Inclusive Excellence Resources
Inspired by President Washington’s passionate and informed call to action for our community, our team has been working to compile a collection of resources that will empower each of the college’s departments and units to continue to grow in their marketing endeavors in a way that honors the incredible and diverse community here at Mason and the continued Inclusive Excellence for which we strive.
Existing Mason Resources
First, we would like to draw attention to the high-quality Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work that is already being done right here within our community.
- Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE), on which many CHSS community members serve, was created by President Washington during the first months of his tenure.
- Center for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment: This department “centers the student experience through cultural celebrations, ally-ship and identity development, and culturally-specific leadership development.”
- The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides leadership and support on matters relating to equity, diversity, access, respect, and inclusiveness for all members of the George Mason University community.
- The LGBTQ+ Resources Center offers many excellent resources, including:
- “Creating a Marketing Plan” resource from the CHSS Marketing and Communications team
- This is a helpful place to begin a review of your department or unit’s existing Inclusive Excellence measures. Who is featured on your site’s photos, which names repeatedly appear in news articles, etc.
Inclusive Marketing Resources
The Marketing and Communications team is currently working to research and compile the best practices and resources regarding multiple specific topics within the broader scope of inclusive marketing. In the meantime, please review the following resources for general guidance.
- A basic inclusive marketing overview from Intouch Group highlights the following:
- “1. Imagery can be inclusive. Consider what a patient, a healthcare professional, a caregiver, or a family could look like. […]
- 2. Copy can be inclusive and neutral, not specific to the point of exclusivity. Consider the implied meanings as well as the specific words.
- 3. Options in menus and drop-down choices can be reconsidered. Can your databases handle options outside a gender binary? Must you include a gender-based honorific?”
- Ensure accessibility for users of all vision abilities by writing clear and helpful “alt-text” for your images, on your department or unit’s site(s), as well as on social media.
- TetraLogical offers a straightforward explanation of text descriptions, as well as a list of the coding language required in each instance.
- Please note that purely decorative images require a (null) tag within their alt-text to inform screen readers that the image can be skipped. You can learn more about this process here.
- Accessibility does not end on your unit or department website; it also extends to your social media presence. Check out this online seminar to learn more: “Accessibility on Social Media”
- Bureau of Internet Accessibility: “Writing Clearer Content That Benefits Accessibility Expands Your Audience”
- Unsure how to make your language more inclusive? The Diversity Style Guide and the Conscious Style Guide are excellent places to start.
- Topics include age, race/ethnicity, gender, and many more
- These Inclusive Language Guidelines from the American Psychological Association (APA) also offer an excellent overview. The Modern Language Association (MLA) has similar guidelines for inclusive language use when writing in accordance with MLA style guides.
- The Suggested Language List, a student-led project within the Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) at Brandeis University, is a valuable resource when it comes to evaluating one’s own usage of certain words and phrases, in both a marketing and day-to-day context.
- View recommendations in another format via The Conscious Language Guide.
- When discussing individuals with disabilities, ask for their preferences and do not make assumptions. Learn more via this overview from the Bureau of Internet Accessibility.
- Letter to Dr. Editor: “Break bad rules: how to change language norms in your academic field, individually and systemically”
- This helpful resource from Walls.io provides a myriad of free websites that offer inclusive stock imagery that could help your department reflect its commitment to serving a diverse student body online.
- iStock offers background on the many types of visual diversity that your images can and should represent, including age, body type, race, ethnicity, and more.
- Getty Images Visual GPS offers both insight and resources for more inclusive visual marketing.
If you have inclusive marketing resources you would like to submit for the MarComm team's consideration, please contact Shannon McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org.