The Prison Policy Initiative Writing Guide (public version)

By Peter Wagner and Wendy Sawyer
August 2020, last updated March, 2022

Sections
The big picture
Planning & the first draft
Make good choices about what to include in — and what to leave out of — your writing.
Late stage drafting/editing
Strategy & Politics
The review
Numbers in the text
People and organizations in the text
Dates in the text
Use the tools the interactive internet gives you.
“Style” choices that increase reader comprehension and make it easier to skim
Designing graphics to accompany your text

This work-in-progress guide was originally written to teach new staff members how to write in the Prison Policy Initiative’s distinct “organizational voice.”

A key part of our organization’s strategy hinges on getting people to read what we write, so writing useful, engaging material is absolutely essential to everything we do. We write about some pretty dense topics and our competition includes Netflix and kitten videos, so we have to get people to want to read our content. This requires us to think holistically about what we want to communicate, how we want to communicate, and how we define success.

In addition, because we need to produce powerful content at a reasonable cost to our donors, we need to make the entire process of going from idea to impact to as efficient as possible, so this guide also addresses parts of our process that may be generally applicable.

We’re making this guide publicly available because some of our allies have asked to see it. It should go without saying that there is not a “best” way to communicate or a “best” way to plan a project. This is just how the Prison Policy Initiative does it. Organizations with different strategies and different goals will very likely want to do things differently.

(Staff members reading this should log in to our systems and reload the page for some additional details that are only relevant to staff.)

The big picture

  1. Always have a target audience in mind and write to that audience, not for yourself.
  2. Keep it short. The public doesn’t want to read a lot and your colleagues don’t want to edit a lot. If it helps, tell yourself that writing shorter is harder. It’s true.
  3. Have a useful visual or a table after one of the first 3 paragraphs. These are not just branding elements or eye candy, but rather a quick way for you to tell the world that you are an expert and what you think matters. If you can’t think of the engaging visual or useful table that we can place up at the top of the piece, we need to think about whether the public will want to read your piece over any other pile of words on the internet. If we can’t find another way to ensure that we can get people to read what you are writing, we are likely to want to find another topic.

Planning & the first draft

  1. Make an outline. This should include your major points and the general steps of the argument. Each section in the outline should include some idea as to its final length in words, sentences, or paragraphs. This is invaluable code to yourself — and to us — about how many thoughts each section is likely to require. You won’t be bound to those lengths. If you find a clever way to get from point A to Point B and it’s 20% longer than anticipated, that’s fine. But double the length and you are probably making more work for yourself, for your supervisor, and for the public than you need to.
  2. Identify what’s new in your work (that is, what’s different from what’s already been published). If nothing is new, pick a new topic. The final draft is not required to say what’s new about your piece, but you do need to be able to articulate what’s new and what impact you want it to have before you finish the outline, or the final piece is going to be very hard to edit and not very persuasive to the reader.
  3. Identify the trickiest parts of your piece and try to focus on that first. For example, often we are writing something that could start many different ways, but we’ll know that there is only one way to connect the 2nd and 3rd ideas in the piece. We’ll therefore need to plan the rest of the piece around navigating that tricky transition.
  4. Make a rough draft of your visual or table and keep working on it. It does not need to be pretty. Using crayons to sketch it out and taking a cellphone picture is great. If it’s a table, list what you think the columns should be and, for the key columns, exactly what the headers should say.
  5. The reader is going to read your visual/table and your text together, so you should write it that way, too. Keep a copy of your visual or table either in the draft document itself or put a placeholder inside in your draft that describes what it is or will be, including the headline, caption, etc.
  6. Embrace “blah blah” and “Lorem ipsum.” You are going to throw away a lot of what you write, so there is no point wordsmithing things that might be thrown away. Get the basic ideas out first, and leave them to be polished later.
  7. Keep this outline up to date as your writing progresses and especially when you discover that your outline has a flaw. Don’t be surprised if your supervisor asks you to share your outline along with your draft. The outline can help them in the editing process, too.
  8. Write a headline. The headline should be the first thing you’ll write after doing an outline and before you start a draft. Some people are reluctant to do this, but you should be able to write at least a crappy headline by the time you’ve finished the first paragraph. If not, you probably started writing too soon and may want to go back to your outline. At the very least, you don’t want to show your supervisor a draft until you have a headline on it.
  9. Good headlines have a noun, a verb, and imply what you think about how the reader should feel. Completely adequate placeholder headlines — e.g. “Gov. Smith sucks” — make it obvious on which side of an issue you stand, will help your colleagues review your draft, and help you come up with a much better headline and text.
  10. Rewrite headlines often. You almost never get it right on the first try, and the handful of words in the headline will probably be read more than the rest of the words put together, so keep working on it as you write. Here’s an example of progress that is both incremental, massive, and still not good enough: “Gov. Smith’s COVID-19 response sucks.”
  11. In particular, rewrite headlines when any part of the narrative arc changes. If the piece changes, the headline should change immediately as well so that you can keep yourself and everyone else on the same page. If your headline is out of date, fix it before sharing the draft or asking your colleagues for assistance.

Make good choices about what to include in — and what to leave out of — your writing.

  1. Anticipate questions, and answer them. We don’t want your article to make our phones ring with avoidable questions and obvious counterarguments, so figure out every likely question and head it off.
  2. Anticipate off-label uses of your data. Your briefing is written around making one point, but can your data also be used to make related points? Can you include that data in a way that doesn’t harm comprehension of your narrative? If so, you should include it. If it’s an edge case, consider putting this data into an appendix at the bottom of your article that you promote in a caption under your first table. For example, our briefing about the felony theft threshold had a very simple table at top and a detailed appendix table with more context and history at the bottom and our reports about where incarcerated people call home included appendix tables for every type of geography that we could imagine anyone wanting. We concluded it was easier for us to provide this service with what we already had than for someone else to do it from scratch, and we certainly didn’t want someone writing to us for help later.
  3. Embrace the fact that you are a subject matter expert and leverage your curatorial power for good. By the time you are ready to start drafting a Prison Policy Initiative briefing, you will be one of the top experts in the world on that particular topic or subtopic. Leverage that power — and your position as writing for one of the most influential websites in criminal justice — to tell people what they should think, how they should approach an issue, what avenues for further research, advocacy, and financial support would bear the best fruit, etc.
  4. Think like a curator and embrace our less-is-more strategy. The reason a museum does not exhibit its entire collection has very little to do with a shortage of space and everything to do with wanting to tell a coherent story. After all, a good museum will have a well-organized collection of art in its galleries, but in the basement (which you will never see) it will have a treasure trove of priceless artifacts, mixed in with absolute junk and some things it doesn’t yet know what to do with. Like a museum curator, you need to embrace that the price of telling a good story is to make some hard decisions about what doesn’t fit, and leave it out.
  5. Limit misunderstandings of your work. If people are going to misunderstand something, try to ensure that, at worst, their misunderstanding is not at odds with your intent. (Sadly, we don’t have a handy example for this. Often, once we find a good solution to one of these problems, we forget the painful journey that got us to the good solution. We’ll put the next example we discover into this guide.)
  6. Make your words resistant to distortion when they are reused. In the childhood game of “telephone” — in which one child whispers a sentence to another child, who whispers it to the next child, and so on — by the time it reaches the end, a completely different message has been transmitted. The words you write are going to be subject to similar forces of distortion as they spread through society. But you can minimize this. Two examples:
    • Define tricky definitional nouns. For example, in some contexts, prisons and jails are synonyms and in others they are opposites. So think about defining your terms in ways that don’t confuse more advanced readers.
    • If you say something counter-intuitive, someone else is going to fill in the gaps and change your meaning. For example, we focus on the political effects of the Census Bureau’s prison miscount for a number of reasons, and we don’t focus on the economic effect, in part for strategic reasons, in part because it’s a myth, and in part because if it wasn’t a myth, it wouldn’t be fixable by changing the data anyway. After a while, we figured out how to get reporters to write the story we wanted about politics, and it eventually got to the point where often reporters would know the funding thing was a myth before we could explain it. But still the bad stories would show up in print because some editor would, after the story was done, conclude that the reporter was a moron who missed the obvious and start inserting “and funding” into sentences and headlines. The solution, discovered by one of our legislative sponsors, was to insert “This bill wouldn’t impact funding” into the talking points. If you study the videos or press releases, it would look a little ridiculous, but the extra words did not kill the flow and would show that our omission was intentional. Problem (largely) solved.
  7. Armor your work against misuse. People are going to come to your writing seeking support for a position that is the opposite of yours. You can’t stop people from taking your work out of context or using selective quotations to intentionally flip your meaning, but you can make that a lot harder without needlessly burdening the text. Here’s an imaginary test to use when reviewing your text: If a writer for a Fox News personality used your work as the basis for some horrible conclusion and we complained, would our complaint be brushed off as a “disagreement” over “interpretation” of your unclear text, or would that writer be fired for dishonesty?
  8. Don’t try to set policy by omission. Kings, presidents, and popes know and rely on the fact that thousands of people are going to study their words and try to find meaning in the things that they choose not to say. You may be writing for one of the most influential websites in criminal justice, but few people are going to take your words seriously enough to find meaning in what you didn’t say. For that reason, you need to make sure your critique and your solutions are sufficiently clear.3 You can never include everything — see above about using your curatorial power for good — but you should generally assume that omission will not, by itself, be an effective method of communication.
  9. Respond to — or acknowledge — obvious counter arguments. If you anticipate readers coming to your piece with a particular argument in mind, simply acknowledging the counterargument with a sentence starting, “To be sure, …” may be enough to refocus readers on your argument.

Late stage drafting/editing

  1. Send all innovations “upstream.” Each time you produce alternative and progressively shorter versions of your content — executive summaries, proposed op-eds, press releases, and tweets — you have a reasonable chance of discovering shorter and more powerful ways to make your point. When you make such a discovery, you should seriously consider sending those innovations back “upstream” to all of the other versions of your content so that the readers of those versions can benefit as well.
  2. Captions aren’t always necessary, but can be powerful tools to solve many different problems. Whether or not your visual or table has a caption has nothing to do with house style and everything to do with effective communication. You can use captions to reframe attention, resolve tensions between the image and the text, answer questions, point to alternative views, etc. Because the caption is in dialog with the text and the visual/table, expect it to evolve as the other parts do. Note that we are discussing captions in the late drafting stage, rather than in the sections below, because using captions is a tactical choice that will change many times as the piece comes together. In an ideal world, you don’t need a caption, ever. But in reality, you probably will need them — a lot — so start planning early on how to use them for maximum impact to link the imagery to the text. Regardless, you don’t want to make the same mistake that major newspapers do, where captions are written and edited outside the normal flow and are therefore the most likely place to contain typos or factual errors.
  3. Help the reader understand what is new. At least once or twice in your piece, start sentences with phrases like “We conducted a 50-state survey” or “Our study found” to make sure readers remember who did the research — you!

Strategy & politics

  1. Investigate outliers. If you have an outlier in your data, you need to either know why it exists or have a good answer as to why you don’t know that can go into the final publication. Otherwise, every single colleague who reviews it is going to ask you about it, and many of the people on the internet who read your piece will be asking that question in the hours, days, months, and years after publication. If you will be highlighting that outlier for either praise or scorn, it is ten times as important that you understand why that outlier exists and to be absolutely sure you are correct.
  2. When doing multi-state comparisons, be really careful about how you say good things about states. The criminal justice reality is that states that are comparatively the “best” when it comes to a particular issue still have a long way to go in general and on the specific issue you are talking about. Be very careful to not undermine advocates who are trying to get their home state to do even better. (Let’s just name this right here: One of the biggest complaints from state advocates is the hubris that national organizations show by ruining the strategies of state advocates. We are committed to not being one of Those Organizations.)
  3. Do sweat the small stuff. Everyone makes mistakes, but our research and written communication are what lend us credibility, and in turn lend credibility to other advocates that use our work, so we make every effort to get things right. At some point in the writing process, you’ll want to check every number and make sure you can cite the original source for every fact or claim in your piece.

The review

  1. On the internet, space is cheap, so it doesn’t matter how long your piece is, it matters how long it feels. To get a good idea of how it will feel, make a mockup of your piece in html so you can experience it the way the reader will. That may suggest changes to the text, or the formatting, or the features.
  2. When soliciting feedback on a draft, know and say what you are (or are not) looking for. Do you want comments on spelling, the argument, the facts, the utility, or whether it impacts a specific person’s work in an unforeseen way? Telling reviewers what feedback you are most looking for from them helps them focus on what’s most helpful to you — and cuts down on unnecessary line-edits you don’t want.
  3. The most useful feedback is from people for whom you can calibrate their feedback. If Amy is one of the best organizers in the country, Betty is an expert on a particular dataset you used, and Carole you don’t know well, all can give useful feedback, but you should be especially concerned about Amy’s political disagreements and Betty’s questions about your choice of variables.
  4. Remember that someone can only read a piece for the first time once, so be strategic about when you show your work. In particular, for some of our longer and higher-risk pieces, we’ll sometimes keep the draft — if not also the argument — sequestered from some staff members so we can, at the right movement, get some well-calibrated feedback.

Use the tools the interactive internet gives you.

  1. Readers love section headings, so you should too. Realistically, your reader is going to skim, so you need to both help the reader stay on track when they get lost the first time and, once they are convinced your work is important, you need to help them find the right part of your brilliant prose when they go back for a second or third read. Revise these section headings often, just like the headlines.
  2. Use links judiciously and to add gravitas and value, and never to distract. Here’s a basic test: If your target audience — let’s say Governor Smith’s head of criminal justice reform — clicks a link in a piece, will they get value from that link and think more highly of your facts and opinions or will they have just learned to never click on your links? In general, we use links instead of footnotes to cite our sources or point to additional information when no further comment is necessary. (If you are accustomed to academic writing, you are going to find this expectation an adjustment.)
  3. If there are two equal paths and one of them can use a list as a structural element, take the path with the list. We are not Buzzfeed and we’re not going to take a simple thought and turn it into a long listicle that is good for getting people to see lots of ads and then leave the website with a hole in their soul. But because we publish in a world where people skim, we want to show that we are organized and give people a reason who have started to skim a way to get re-oriented and come back to the text.
  4. Footnotes are your friends. If you want to write little asides that most people don’t need to see but some people should, footnotes are great for this. That said, the first five words of a footnote should always be instantly relevant and engaging. If a reader clicks on one of your footnotes and is bored, all you will have done is teach that reader to never click on a footnote in one of our reports again. And from the other perspective, don’t ever put something essential in a footnote, because many people won’t see them, they may get cut from our newsletter, and life experience has taught most people to avoid the footnotes produced by nonprofit policy shops. (Again, don’t use footnotes for simple citations/source information; use a link.)
  5. Pullquotes are your friends. Especially when you can’t use visuals, pullquotes — important lines from the text repeated as a visual — can really help to hold the attention of the reader or to recapture it if the reader has resorted to skimming. Advanced tip: starting thinking about pullquotes in draft 2 or 3, and revise them constantly.

Numbers in the text

  1. Don’t put too many numbers in the same sentence. Numbers are our bread and butter, but we don’t want to overwhelm the reader or impair reading. Keep things simple.
  2. Put thought into the level of precision necessary to make your point. Depending on the context, you might want to say 53.6%, 54%, “about half” or “most.” Extra decimal places don’t add much more gravitas or information, and often do harm by making your finding harder to quote or repeat.
  3. Parallelism helps readers. You could say, “Alice has 6 cats, 7 cats were owned by Bob, and Cindy has one more than any of them,” but your readers would appreciate it if you just said “Alice has 6 cats, Bob has 7 cats, and Cindy has 8 cats.” Helping the reader this way becomes even more important when the concepts are more complicated than comparative pet ownership.
  4. Try and structure, simplify, and group your numbers so that they will be memorable. Internally, we sometimes call this “getting your numbers to rhyme.” For example, one piece of early research on prison gerrymandering talked about how there were “21 U.S. counties that were at least 21% incarcerated.” That was much more powerful than the hundreds of other framings that we explored before settling on that one.
  5. Think about whether you are using numbers for impact and how that impacts the ability of the reader to reuse or update your work. At a certain point, you can get so clever that your work won’t be useful in any context but your own, so you should make conscious decisions about how you want your work to be used, and write from that. For a masterful example in which short-term impact was prioritized over reusability, see The Guardian’s brilliant 2015 investigation of U.S. police shootings. The very first fact — and most were similar in structure — made the point that more people were killed by the police in the United States in the first 24 days of that year than were killed in England and Wales in the previous 24 years. These facts were high poetry, but are so slick that they are impossible to use in new contexts or update without starting the entire project over.

People and organizations in the text

  1. Use “people first” language and avoid dehumanizing terms used by correctional systems. In the criminal justice reform space — if not yet in the criminal justice system itself — terms like “offender,” “inmate,” “felon,” “ex-con,” “prisoner,” “parolee,” “juvenile,” etc., are generally considered slurs, as they dehumanize incarcerated and criminalized people. Instead, we refer to “incarcerated people,” “people in jails/prisons,” “people on probation/parole,” “justice-involved people,” “youth,” etc. In general, try to use this “people first” language, and explain any decisions to use other language. (For example, in a piece on how people with disabilities are mistreated by the criminal justice system, the author explained in a short “note about language” that they chose to use the term “disabled people” in acknowledgment of the ways that disabled people are disabled by societal ableism.)
  2. Capitalize racial/ethnic groups other than “white.” For example, in acknowledgement of the shared history and cultural identity of people of African origin, we capitalize Black both as a category (in graphics/tables, for example) and as a descriptor (“a Black woman incarcerated in Oklahoma”).7
  3. Feel free to use “they” as a singular pronoun. While not a traditional singular pronoun in English, the use of “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun is becoming more common. We prefer it to s/he or him/her (or, for that matter, the academic-sounding “one”).
  4. Use curatorial words to introduce people that you choose to discuss or quote. You will often want to indicate why you are referencing certain people and organizations. For example, “According to clemency expert Margaret Love…” primes the reader to pay attention much better than “According to Margaret Love…” or “According to one lawyer…” ever could.
  5. Determine the necessary level of detail on names and titles, especially when the names are not necessary and the titles would be confusing. For example, you can require everyone to learn the names and titles of the correctional system in a given state, or you can just say “In Arkansas, an internal email from the state’s highest corrections official to the wardens of each prison in the state reveals that ‘hospitals are not wanting to treat our inmates because our staff are not following the guidelines that we are sending out.’” Similarly, when you notice that a state’s naming quirks are raising constant questions, you should develop language to eliminate the problem. For example, instead of explaining what county executive is called in Texas, it is often better to refer to “Judge Jane Smith” as “Judge Smith, Dallas’ top elected official” in the first reference.

Dates in the text

  1. Except for the words “yesterday” or “this morning,” avoid starting your piece with a date. If we absolutely need people to be reading a piece about history, find a more relevant-feeling way to start your work than “In 1990, ….”
  2. As with numbers, find ways to reduce the number of dates in a sentence and the amount of temporal math you are requiring the reader to perform. For example, instead of comparing August releases with April releases, compare August releases with those 4 months prior. Or, if the context allows it, just talk about “releases at the start and end of our study period.”

“Style” choices that increase reader comprehension and engagement

  1. Avoid acronyms. Unless the acronym is better known than the full name — and we struggle to think of many that qualify besides “FBI” or “AIDS” — avoid acronyms. If you are skeptical, here’s a simple test: How many times is the acronym you want to use referred to within any 5 paragraph section of what you are writing? If it’s fewer than 4 times, just spell it out. If it’s more often, write out what it stands for as often as you can without being too repetitious (for example, at least in each new section where it appears, for the skim-readers).
  2. Don’t use postal state abbreviations. Either spell out state names or, if necessary, use AP abbreviations for each state. Except for people who do mailings for a living, most people — including journalists — can only recognize the postal abbreviations for their state, some surrounding states, and a scattering of other easy ones. For example, when we changed our official address on the website from “Northampton, MA” to “Northampton, Mass.,” the frequency of reporters getting our state wrong went from occasional to never.
  3. Avoid vague pronouns in the opening sentences of paragraphs. Half of your readers are skimming, and many of those will have forgotten why they even started the piece, so when they see a paragraph that starts, “This problem dates back to ….” they are going to start skimming faster. On the other hand, if you say “Prison district legislators have been stealing elections since…”, you might just get them to slow down and read more of your words.
  4. Avoid jargon when possible. Terms that are specific to the field, or that only experts would know, should be explicitly defined (at a minimum) and/or replaced with more commonly understood terms whenever possible. For example, youth who are confined by the juvenile justice system are held in “residential placement facilities,” including “group homes,” but both of those terms are easily confused with the places youth in the child welfare system are placed. When we write about youth confinement, then, we use more intuitive terms like “juvenile justice facilities” as much as possible, to avoid misinterpretation.

Designing graphics to accompany your text

  1. The headline matters. The headline should tell the reader what they should be looking for in the chart, and why they should bother with it in the first place. A good headline also makes it near impossible to miss the point of the graph or to read it incorrectly (graphs are often misinterpreted by those with less numeric literacy6).
    • What makes a good headline? Ideally, the headline will give the reader the main takeaway and help focus the reader’s attention. For example, “Women’s state prison populations have grown faster than men’s” is much more helpful and engaging than “Growth in state prison populations, by sex, 1978-2015.” On the other hand, if you anticipate that the graph will be repurposed by others for lots of different uses, the more neutral, descriptive headline might be a better choice.
    • Revise your headlines as you go. Because so much hinges on the headline, it often takes a number of tries before you get it right; the headline should never be an afterthought. When you start making a graphic, you should at least put in a placeholder headline that describes what the data shows (e.g., “male vs. female prison populations, 1978-2015”). As you develop the draft of the accompanying text, you should refine the graph headline so that together, the text and graphic deliver a consistent message.
    • Keep the graphic’s headline as concise and layperson-friendly as possible without being vague. You can always give more details in the subhead or in a caption.
  2. Think about the size. Consider how the chart will be used: is it the main image? Is it for Twitter? Is it just a small graph off to the side of a paragraph in a report? If you design your chart at the right height and width, it will look better than if you design it as a full size chart and then try to squeeze it into the right shape later.
  3. Use the right chart type for the data. Line graphs are best for showing changes over time. Bar/column charts work for most other comparisons. And while one of our most famous publications is a pie chart, pie charts should generally be avoided and replaced with stacked bar charts. Using our past examples and templates, find something that makes sense for your data.
  4. Be thoughtful about how you use color. Color should be used to make the graph visually appealing, and to make it easier to distinguish between parts of the graph, but the number of colors should usually be limited to 1 or 2 “Prison Policy Initiative colors.” If you need more, consider whether it would be better to break the data up into a series of graphs, or consider using various shades of one or two colors.
  5. Minimize the number of elements in your graph. Keep in mind that almost every element (labels, axis lines, grid lines, logo, etc.) is optional and should serve a purpose, whether it’s aesthetic or to make it easier to understand. Ask yourself what is unnecessary and could be making your graphic look “crowded” or messy. For example, if you label every value on a column chart, you probably don’t need to label the values on the y-axis as well, and you can probably delete the grid lines (or vice versa).
  6. Minimize the number of fonts, too. If you add too many different fonts, it will start to look like a ransom note.
  7. Align elements to make your graph look cleaner. In our chart graphics, headlines, subheads, and source info should usually be centered, but if the source line is long, you might want to left-justify the text and align it with the y-axis or the first label on the x-axis. These kinds of small (and tedious) changes make all the difference.
  8. With numbers, balance precision against ease of comprehension. Eliminate extra/unnecessary decimal places (usually you can round to the nearest whole); use thousands separators (the comma in 1,000); and err on the side of not labeling each value (can you label just the first and last, for example, and make the same point?). Think about how “quotable” your graph is and let that guide you.

Footnotes

  1. For example, in Reforms Without Results, we chose to include a sidebar on a related strategy we don’t endorse, “focused deterrence,” as a way to tackle this thorny question head-on, rather than simply hoping our audience would avoid the strategy because we didn’t mention it.  ↩

  2. This is most people, and depending on your expectations, may also include most people with college degrees. When it comes to numeracy, don’t overestimate the quality of American education.  ↩

  3. For more on this rationale, see The New York Times’ 2020 announcement “Why We’re Capitalizing Black” and the AP’s announcement, “Why we will lowercase white.” We note that the capitalization of “Brown” as an indicator of race/ethnicity - or, more precisely, as a group that is discriminated against, at least in the U.S. - is still a matter of debate among writers and publishers. The AP and The New York Times, two examples we’ve cited here, have chosen to continue to use lowercase “B” for “brown.” The New York Times explains, “The term ‘brown’ as a racial or ethnic description should also generally remain lowercase and should be used with care. ‘Brown’ has been used to describe such a disparate range of people — Latin, Indigenous, Asian, Middle Eastern — that the meaning is often unclear to readers. A more specific description is generally best.” We agree that a more specific description is best, but recognize that “Brown” is used to refer to people who are discriminated against as a group and share that group experience, and therefore will capitalize “Brown” when used that way in our future writings.  ↩

Read the footnotes



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