AWAC Executive Committee Statement on Antiracism and Social Justice
The Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC) stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues, students, and community members. We recognize that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) continue to be disproportionately and negatively affected by not only the historical but also the ongoing effects of segregation, bias, and racism in the United States. We condemn racism; Black lives matter.
AWAC recognizes that writing programs and pedagogy can play a problematic role in the perpetuation of systematic oppression for BIPOC students. AWAC urges WAC scholars, administrators, and practitioners to call immediate attention to structures of systematic oppression in their home programs; and, wherever possible, advocate for anti-racist practices and pedagogies. AWAC also urges that we all mindfully and intentionally bring research-based, anti-racist strategies and perspectives to WAC research, theory, program administration, and the teaching of writing across the curriculum. We ask members to productively call us “in,” and we invite suggestions for and dialogue about initiatives and resources for AWAC to develop in support of antiracism and social justice in writing across the curriculum.
As a newly established organization, AWAC is indebted to and will work to support the powerful calls for pragmatic work, self-education, and action by established professional organizations in our fields. We refer, specifically, to ATTW President Angela Haas’s ATTW Call to Action to Redress Anti-Blackness and White Supremacy, to ATTW Vice President Natasha N. Jones’s and ATTW Fellow Miriam F. Williams’s The Just Use of Imagination: A Call to Action, and to the CWPA Executive Board and Officers’ “CWPA Statement on Racial Injustice.” We urge members to read these statements and use the resources to further anti-racist dialogue at their home institutions.
To that end, we also offer, as a beginning, the following (non-exhaustive) list of resources and scholarship for WAC, antiracism, and social justice (see below). We see this as a “living” resource to be built and modified over time, and we invite additions. Please email them to AWACsecretary@gmail.com.
CCCC Statements for Reference and Further Reading:
“Students’ Right to Their Own Language (with bibliography)” (1974, rev. 11.2014), “ “This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice!” (7.2020), “On Second Language Writing and Multilingual Writers” (2001, rev. 5.2020); CCCC Black Technical and Professional Communication Position Statement with Resource Guide (9.2020)
NCTE Statements for Reference and Further Reading:
“Antiracism to Support Teaching and Learning” (7.11.18), “Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples and People of Color (IPOC) in English and Language Arts Materials” (1.16.20), “The Opportunity to Learn” (7.30.19), “NCTE Takes a Stance Against Antiracism” (6.1.20)
Teaching Tolerance’s “Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education” (self-paced professional development seminar) and “Color Blindness” (shorter, a topic particularly important for non-BIPOC instructors)
“Writing Studies and Social Justice Initiatives List” – Ongoing, crowdsourced list of organizations, list-servs, caucuses, and journals/publications in Writing Studies with social justice initiatives. Initiated by Dr. Iris Ruiz.
Recommended Readings on WAC, Antiracism, and Social Justice:
Anson, Chris. (2012). Black holes: Writing across the curriculum, assessment, and the gravitational invisibility of race. In Asao Inoue and Mya Poe (Eds.), Race and writing assessment (pp. 15 29). New York: Peter Lang.
Condon, Frankie & Young, Vershawn Ashanti (Eds.). (2013, August 7). Anti-racist activism: Teaching rhetoric and writing [Special Issue]. Across the Disciplines, 10. Retrieved from https:/wac.colostate.edu/atd/special/race
Condon, F., & Young, V. A. (Eds.). (2016). Performing Antiracist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication. Across the Disciplines Books. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado. https://wac.colostate.edu/books/atd/antiracist/
Inoue, Asao B. (2015). Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future. Perspectives on Writing. The WAC Clearinghouse; Parlor Press. https://wac.colostate.edu/books/perspectives/inoue/
Poe, M. (2013). Re-framing race in teaching writing across the curriculum. Across the Disciplines, 10(3). Retrieved from https://wac.colostate.edu/docs/atd/race/poe.pdf.