Statement of Diversity

Conducting antiracist and feminist research and pedagogy requires constant assessment and recognition of my own identity and privilege within the classroom, within the purview of my research as well as society, in general. Recognizing my own vantage point as an outsider to the different experiences and backgrounds students bring to the classroom allows me to empathize with my students without inserting my own privilege into those experiences. I model this to my students which encourages them to do the same. This fosters deeper and more meaningful class discussions and student collaboration. This assessment and recognition of privilege also underpin the methods and methodologies in my research. 

 I am passionate about language, and how it shapes our society, our practices, and our beliefs. Lockett, et al state, “Colonial ideology flows through language and language research, placing us in all kinds of ethical conflicts regarding uses of violent literacy, or weaponized speech and communication. Performing and studying the processes of speaking, writing, rhetoric, and computing with little to no historical awareness of empire-in-action will likely reinforce what it ignores” (11). I am mindful of including diverse texts in my classes. I am devoted to finding and bringing attention to authors who might be overlooked, left out, or not represented. It is as important for students to experience texts that are similar to their own backgrounds, experiences, and cultures as it is to experience those that are different. In addition, examination and recognition of how language is harmful, particularly to marginalized people, empowers, not only myself, but my students to create or advocate for necessary and appropriate change. 

While I have always been a champion for inclusiveness and equality, it was not until I became an attorney that my eyes were truly opened to how language and rhetoric influence and shape practices that are harmful and cruel. As a practicing bankruptcy attorney in Detroit, Michigan, I witnessed how language and rhetoric were used in local rules, motions, objections, and hearings to humiliate and oppress marginalized people. This experience steered me to adopt a pedagogy, research methods, and overall philosophy that are grounded in inclusivity and diversity. 

  • Lockett, Alexandria L., et al., editors. Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods. The WAC Clearinghouse, 2021.