Inclusive Communication—From Using Pronouns to Uncovering Unconscious Biases

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Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 17:30

Professional communicators want to reach as wide an audience as possible, but sometimes inadvertently say or write something that derails the message. No question that it can be difficult to navigate personal and social rules, guidelines, and preferences, which seem to evolve at an ever-increasing rate. But it’s not impossible. Join AWC-SB on Wednesday, November 3, 5:30 p.m. on Zoom, to hear from educators and diversity advocates Cheri Gurse and Anita Perez Ferguson, who will discuss best practices and ways to evaluate and elevate our language.

About the presenting speakers: Cheri Gurse, PhD in Human Development, is an educator, activist, and mentor with more than 30 years professional experience in university classrooms, nonprofit organizations, and community spaces. She is an expert small-group facilitator specializing in building trust across differences; diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice facilitation; and advocacy for individuals who have experienced gender-based harm.

Anita Perez Ferguson, Ph.D., is a cross-cultural educator and consultant. Her work in advocacy and promotion of under-represented communities earned her the 2014 Lacayo Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. She is an Advisor and Former Chair for the InterAmerican Foundation and a Visiting Lecturer for the Council for Independent Colleges.

Member Spotlight: Justine Sutton graduated from UCSB in 1988 and has adopted Santa Barbara as her hometown. A freelance journalist since her 1991 editorial internship at the SB Independent, she has written for a variety of local media outlets since then, including the News-Press, Independent, Noozhawk, Montecito Magazine, Seasons Magazine, Cannabis by the Sea, and the new UCSB alumni magazine. In addition, she writes fiction and memoir and is working on her first novel. She is also in training as a voice-over artist and has dabbled in improv, storytelling, and stand-up comedy. Last year Justine became a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®, providing customized weddings, funerals, and ceremonies to mark all important moments in life. She has been an AWC-SB member and volunteer on and off for a decade and serves as chapter “scribe” by writing recaps of the monthly meetings.

The meeting will be held via Zoom. To register, visit There is no charge for AWC-SB members; there is a $10 charge for nonmembers. To register, visit

AWC-SB Member Bonus: Receive a Local Media Contact List with details on how to submit your freelance pitches or nonprofit news. Not an AWC-SB Member? Join now and save $50. Our AWC Membership Drive runs through the end of October. For more information and assistance, contact Carolyn Jabs, membership chair at

AWC is a national organization which has been encouraging women to develop their skills as communicators for over 100 years. The Santa Barbara chapter sponsors monthly meetings which help women at all stages of their careers stay current with important developments in the technology, practice, psychology and ethics of communications. Members are also encouraged to assume leadership roles in the organization, their careers and their communities. For more information, including upcoming events, go to

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