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Pronouns on Volunteer Badges

  • November 03, 2022 10:35 AM
    Message # 12977075
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello network, 

    Have any of you added pronouns to your volunteer badges? How have you done it successfully without isolating people, 'othering' people or 'outing' people? I've seen people use pins or buttons, maybe several versions of the same badge with options for common pronouns?

    Any advice or experience is appreciated!


  • November 04, 2022 8:09 AM
    Reply # 12978387 on 12977075

    Yes, we add them. I let volunteers choose whatever pronouns they prefer, or they can opt to not have them. On the order form we add a link about why we give the option to add pronouns. It's been well-received.

  • November 04, 2022 9:13 AM
    Reply # 12978474 on 12977075

    Hi Sarah! A few years ago we added a line for pronouns on Summer Reading volunteer badges (~850 volunteers, mostly youth). These badges are cardstock and put in badge holders on lanyards so volunteers could write on them. We got feedback from youth and staff that it put some volunteers in a difficult spot if they didn't feel comfortable sharing their pronouns in such a visible way. Or they didn't want their parents/adults to see their badge if they hadn't shared that with them yet. Based on that feedback we changed the design of the badges to have enough of a blank area that volunteers could write their pronouns if they wanted, or they could decorate it with drawings or stickers. That seemed to work best. 

  • November 04, 2022 9:39 AM
    Reply # 12978525 on 12977075

    We've used an additional sticker that volunteers can choose to add to nametags, works great for events too. Lots of options out there, but here's one.

  • November 04, 2022 9:40 AM
    Reply # 12978526 on 12977075

    We began offering volunteers the option to include pronouns on their name badges this year, and it's been very positive I think. Some volunteers (especially many of my seniors) opted out and it was no big deal, but many others thanked me for the opportunity to start doing that. Staff have had pronouns on our nametags and email signatures for a few years, so I think that helped introduce the idea to some who might not otherwise have been as familiar with the practice.

    We use the program to print paper inserts for plastic pin-on badges, so it's easy for me to make replacements. Our nametags aren't huge and also include first name and "volunteer since (year)", so they don't look empty without a pronoun line either.

  • November 08, 2022 12:39 PM
    Reply # 12982615 on 12977075
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We provide pronoun buttons volunteers can choose to wear in addition to their nametag button. They seem to be pretty popular so far!

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