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Southern Living Diversity and Inclusion Pledge

Southern Living represents the voice of the modern South. We are committed to sharing, celebrating, and amplifying diverse voices and multicultural stories across the region.

As a brand that was founded in 1966 in Birmingham, Alabama, we acknowledge that bias, insensitivity, and racism have found their way into our content. In recent years we have worked carefully to make sure every story, recipe, profile, and photograph represents an inclusive, welcoming South. We will continue to revise, remove, edit, and update stories and language that don't reflect our values.

While we are committed to the initiatives outlined below, we know that change requires time and patience and that we might make mistakes along the way. To hold ourselves accountable, we plan to share our progress. If you have any questions about our plan, suggestions for how we can improve, or referrals for contributors to hire or creators to feature, please email editors@southernliving.com.

Diversify Our Staff

The current Southern Living editorial team could be more diverse, and we are committed to diversifying our in-house staff and recruiting BIPOC voices for our website and magazine. As of April 2022, 6% of the Southern Living editorial staff identifies as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). We work actively with our recruiting team to ensure BIPOC candidates are considered for each open role.

Diversify Our Contributor Network

At Southern Living, we rely on contributing writers, recipe developers, photographers, copyeditors, and illustrators who are experts in the topic areas they cover. Our parent company, Dotdash Meredith, is working on formally auditing the diversity of our contributors, and our goal continues to be ensuring that at least 25% of regular contributors identify as members of the BIPOC community. When contracting with vendors for original photography and video shoots, we will continue to make a concerted effort to work with BIPOC-owned businesses. 

Revisit Our Most Popular Content with a Critical Lens

We plan to work closely with Dotdash Meredith's official Anti-Bias Review Board to evaluate our most popular and widely read articles looking for bias (intentional and unintentional). We will kick off several remediation projects following this review—for example, we are in the process of replacing the term "master" bedroom/bathroom/suite with "primary." We will use the review board's findings to inform our new stories moving forward. 

Style Guide Revisions

We recently updated our brand style guide to ensure we are using inclusive language and avoiding common terms with problematic origins. We will continue to review and update this document. Since July 2020, we have been working with the DotDash Meredith Food Team to update and refresh recipes to ensure they are culturally sensitive.

Prioritize Highlighting BIPOC Experts and Creators

We will continue to focus on the stories you love, but every piece we publish will be considered through the lens of inclusivity, with an emphasis on featuring the work of a diverse array of designers, makers, creatives, chefs, experts, storytellers, and brands.

Emphasize Highlighting BIPOC Voices Across Social Media

We rely on social media platforms, particularly Instagram, for sharing the work and stories of Southerners across the region. Our goal is to profile a minimum of 25% of those who identify as BIPOC, with the intent of increasing BIPOC representation over time.

Broaden Our Holiday Coverage

Since July 2020, we have been working to represent the holidays of more communities and religious groups (examples include Juneteenth, Kwanzaa, Pesaha, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Lunar New Year and Diwali), and we will continue to bring awareness to these and other holidays.

Brand Participation

Southern Living editors will never participate on an industry panel or be part of an industry event where those who identify as BIPOC are not represented.

Brand Partnership

We are committed to partnering with an organization that uplifts marginalized voices in the South. While many of our articles offer practical advice, we also provide inspiration to millions of people looking to celebrate life in the South. We pledge to officially partner with an organization and work with them to amplify their members' voices and mission across our channels. We are striving to have this partnership active by Q3 of 2022.