Words Matter-Gender Justice Toolkit

Language is often a reflection of culture, and when unchecked, can be used to perpetuate violence and oppression. Words have the power to reinforce stereotypes, marginalize the most vulnerable among us, and support harmful ideas about race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, socioeconomic status, and other factors. Language also has the power to be a revolutionary tool in dismantling existing powerful structures. Language has the capacity to liberate and empower.

The Words Matter Gender Justice Toolkit is designed to facilitate uncomfortable and, at times, difficult conversations that can save lives. This specific toolkit has been designed with the goal of ensuring gender justice in mind, which means ending the violence that Black women and girls—Both cisgender and transgender, as well as gender nonconforming people—experience simply as a result of who they are and how they exist in the world.

In 1962, Malcolm X reminded us, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman, The most neglected person in America is the Black woman,” This toolkit has been designed to demand an end to the violence against Black women and girls. The first way to protect, uplift, and empower Black women and girls is to deconstruct and unpack the way violent and oppressive language is used against Black women and girls. The time is now to create a world in which Black women and girls can live full, healthy, and happy lives. We must begin this important work by recognizing that words matter. A powerful way to think about this in practice is to acknowledge that when we say “women and girls” we must account for all women and girls, including all Black cisgender, transgender, women and girls. Support your sisters, not just your cisters.

#WordsMatterGenderJustice   #WordsMatter   #NBJCAdvocacy

  1. What role does language play in disrupting and preventing gender-based violence?
  2. How can you contribute to ending gender-based violence in Black communities?


“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”
— Audre Lorde 


Let’s work together by using tools and resources like the Gender Justice toolkit to understand and practice the powerful ways we can way to protect, uplift, and empower all Black women and girls–including Black cisgender and transgender, women and girls– and to deconstruct the way violent and oppressive language and actions used against them. The only way to get free is to ensure we all get free.


Endorsing Organizations and Individuals 
  • NAACP 
  • National Action Network 
  • National LGBTQ Taskforce
  • Johnetta Elize 
  • Feminista Jones 
  • Black Millennial Convention
  • Women’s March


Download the Gender Justice Toolikt>>>