UB hosts linguistic justice workshop

Published November 10, 2021

UB will present a virtual workshop on Nov. 17 that focuses on putting anti-racism into practice in writing, teaching and language development.

The event, which is open to the public, will feature a lecture by April Baker-Bell, author of the book “Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy.”

An associate professor of language, literacy and English education at Michigan State University, Baker-Bell will discuss how traditional approaches to language education can negatively affect students’ sense of self and identity. She’ll also explore what pedagogical practices can dismantle these forms of linguistic racism and supremacy.

The workshop will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Register online.

While it’s geared toward writing instructors and consultants, all UB students, faculty and staff are welcome to participate.

In a YouTube video, Baker-Bell described a moment earlier in her career that helped guide her work.

“What I found out is that many classrooms operated like linguistic and cultural battlegrounds. Students were being silenced and alienated just because of the way that they talk, in some ways internalizing what I’m calling anti-Black linguistic racism,” she says.

She goes on to describe her book.

“Linguistic Justice, the book and the framework, is about Black language and Black liberation. It’s really about dismantling anti-Black linguistic racism and the white linguistic hegemony,” she says.

The event is presented by the Center for Excellence in Writing, Undergraduate Education and the Office of Inclusive Excellence.