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HUG's Guide to Inclusive Language

Race and Ethnicity

  • Capitalize and do not pluralize Black.
  • Only identify a person’s race, ethnicity, or national origin if relevant and always defer to how they want to self-identify.


  • When referring to a group of people, use non-gendered identifiers (e.g. folks, everybody, or Huggers).
  • When referring to a specific individual, always defer to how they self-identify and if not, use gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them.
  • Accidentally misgendered someone? Acknowledge and apologize gently, then move on without feeling the need to make a scene.


Use LBGTQIA+ or best align with how a community or person chooses to identify.

People with disabilities and/or chronic conditions

When referring to people with disabilities, respect individual preferences. Some communities prefer to emphasize the person (e.g. “A person with a disability” not “disabled person”), while others have a strong preference for identity-first language (e.g. “I am autistic” not “I have autism”). The important thing is to listen to how individuals refer to themselves, and try to honor that if you can.


Research the origin of any idiom before using it in copy, some examples of non-inclusive vocabulary include terms like whitelist, frens, and even tribe.