Show Navigation

Resource Library

Language and health equity: A curated list

Cette ressource est également disponible en français.

The language used to describe equity, and the people living with inequities both reflects and influences the way we think and act on the structural and social determinants of health. Intentional consideration of the words and terms we use to describe equity issues is important to build a societal and organizational culture that supports action to address population health inequities.

This curated list from the NCCDH highlights eight grey-literature resources to support public health and other sectors to use language that promotes action on health equity. Collectively, these resources contain guiding principles, terminology guides, case scenarios, frameworks, and consideration of diverse communication styles. Several French language and bilingual resources are included.

Use this resource to:

  • Reflect on what words you use to describe equity and people who live with health inequities.
  • Identify commonly used terms in your organization and options to shift to more equity-inclusive alternatives.
  • Facilitate a process to shift the language used in organizational documents, strategies, policies, and conversations about communities and health equity.

Related Resources:

Companion Document: Let's Talk: Language of health equity

Glossary of Essential Health Equity Terms

Webinar : Glossary of Essential Health Equity Terms

Learning Together: Communicating to propel organizational capacity for action on health equity


See other resources on communication strategies for health equity.

See other curated reading lists.


National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2023). Language and health equity: A curated list. Antigonish, NS: NCCDH, St. Francis Xavier University.

Tags: Key concepts, Leadership & capacity building, Methods & tools, Communication Strategies, Document, Curated Reading List