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Intent vs. Impact: Why Does it Matter?
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Intent vs. Impact: Why Does it Matter?


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About This Lesson

In June 2022, singer Lizzo released the single, “GRRRLS." The song contained an ableist slur in it. There was immediate criticism and calling out of Lizzo for using this derogatory word, including by disability advocates and especially on social media. After taking in this criticism, Lizzo said, "It's been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song GRRRLS. Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language.” Lizzo acknowledged that she didn’t know it was an ableist slur and she changed the lyrics. This situation points to an important concept in communication, especially around using biased, offensive or insensitive language. Oftentimes there is a disconnect between what we intend to communicate and the way our words impact others.  

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn about the difference between intent and impact in our communication, reflect on their thoughts and feelings about this concept, and use common scenarios to explore how to effectively prioritize impact over intent.   




Lesson Plan
December 12, 2022
366.3 KB


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