In honor of the retirement of Annetta L. Cheek, PhD, Board Chair and co-founder of the Center for Plain Language, an American flag will fly over the U.S. Capitol today. The Center is a nonprofit organization that advocates for clear language in government, business, nonprofits and universities.
The testimonial reads: “As she steps down from her role as Chair of the Center for Plain Language. In recognition of her work the last two decades, as the heart, soul, and animating force behind the Federal government’s plain language movement.”
Dr. Cheek co-founded the Center for Plain language in 2003 with a group of plain language colleagues. The group was interested in extending plain language advocacy beyond the Washington, D.C. beltway.
In her tenure as Board Chair, Dr. Cheek worked tirelessly to make plain language part of U.S. law. She also taught, mentored, and encouraged countless people into writing better, thinking more strategically, and working harder to advocate for plain language.
On behalf of the Center, Dr. Cheek led and collaborated on initiatives that:
- Established the ClearMark Awards to recognize good writing and theWonderMark Awards to call out bad writing
- Worked with U.S. House of Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA) to pass the Plain Writing Act of 2010, which was signed into law by President Obama
- Developed the annual Plain Writing Act Report Card measuring federal agency compliance with the Plain Writing Act. Since the report card gets a lot of media attention, agencies are motivated to get good grades
- Collaborated with other plain language organizations to co-host larger, stronger conferences around the world, including PLAIN 2005 and Clarity 2012 and
- Presented and authored countless talks and papers, including co-authoring the International Plain Language Working Group’s Definition of Plain Language.
“Annetta has used her wit, charm and irresistible force to encourage plain language use in government, business, nonprofits and universities for 20 years,” said Joanne Locke, a co-founder and board member of the Center’ “She leaves a legacy to not only the U.S. plain language movement, but within the global movement as well. She will be deeply and profoundly missed by all in the plain language movement.”
What people are saying …
~ John Strylowski
~ Melodee Mercer
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