Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series: Language Discrimination in Fragile Communities

The Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series on Language Discrimination in Fragile Communities is organized around four major themes:

  1. Minorities, underrespresented communities and language-based discrimination
  2. Linguistic diversity in education
  3. Multilingualism, immigration and identities
  4. Indigenous and endangered languages

The leaders of this series are Dr. Edna Andrews, Dr. Lee D. Baker, and Dr. Liliana Paredes, all from Duke University. There are also more than 20 faculty fellow from institutions across North Carolina.

The Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series will produce a peer-reviewed volume of articles devoted to the series and a documentary film that will include footage of the speaker series, as well as interviews with the presenters and the participants.

Next Lecture in the Series is:

Thursday, February 13th –Dr. Walt Wolfram (NC State Univeristy), "Sociolinguistic (In)justice in Higher Education: Solving the Problem We Created"  (6pm, Rubenstein Library 153)

Notwithstanding the avowed commitment of higher education to equality and inclusion, the issue of language has been excluded from or erased in diversity programs at most universities. This presentation documents the empirical basis of linguistic prejudice and discrimination in higher education through an extensive series of student and faculty interviews in a large metropolitan university. Based on the conclusions, we have developed an innovative, campus-infusion model for language diversity targeting students, faculty, and staff at the university. Activities include integrated classroom materials, videos highlighting linguistic diversity on campus, formal and informal workshops for diverse campus populations, the establishment of a Linguistic Diversity Student Ambassadors program, and other activities and resources that have led to the creation of a national model for authentically including language in the diversity canon in higher education.

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