Project Schedule 2021-2022

October 16

Starting off:

Welcome to the Baltimore Writing Center Project (BWCP)! For all of our efforts in this community, we will draw from Showing up For Racial Justice’s (SUFRJ) definition of racism, which refers to racism “as white supremacy, as the pervasive, deep-rooted, and longstanding exploitation, control and violence directed at People of Color, Native Americans, and Immigrants of Color that produce the benefits and entitlements that accrue to white people, particularly to a white male dominated ruling class” to clarify and guide our exploration, critical reflection on, and critique of antiracist practices and to understand why and how antiracist practices are necessary and vital in writing centers.

We also follow the Syracuse Antiracist Syllabus’s definition of antiracist pedagogy:

“’A paradigm located within Critical Theory utilized to explain and counteract the persistence and impact of racism using praxis as its focus to promote social justice for the creation of a democratic society in every respect’ (Blakeney, 119). This approach, then, centers practices, readings, and knowledge that deconstruct historically racist structures that created unequal learning opportunities, expectations, and privileges.”

By orienting to this approach, we “challenge some traditional ways of learning and embrace radical critical thinking in order to move towards an ‘antiracist society’ (Blakeney, 120). We also challenge the racist commitment to standard American english as the foundation of academic discourse and aim to change the ways we value home languages” and writers’ linguistic repertoires.

Reading/watching preparation:

What is a story? What is storytelling?

– Baldwin (1962) “A letter to my nephew

– Lorde (1981) “Uses of anger

– Tomorrow (2014) “Officer friendly: He’s just a good guy with a gun

– King (2003) “‘You’ll never believe what happened’ is always a great way to start” 

– Adichie (2009) “The danger of a single story” 

– Finney (2011) “Dancing with Strom” and “2011 National Book Award acceptance speech

– Smith (2017) “dear white america

Getting set up:

Step 1: Create an individual WordPress site. On this site, you will complete preparation activities for each session throughout the year. To create a WordPress site, first view this helpful explainer for creating a WordPress site. Then, go to wordpress.com to create your site. Set up your site no later than Thursday, October 14. NOTE: you should not have to pay for this site. Choose a theme or setup that is free.

Step 2: Send the URL or web address of your new individual WordPress site to James by Thursday, October 14, at james.wright@umaryland.edu. Why? I need time to link your site to our main WordPress site. On this shared site, in the right-side column, you’ll find your name hyperlinked to your individual site. It’s a cool way to view one another’s work and provides ease of access for all. NOTE: if you want to add a layer of protection because you’re concerned about public audiences viewing your site, you can password protect your site. If you do so, please send me your password. For help choosing the degree of visibility for your site, see this guide.

Prep activity:

Step 1: Copy/paste one quote from 3 readings into your individual WordPress site. These quotes will serve as springboards into our conversation.

Step 2: Choose an image online that reflects your interpretation of the readings. Drop it into your individual WordPress site. This image will serve as a way for the rest of us to understand your thinking about the theme for the session.