The latest version of the Alliance’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Terminology Guide has been released!

Since its debut in 2021, the DEIJ Terminology Guide has maintained the goal of providing communicative guidance on commonly used DEIJ expressions for organizations operating within the environmental field. With continued research and much feedback from our partners, this living resource has been updated to better support growing concepts as well as diverse language perspectives.

The Guide includes both general and environmentally-related DEIJ terminology based on extensive research from reputable sources combined with the current social context from online sources and feedback. While the document does not define all terms of inclusion, it provides conscientious, equitable language for commonly used or often confused terms, and features over twenty resources to glossaries, research reports, credible web pages, and blogs for continued learning.


We hope the Terminology Guide can serve as a resource for environmental communicators and beyond. Since it was shared, the Guide has been used to help in:

  • Strengthening language internally
  • Writing grants that may or may not have a DEIJ component
  • Communicating with/about partners or communities you are or wish to connect with
  • Online communications, including social media, blog/article content, or online outreach

“Words are powerful and have meaning beyond a script. When used thoughtfully, they allow people to feel valued, respected, and heard,” said Mariah Davis, Deputy Director, Choose Clean Water Coalition. “The Alliance’s DEIJ Terminology Guide serves as an important resource organizations can use to not only enhance their vocabulary, but their DEIJ competencies. I’m proud of the work the Alliance continues to lead in the Bay community. They are role models for others seeking to be more inclusive and equitable in their work for clean water.” 

As language is ever growing, the Alliance will continue to update the Terminology Guide every six months. We welcome any questions, concerns, feedback, clarifications, or additions to the Guide by anonymous comment form or by emailing For access to the latest version of the DEIJ Terminology Guide, please visit the Alliance’s DEIJ page.