The language we use to describe ourselves and others is complex and constantly evolving. We strive for respectful representation and recognize that the language we use on our website and in our publications can in no way capture the diversity of experiences and identities that exist for all of us today. We will hold ourselves accountable to this learning by consulting with the young leaders most impacted by systemic exclusion and oppression.
This is a time of tremendous transformation during which we acknowledge that gender norms are a social construct built on a false binary. We recognize that gender, and how we claim our identities is an evolving spectrum. In response, the language we use to describe ourselves continues to transform and grow. As we navigate these changes, together, Justice + Joy will use “girls, young women, and gender-expansive young people of color*” to emphasize that our shared understanding of gender identity is evolving in resistance to cis- and hetero-patriarchal, white-supremacist norms, and systems that have for far too long oppressed, marginalized, and harmed all cis, and trans girls, young women, and gender expansive young people. In addition to girls, young women, and gender-expansive young people of color*, we will use a variety of terms to express gender identity, and will defer to young leaders for guidance. As we continue to evolve, so too will our practices. Justice + Joy, as a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intergenerational organization, commits to continued self-critique, and reflection to ensure that those of us most impacted by oppression, and marginalization are centered.