The Words We Use Matter

The words we use matter

By FLOC Executive Director Brandelyn Anderson

Since its founding, For Love of Children has been focused on providing dignity and respect to the children we serve. From providing safe homes for the children in Junior Village to shifting our focus toward academic and career resources, our mission is to ensure that our students have a level playing field as they begin their lives post high school. 

In the nonprofit world, the term ‘low-income” is used as a blanket term to put specific populations into a nice little box. We tend to create labels that stoke sympathy, but rarely do we think about the recipients of those labels and how they make them feel. At FLOC, we stopped to consider these titles and the social and emotional impact they have on the students we support. From those conversations, we decided that we would no longer use the term “low-income” in any language associated with the organization. Our students are under-resourced, and with the tools and resources FLOC offers, they will be able to achieve anything they want. We are proud to be part of programs that ensure every student, no matter their circumstances, can turn their dreams and goals into reality. 

Each student has so much to give, so at FLOC, we focus on different labels: scholar, author, creator, filmmaker, photographer, and of course, Graduate. Labels, words, and assumptions matter. They can hurt, or harm. FLOC made the choice to uplift our students and focus on where they can go, not where they may or may not be. There is a quote that I live by, and it states:

“We have to improve life, not just for those who have the most skills and those who know how to manipulate the system. But also for and with those who often have so much to give but never get the opportunity.”

At FLOC, we strive to give our students as many opportunities to excel and grow as they can take, and we are proud and excited to see where all of our students will go.

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