Writing for Change

Language is a paradoxical tool – we use it consciously to shape our thoughts and experiences, yet patterns and structures in the language itself can shape us in return.

As this guide shows, American English frequently both reflects and reinforces systems of oppression in U.S. society.

For example, a newspaper report describes a local event: "Over a thousand people attended with their wives and children." How does the statement relate to sexism and ageism? What does the statement communicate about who is a person and who is not?

Teachers, students, trainers and others can use Writing for Change to expose bias in language.

And – you can discover ways to communicate in more equitable terms.

This guide offers more than 50 free, downloadable activities for personal or instructional use.

Section 1 | 5- to 10- minute Activities
Section 2 | 20- to 60- minute Activities
Section 3 | Longer Activities
Section 4 | Further Collegiate Activities

Teaching Tolerance collage of images

Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

Learn More