The NMSU Writing Program operates in a land grant institution within the borderland serving students that derive from diverse cultures and backgrounds. As a Writing Program, we acknowledge that oppression and discrimination continue to be a part of American society and to adversely affect students and their education. Racism pervades systems, structures, rules, languages, behaviors and expectations, but it masquerades as normal or neutral. For these reasons, this writing program recognizes that racism is systemic, and we work with students to confront that awareness by offering them opportunities to develop as writers and succeed on their own terms.
The Writing Program asserts:
- Language is powerful. It enables individuals to explore themselves and their worlds and to make changes, yet it can also be used problematically to denigrate or dominate;
- Language is fluid and reflects the societies and cultures in which we live;
- There is no inherent standard of English;
- Marginalized voices are often misunderstood and/or neglected;
- Writing is tied to experience, history, ideology, and subject position.
The Writing Program values intellectual development and growth of students through our commitments to:
- Educate ourselves continuously on social justice issues, prejudicial practices, and intersectional forms of oppression as they pertain to writing and research;
- Reflect critically on our language practices and the ways they impact others;
- Strive to examine our own biases by actively identifying and challenging individual and systemic acts of discrimination, prejudice, and oppression;
- Invite open and honest discussions of racialized power systems, including the university;
- Strategize to make rhetorical decisions to achieve our needs and goals while upholding voice and identity;
- Emphasize the importance of rhetorical situations.
We acknowledge the following sources consulted in creating this statement, and we encourage others to explore some of them:
- National Council of Teachers of English, Statement on Anti-Racism to Support Teaching and Learning – http://www2.ncte.org/statement/antiracisminteaching/
- College Composition and Communication, Statement on Language, Power, and Action – http://cccc.ncte.org/cccc/language-power-action
- Washington State University Writing Center, Statement of Antiracist Practice & Commitment – https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/1393/2014/06/STATEMENT-of-ANTI.pdf
- University of Washington Tacoma, Statement on Antiracist and Social Justice Work in the Writing Center – https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/university-writing-program/writing-center
- East Carolina University Writing Center, “We Are Committed to Social Justice” – http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/writing/UWC-Social-Justice.cfm
- Members of the Coalition for Leading Anti-Racist Action (CLARA)
- English Department General Education Committee
This is not a statement that has been endorsed by New Mexico State University.