Inclusive student-led initiative inspiring social change at Georgian
February 16, 2022

Say My Name is an initiative started by Enactus Georgian College, one of our many student clubs, to address feelings of social isolation in our community. Through a collaboration with the college’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Enactus’ goal is to empower students and members of the community to have their name read and pronounced correctly.

Ishaan Sachdeva (is-shaan sach-day-va) – President of the Georgian College Students’ Association (Barrie), co-founder of Enactus Georgian College, and project manager for Say My Name – says the initiative is helping create a more inclusive community…one name at a time.

“The goal of this project is to address social isolation, create inclusive spaces to study and work, and foster a sense of belonging,” he explains. “Our campus event launch fostered lots of engaging conversations and helped affirm a sense of community at Georgian.”

Ishaan Sachdeva, the President of the Georgian College Students' Association (GCSA) Barrie, making his Say My Name pledge.
Ishaan Sachdeva, the President of the Georgian College Students’ Association (GCSA) Barrie, making his Say My Name pledge.

How to incorporate Say My Name in the classroom and at work

  • Have students and colleagues write the phonetic spelling of their name (ih-shaan = Ishaan) beside their name on virtual platforms.
  • Encourage the use of name badges or table toppers that include phonetic pronunciation.
  • Ask when unsure of the appropriate pronunciation of a name – it’s empowering and validating to know someone cares enough and wants to pronounce your name correctly.
  • Acknowledge when you’ve mispronounced a name and commit to learning it for the next time you engage with that person.
  • Encourage students and colleagues to learn one another’s names – everyone will feel much more connected as they begin to learn more about their peers and colleagues.
  • Refer to students and colleagues with their preferred name and note any comments or feedback requesting something different.
  • You can record your name pronunciation and display it on your LinkedIn profile for others to listen to – this will help LinkedIn members to correctly address you.
  • Share your personal experience with having your name mispronounced – how did it make you feel?
  • Include phonetic spelling in your email signature.

Learn all the ways Georgian is incorporating equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDI&B) in our campus culture on our new EDI&B webpage – it includes important resources and other activities already underway.

View the Say My Name video on YouTube.

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