Representation: Making Content That Welcomes Everyone

Last month, we all got to watch many firsts as Sonia Sotomayor, a Latinx Supreme Court Justice, swore in Vice-President Kamala Harris, a woman who is Black and South Asian. It was a powerful moment for many people to see so many barriers broken that day.

In the non-profit sector, we might not have as many days that feel as exciting as January 20, 2021 did for representation, but what does it mean to make sure people feel seen in everyday communications?


  • An older adult who sees a flyer for going back to school that includes people of all ages

  • A young person comes upon a website for a nature center that includes people diverse in race, gender, and body types

  • A parent of a child sees a flyer for a children’s program that uses gender inclusive language and imagery

How and what we choose to showcase says a lot about our organizations, who we are raising up, and what we believe.

Questions To Explore

Here are some questions to reflect on:

  • Are we showing images of people with diverse bodies, abilities, races, and ages that reflect our community? Do we work alongside a wide variety of people but offer only narrow reflections of who we serve? Do we want to work alongside a wider variety of people but only offer narrow reflections of we serve?

  • Is there a pattern of defaulting to images of white people where race is not a direct focus of the content? How are we as an organization de-centering whiteness in our representation? Of course, true representation goes beyond checking a box, but doing a content audit might yield some important action steps to take.