Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines
Marketing and communications produced by UND should reflect our core values of diversity and inclusion.
This means that marketing and communications should strive to include an accurate and authentic representation of UND’s diversity in terms of ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, veteran statuses, economic background, abilities/disabilities and ages in a way that does not make assumptions about our audiences.
These guidelines apply to all modes of communication, including websites, video, newsletters, social media, reports, press releases, internal communications, promotional materials, advertisements, photography, presentations, opinion pieces, legislative testimony, meetings of all kinds, and speeches.
We should check all materials for language that may be perceived as biased, specifically language that can potentially stereotype, demean or exclude people based on personal characteristics (e.g., gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.).
- When identifying a select group or specific audience, consider if the identification is really necessary. Does this group need to be singled out from others?
- When writing about a select group or for a specific audience, find people who are representative of that group and ask which term is preferred for national origin, race or gender identification.
- Typically, it is preferred to reference the people or person first and the condition or label second. For example, use “people with disabilities” or “students of color".
Capitalize the “b” in the term Black when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context. The lowercase black is a color, not a person.
- When possible, write (or rewrite) communications to be in the plural form by using the plural pronoun of “they” instead of the singular pronouns of “he” and “she.” If it is not possible to write in the plural form, use the singular pronoun of “s/he” to be more inclusive.
- Use the gender neutral nouns of “people,” “person” or “parent” instead of “man,” ”women,” “father” or “mother.” For example, use “chairperson” instead of “chairman” or state that “all people are created equal” instead of “all men are created equal.”
- Honor individual preferences for gender identification by using the appropriate pronouns. It is acceptable for individuals to indicate “Preferred Pronouns” on employee nametags, email signatures, business cards and Web bios.
- Monitor the choice of photos and video subjects to accurately and authentically reflect the diversity of the UND campus. We should aim for a visual representation that is holistically representative of UND’s actual student, faculty and staff demographics.
- Keep in mind that imagery that is overly aspirational in representing diversity can undermine the overall goal by portraying that UND is something that it is not. This can harm the authenticity of the UND brand.
- Photos should never be altered to artificially create diversity.
- Imagery that contains the retired Fighting Sioux logo should be avoided (unless the
image is used in a historical context, such as an athletic team photo).
- Images depicting permanent and historical Fighting Sioux imagery (such as signage on a building) should never be altered.
- In effort to promote inclusion and the Fighting Hawks brand, it is acceptable (within reason) to alter a photo to remove the retired Fighting Sioux logo from items that are more temporary in nature, such as on apparel.
- The Fighting Hawks logo should never be digitally inserted as a replacement for the retired Fighting Sioux logo.
- Imagery should capture a variety of people doing a variety of things. Avoid imagery that may portray people in stereotypical roles.
- All websites should be accessible as defined by University standards.
- All videos should have closed captioning.
- Be mindful of the use of symbols such emojis on social media. For example, choose different emojis of color to represent the diversity of the UND campus.
Holidays and Celebrations
- In recognition of different religious beliefs and celebrations, holiday messages should
be secular in nature.
- Use “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas” to be more inclusive.
- Be careful of using holiday imagery that has roots in Christianity, such as Christmas trees, angels or Santa Claus. Instead, use winter imagery such as a snowflake.
- To promote diversity and inclusion, UND may honor a variety of observances celebrated
by its various cultures and populations, such as:
- January – Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday
- February – Black History Month
- March – Women’s History Month
- March 8 – International Women's Day
- May – Asian Pacific American Month
- May – Older Americans Month
- June – LGBTQ+ Pride Month
- September 15 - October 15 – Hispanic Heritage Month
- October – LGBTQ+ History Month
- October – National Disability Employment Month
- October 11 – Coming Out Day
- October 12 – Día de la Raza or Day of the Race
- November – Native American Heritage Month
- November 11 – Veteran’s Day
- November 20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance
- December 10 – International Human Rights Day
One of the best ways the University can express its core values of diversity and inclusion are through the stories it tells about the people, places and activities that represent One UND. These stories should reflect and reinforce our goal to foster a welcoming, safe and inclusive campus climate by:
- Considering story angles that implicitly or explicitly reinforce the benefits of diversity and inclusion.
- Weighing the importance of diversity and inclusion in selecting individuals for feature stories as well as for media quotes and appearances.
To ensure that marketing and communications at the University of North Dakota are inclusive, it is important that marketing and communication professionals across campus receive appropriate training that may include the following:
- Professional development lectures, workshops, seminars or articles
- Cultural events and activities
- Annual review of Diversity & Inclusion Guidelines
It is important to regularly assess UND’s marketing and communications as part of ongoing efforts to foster a safe, welcoming and inclusive campus climate. The primary methods of assessment include:
- Audit: Prior to distribution, review marketing and communications to ensure they are following the diversity and inclusion guidelines listed in this document.
- Focus Groups: Once per year, Marketing & Communications in partnership with Diversity & Inclusion will hold focus groups with key constituents to obtain feedback and suggestions on how to improve UND’s marketing and communications. This feedback will be shared with Marketing Council representatives across campus.