[The statement below is in reference to our story "Putting Writing at the Center of Inclusivity."]
We understand the UW Tacoma Writing Center’s “Statement on Antiracist and Social Justice Work in the Writing Center” has been repeatedly misrepresented by some issues-oriented blogs based in other states. These representations are completely inaccurate.
The Writing Center statement is not about changing the standard for how UW Tacoma teaches commonly accepted English, grammar and composition. UW Tacoma students achieve thorough proficiency in grammar and English expected in higher education and the workplace. Faculty demand a high level of writing proficiency. Our graduates are successful in a wide array of fields.
The statement is about the Writing Center’s commitment to be inclusive and welcoming to all students. It was developed as a statement representing the values of the Writing Center faculty, staff and student tutors and was developed through a collaborative process.
The statement also describes the Center’s commitment to helping students critically understand the broader context of language, including how different dialects are judged in various settings. The Center works to raise awareness that language is part of a larger system than can unintentionally perpetuate racial and social inequities. The term “racism” in this context is not about people behaving badly; it is about helping students understand language as part of a larger cultural system.
These concepts add to what students are learning about English and writing and help them understand they have choices in how they use language. They provide students with tools for how language can be applied effectively in different contexts.
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org