), Kenzie Gandy (co-producer) and Lace Smith (co-producer).

September 21, 2020

“My Language. My Choice. Words Mean Things” is a dynamic digital campaign being launched this month by Pacific Lutheran University. The campaign is focused on better understanding the meaning of the words anti-racist, anti-Black, decolonize and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

“These terms and other social justice ‘buzzwords’ are often used without much intentional exploration of what they mean or how they are experienced (or not) in real life,” explains campaign co-producer Kenzie Gandy.

The new multi-media campaign consists of short animated videos presenting clear definitions of each of the featured words, as well as long-form video discussions of the words featuring PLU faculty, alumni, and staff members. “These pieces come together beautifully for an exploration of these terms that goes beyond the surface level,” says Gandy, who graduated from PLU earlier this year.

“We started the initial My Language. My Choice. Campaign by focusing on the words that individuals choose not to use,” says Dr. Angie Hambrick, Executive Producer and Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability at PLU. “The campaign was about taking personal responsibility for the impact, positive or negative, that our words have on others and how our words also have the ability to define how we see ourselves.” 

“With MLMC: Words Mean Things, we are giving folks the opportunity to again, understand the impact of our words, but also giving folks the tools they need to use words responsibly and to explore how we experience words, personally,” says Hambrick. 

Recent PLU alum Darryin Cunningham agrees. “Not only is it pivotal for us to understand the meaning of these words, but it’s also important to acknowledge how much power words and language have,” Cunningham says. “This campaign is an important reminder that we must take responsibility for the things we say, and to think about how and if they are affecting people and/or change.”

The hope for this campaign is that these resources are utilized not only by the PLU community but locally, nationally, and internationally as these conversations aren’t specific to this community,” Gandy says. “We’re hopeful that these tools will help folks begin and continue their exploration of these terms that serve as foundational building blocks towards a better understanding of what’s happening within our own and the communities of others.”

Project Site: www.plu.edu/wordsmeanthings
Contact: Kenzie Gandy
Email: gandykb@plu.edu
Phone: (425) 312-3545