An empowering and validating phrase that challenges the inaccurate term ‘minority.’

People of the Global Majority (or PGM) is an emerging term that refers to people who are Black, African, Asian, Brown, Arab, mixed-heritage, are indigenous to the global south, and or have been routinely labeled as ‘ethnic-minorities.’ These groups represent approximately 85% of the world’s population.

As a ‘person of color,’ or a ‘minority,’ my identity exists in relation to the whiteness all around me. The term ‘people of color’ centers whiteness even as it attempts to be an affirming label for non-white people. The term perpetuates the idea that whiteness is the default, and that my existence is defined in relation to whiteness, rather than liberating me from it.

The term ‘people of color’ promotes othering and implies subordination to white power structures. The term ‘people of the global majority’ creates space for non-white people independent of whiteness. It is a term that de-centers whiteness, making it irrelevant. The term speaks to an identity that is free from being defined in relation to whiteness.

As people of the global majority we find inherent power as the majority of the world’s population. This is in contrast to the fact that people of color are often considered minorities even though we will outnumber white people in this country by as early as 2050. The term ‘minorities’ is intended to indicate people of color’s position in America’s racial power hierarchy.

The term ‘people of the global majority’ enables non-white people around the world to refuse to play by the hierarchy of white supremacy while claiming our own power—power that is born from global solidarity, rather than oppression.

As an educator and speaker on leadership, Rosemary Campbell-Stephens understands the importance of human value and the power of sharing narratives in which we see ourselves reflected. She has been using the term ‘Global Majority’ since 2003.

PGM is an empowering term that connects people and provides a wider lens for our times, allowing us to move out of the Black paradox we can find ourselves trapped in while living under the white gaze. Constantly reacting to ambivalent labels with limiting connotations is a kind of normalized insanity that we cannot pass on to our children and grandchildren.

According to Campbell-Stephens, “Developing and using empowering language that challenges marginalization and undermines the implied subordination to white power structures is critical.”

The language we use plays an important part in the challenge of tackling racial inequalities. How you define people can have an impact on aspirations and create barriers perpetuated by labels which tie us to the past.

In our efforts to end white supremacy, the time has come to recognize that we are not minorities, we are the global majority.

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