BIPOC is an acronym for the labels Black/Indigenous/People of Color. BIPOC is an emerging term in the ever-evolving language of DEI. At has been offered as the preferrence/replacement of the formerly popular term, people of color, or POC.
Both terms were created to describe people belonging to the collection of races and/or ethnicities historically discriminated against by white supremacist structures. It is meant to be a unifying term, encompassing the shared, overlapping aspects of oppression experienced by anyone who falls outside the bounds of “whiteness.”
However many people feel terms like POC or BIPOC erase the particular histories and experiences of specific communities.
Therefore, when referring to the race or ethnicity of an individual or a single community, it is best practice to use the most specific term possible. If you are unsure of how a person or community prefers to be described, ask them.
BIPOC can be pronounced as the spelling out of the letters in the acronym (“B-I-P-O-C”) or as a single word, which sounds like “bye-pock.”
To learn more:
- VIDEO: Understanding BIPOC
- ARTICLE: Which Is The Right Term?