Welcome to Norah Speaks, your education hub for cultural sensitivity for healthcare professionals!
If you are working to start your journey or improve your knowledge with cultural sensitivity for healthcare professionals, Norah Speaks is the place for you. I provide tips on inclusive language use, social justice action steps, and advocacy to increase cultural sensitivity for healthcare professionals.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
Cultural and linguistic diversity are central to the field of speech-language- pathology. As a clinician and a person, my main priority is inclusivity, equity and safety. I will never know all the experiences people of diverse identities face, but I am committed first and foremost to constantly learning how I can practice inclusivity, equity and safety. I hope that you will be able to see this dedication throughout the blog, especially with the resources I provide.
Do you prefer learning through audio or video? Watch my video below for the short version of the text on this page! Next, scroll down to read about my journey to starting Norah Speaks.
My Journey to Advocacy
My name is Norah AlJunaidi and I am a second-year speech-language pathology masters’ student graduating in May 2021. The passion for social justice I have was developed from a young age with the help of my parents. We attended Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, and I went with my mom when she volunteered for Obama’s 2008 campaign. As a result, I developed the empathy for those without the privileges I grew up with.
Additionally, I traveled to Palestine in college and volunteered in a refugee camp for 2 weeks. When I returned, I joined the executive board of Students for Justice in Palestine. I also started to educate myself more on experiences of black, brown and LGBTQ+ students. I attended the Cross Cultural Leadership Retreat that led to my role as a Diversity Peer Educator, where I planned and led workshops on topics like privilege and oppression. Once I graduated, I was missing that important work, and as a result started Norah Speaks to continue the fight. Today, I am learning more and more every day on how to be an ally and advocate, and make tangible change.
What is Norah Speaks?
Now that you’ve read my story, if you’re looking to start your journey with cultural sensitivity in healthcare, you’ve come to the right place! I hope I can build inclusivity and social equity into your lives and institutions worldwide. Visit my posts page to get short, action-based educational articles about issues for injustice, and look below for an idea of more ways you can get engaged with social justice and form your own journey.
I recently made a racial justice resources page, and wrote about The History of Pride Month, so check those out too! Additionally, check out my Social Justice Book List. These are affiliate links, but any money I make in June will be donated to black organizations like Black Lives Matter and The Homeless Trans Women Fund.
Norah Speaks Newsletter
The Norah Speaks newsletter debuted in January of 2019. This is an extension of my blog that aims to provide even MORE action steps for social justice. The current newsletter contains what’s on the blog, social justice book of the week, guess the statistic, 3 action steps for racial justice, and my life in quarantine! My newsletter design and content has come a long way, and I’m really proud of where it is now. Make sure to go in the below to subscribe. The newsletter comes out on Sunday mornings. When you sign up, you get a free goal planning sheet! I can’t wait to welcome you to the Norah Speaks family 🙂 Click here to subscribe.
Inclusivity in Language
Use person first language.
This is the first step to using inclusive language, as it describes the whole person. When describing a person based on an aspect of their identity, use this format:
a person with ________ or a person who/that is __________, instead of a __________ person.
For example, many people may say “an autistic person”, but it’s generally more inclusive to say: “a person with autism”.
There are people on the autism spectrum who define and call themselves autistic, but if you are an ally/person who is neurotypical, stick with person-first language unless told otherwise.
This is important not just in the presence of the person, but in all your references to that person- especially as a healthcare provider, caretaker, or educator.
Ask, don’t assume.
To be inclusive means to anticipate that a person could be of many different identities, not just the “norm”, like cisgender or straight. When speaking to someone, be as neutral as possible- with gender pronouns, sexuality, gender identity, ability, employment, income, etc.
If you think, I assume this cisgender woman is straight, and you ask, “Are there any men in your life?”, if that person does not identity as straight, they may feel that they’ can’t express their true sexuality.
This also reinforces heteronormativity for that person and for others around you. This could be frustrating for many people in the LGTBQIA+ community. Many policies may support them but our words and actions need to do so as well. A more inclusive way to ask is: “Are you seeing anyone?”
Inclusivity means listening and understanding all perspectives, even ones we don’t agree with. If a person is racist, sexist, ableist, offensive, rude or harming you in anyway- they do not deserve to be validated.
However, as allies, if their opinions are not threatening to us, it’s important to understand what their argument is so we can do our part in getting in tough conversations. Part of the way we can dismantle racist or other “ists/isms” systems is by understanding the hateful arguments.
What Even is Pinkwashing?
I am working hard to understand more about the experiences of the LGBTQIA population as best I can. One topic I am fairly knowledgable about is pinkwashing. Click below to learn more, and make sure to check out my LGBTQIA+ dictionary too!
Where can I educate myself on Inclusivity?
Read my blog post: Where Do I Educate Myself?
If media is the way you learn, check out Nine Shows You Should Be Watching.
Here are some links that helped me educate myself:
The Lesbian Blog (@thelesbianblog on instagram and www.thelesbianblog.com)
Embracing Black Culture (@embracingblackculture on instagram and www.embracingblackculture.com)
Ericka Hart (@ihartericka on instagram and www.ihartericka.com)
The Conscious Kid (@theconsciouskid on instagram and theconsciouskid.org)
Click below to learn about these resources and more!