WRDS Anti-Racist Statement & Action Plan

The Writing, Rhetoric & Digital Studies department — including the First-Year Writing Program and the Writing Resources Center — condemns the violent killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and so many others murdered as a result of the ongoing systemic violence against Black bodies and communities.

As a predominantly white department in a field that has been shaped by whiteness, we acknowledge our privilege, our complicity in Black oppression, our individual and collective oversights, and our silences. We support the Black Lives Matter movement and its call for equality and justice.

More specifically, we commit to the following:

Black Language, Writing, and Voices

  • We recognize African-American English and other Black Englishes as one dialect among
    many and thus equal to Standard American English and other varieties of English;
  • We acknowledge the lasting legacy of Black authors, artists, activists, scholars, colleagues,
    and students who have shaped and continue to shape our classrooms, our department,
    the discipline of Writing and Rhetoric, and our communities;
  • We will amplify Black voices, perspectives, texts, and authors in our curriculum and community.

Classroom, Curriculum, and Departmental Policy

  • We actively create an inclusive learning environment and commit to making Black students
    feel safe;
  • We actively promote anti-racist scholarship and tutoring/teaching practices;
  • We purposefully enact anti-racist assessment practices in our classrooms and the
  • We will revise all departmental policies and mission statements to explicitly include
    anti-racist practices and beliefs;
  • We will actively support a Black Students’ Bill of Rights created by students at UNC Charlotte.

Recruiting, Professional Development, and Questioning Power Structures

  • We hold ourselves and each other accountable to being anti-racist;
  • We develop ongoing tutor, staff, and teacher educational programs devoted to bias
    training and anti-racist education;
  • We will train students, staff, tutors, and teachers to be conscious of stereotypes,
    microaggressions, and anti-Black rhetoric;
  • We commit to diversifying our community by recruiting, mentoring, and retaining Black
    staff, tutors, and teachers;
  • We will continue to investigate institutional structures for oppression and where we can
    become agents of change.