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Health Disparities

Vulnerable Populations

YOUR LIBRARIAN

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Dawn Stahura
Hear my name: https://namedrop.io/dawnstahura
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(she/her/hers)
Berry Library

YOU MATTER. ALWAYS.
︵‿︵‿୨♡୧‿︵‿︵

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978.542.2079
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SEMANTICS MATTER

So often when we are researching marginalized groups the language we use does not match the systems at play. For example, if I wanted to research sex workers and their access to healthcare, I couldn't just use the term sex workers. Why? Because the system does not recognize this term as valid. The system refers to sex workers as prostitutes. In order for me to find all the relevant information on my topic I would have to use this offensive term so that the system understands what I am asking for.

The same is true for researching unhoused folx. The system uses the terms homelessness and homeless to describe these folx. Activists have been using the terms unhoused and houseless because words matter and there is an important distinction between home and house. I bring this issue up because it is important to be aware of how language affects how we search and the information we find but also how we choose to represent ourselves and our communities.

Language is one way we can take the power back.

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