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“‘Allies Consult!’ Toward Inclusive Anti-Racist Teaching”

Members of the Case Western Reserve University community are invited to a workshop titled “‘Allies Consult!’ Toward Inclusive Anti-Racist Teaching,” hosted by the Department of English.

This workshop, held Friday, April 30, from 9 to 11 a.m., will provide an opportunity for CWRU faculty and students to consult with Vershawn Young, a recognized expert on language, performance and pedagogy. Register for the workshop.

In his recent commentary on universities banning the Nword, Young concluded: “Allies consult! They don’t just take over.” 

Together, workshop participants will ask questions about fostering linguistic justice in the writing classroom, promoting anti-racism in general education and developing more inclusive teaching practices for the future. Prior to the workshop, participants are asked to read Young’s commentary on the Nword (reprinted in the magazine of the Canadian Association of University Teachers) and his “Should Writers Use They Own English” (Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies). Participants will have opportunities to share their own experiences and ask questions throughout this interactive workshop.

About the speaker

Vershawn Ashanti Young, who goes by dr. vay, has been writing for newspapers and magazines for almost 20 years. Two of his most recent pieces have been on the white-to-black racial passing of a Jewish college professor and on the controversial use of the Nword. dr.vay is a solo performance artist. 

At the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, he is the program development chair of Black Pan African and Diaspora Studies and a professor in the departments of communication arts and English language and literature. He is the author or coauthor of 10 books, including This Ain’t Yesterday’s Literacy: Culture and Education After George Floyd (Fountainhead Press, 2021), which has been adopted as a common reader at several universities. He also is co-author of Other People’s English (Parlor Press, 2019), The Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric (Routledge, 2018) and Neo-Passing: Performing Identity After Jim Crow (University of Illinois Press, 2018). He is the chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the largest educational organization dedicated to college literacies of communication.