Diversity Minute 16: Ethnic Group Labels
Ethnic Group Labels
Moving past overwhelm
Ethnic and racial group labels can seem overwhelming.
Is it Latino, Latinx, Hispanic . . . Black, African American . . . Southeast Asian, Asian?!
Here’s a tip: Simply call people by their name.
And if you get something wrong, apologize.
Try this line: “I apologize in advance as I don’t want to use the wrong term. Would you correct me or tell me your preference?”
Likely, people will be pleased you even asked.
Be a learner of history
Also, commit to learning the history of these terms and the communities associated with them. The information you’ll find is fascinating.
For example, not everyone of Latin American descent speaks Spanish, and not every Spanish speaker is Mexican; they may be Asian Peruvian.
Interested in learning more about Asians in Peru? Here are two resources:
- Modern Latin America: Chinese in Peru in the 19th Century (Brown University Library | Center for Digital Scholarship)
- Japanese presence in Peru dates to arrival of first migrant ship in 1899 (Agencia EFE)
Do you have future topic ideas, comments, or questions for Diversity Minute? Email email@example.com.