JUST IN | CDC implements “preferred terms” for select population groups & communities;
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Language in communication products should reflect and speak to the needs of people in the audience of focus.
- Preferred terms listed for racial and ethnic groups align with OMB Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative. However, as feasible, be as specific as possible about the group you are referring to (e.g., Korean persons, Samoan persons).
- Consider racial/ethnic groups as proper nouns and capitalize (e.g. Black, White).
- “People/communities of color” is a frequently used term, but should only be used if included groups are defined upon first use; be mindful to refer to a specific racial/ethnic group(s) instead of this collective term when the experience is different across groups. Some groups consider the term “people of color” as an unnecessary and binary option (people of color vs. White people), and some people do not identify with the term “people of color”.
- American Indian and Alaska Natives are the only federally recognized political minority in the United States. Tribes hold a unique government to government relationship with the United States.
- “American Indian or Alaska Native” should only be used to describe persons with different tribal affiliations or when the tribal affiliations are not known or not known to be the same. Other terms, “tribal communities/populations” or “indigenous communities/populations,” could also be used to refer to groups with multiple tribal affiliations. Otherwise, identify persons or groups by their specific tribal affiliation.