Messaging is important and certain words and language have negative meanings for people and lead to stigmatizing attitudes toward certain populations of people. Today the NIC hosted a webinar that was around making a case for meaningful systems change and it was led by Dr. Tiffany Manuel. During this discussion Dr. Manuel spent time talking about negative messaging and how important it is to get in front of the way we label people. By not getting in front of the way people are labeled, behavioral assumptions are embedded in people and then embedded in policies being made.
The hottest topic right now is the coronavirus and we’ve seen how attaching locations and ethnicities to this virus has been stigmatizing. It has enforced negative stereotypes and assumptions and has created a sense of fear. It has also caused those that have the virus to feel dehumanized. You might say that this pandemic is forcing us to look at how we label people and the language that we use. How can you play a part in changing messaging and labeling? How can our government change the way they put out messaging and how they label people? What can be done to get in front of this so we can change the narrative around how pandemics are handled?