A Statement From the Director: June 16, 2020 -->

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A Statement From the Director: June 16, 2020

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george floyd mural
Image of George Floyd mural outside Cup Foods by Lorie Shaull, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Since its inception, the Writing Center has aligned with Walden’s mission of positive social change. Our mission and diversity and inclusion statement, in fact, highlight that principle; we support writers so that they can engage academically, civically, and globally.

Since 2017, our social change committee has devoted its efforts more specifically to issues of diversity and inclusion: We’ve focused our conversations on implicit bias, the challenges of standardized academic expectations, and identity-first and inclusive language; partnered with organizations including BreakThrough Twin Cities and Smithsonian’s Digital Volunteers Transcription Center; piloted a diversity and inclusion internship program; and actively engaged in improving our hiring practices to recruit more people of color.

But the center has to do more. We have yet to practically address the tension that comes from being committed to inclusion while also being responsible for reinforcing Standard Academic English, which privileges a primarily white language tradition. We still need to hire more people of color.

So let me start here: Black lives matter. Being proactive in dismantling racism, with writers and in writing, is part of what we do, right alongside the more traditional responsibilities we’ve historically had as a writing center.

As the director, I am committed to moving the writing center forward, toward specific partnerships and antiracist pedagogies that that will positively influence our ability to be responsive to our student writers. That means building off our conversations about Standard Academic English and institutionalized racism in writing, improving our existing hiring practices and work environment to ensure an inclusive and equitable work culture for a more diverse staff, and approaching our work with student writers through the lens of inclusivity.

Cordially,
Brian Timmerman
brian.timmerman@waldenu.edu
Director, Walden Writing Center
Pronouns: He, Him, His

Post updated July 6, 2020.

1 comment :

  1. Mr. Timmerman,
    I dare not speak for all but I can speak for myself. I appreciate all that you have said and quite frankly, I believe you. Although my time at Walden University has been brief, it has expanded my way of thinking and honestly, an expanding way of thinking is the first step towards a more civil and equal way of living. Through much of the advertising in the Walden University computer screens, many are of diverse backgrounds, African American specifically, which I believe is true representation of the Walden University mantra and goal for a more diverse institution.
    Arvis Johnson

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