Why Saying ‘Latine’ Moves Us Toward Inclusion
Posted: March 15, 2023
2 minute read
We’re changing how we speak at VisionPoint. This spring, we’ve decided to move away from the use of Latinx and adopt the more inclusive, culturally competent term Latine (lat-in-AY) in both client partner-facing communications and company-wide dialogue. This change is rooted in our agency’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Our decision also reflects the best interests of our internal and external audiences in light of Arkansas’ recent ban on the term Latinx. This shift in language addresses the legal mandate for our Arkansas-based client partners and embraces gender-neutral inclusivity within the framework of the Spanish language tradition.
Respecting Individuals Through Word Choice
Our DEI committee has done research and has taken the time to understand how Latinx – a gender-neutral term coined by mostly-White activists as a blanket reference for all people of Latin American heritage – is problematic. While this word may have been created in an effort to be more inclusive rather than gendered (Latino/Latina), the term is actually more exclusive. The letter “x” is not pronounced in the Spanish language and using a term that isn’t used by the community we’re trying to include actually does harm when the original intent was to help.
So why Latine? The term Latine can be found in Spanish dictionaries and language and its definition encompasses all in the Spanish-speaking community in a gender-neutral way. This term allows us to be more inclusive and culturally sensitive to our employees, our client partners, and those they seek to reach.
What We Say Matters
Understanding how to be inclusive is a journey. As our society becomes increasingly diverse, it’s our responsibility to listen, learn, understand, and speak in ways that honor the backgrounds and experiences of all. We believe Evan Crochette’s words in his Diversity Movement blog post say it best:
“What’s important is not that we always get things right but that we continue to try to find the most respectful ways of referring to both demographic groups and to every individual within them. Inclusive language is a living thing, and although at first we may feel exasperated by its many changes and unique cases, it helps to remember that on the other side of those phrases are unique humans who deserve to feel included and respected.”
Connect With Us
If you have questions regarding this change or would like to discuss this topic further, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.