Organizing for antiracism in writing centers: Principles for enacting social change

Moira Ozias, Beth Godbee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Despite an interest in antiracism, those of us in writing centers often have difficulty imagining ways to make broad social change within powerful institutions. The emphasis on individualized instruction can leave us mired in feelings that systematic change lies beyond our power as writers, instructors, researchers, and administrators. Much potential exists, however, for enacting social change, particularly when we acknowledge the necessarily collaborative and complex nature of this work. As the above geese analogy suggests, there is power not only in numbers, but also in shared leadership and collective action. While only one goose leads the V-formation, all members of the flock take turns in leading. The flock works together, conserving energy by shielding each other from wind and elemental forces. This model suggests the importance of careful attention to the group: to building relationships, setting shared goals, working collaboratively, and sharing positions of leadership. Just as geese gain distance by working together (literally by taking turns in blocking wind resistance), we can also advocate for a more equitable and just community by working as a group. In fact, the geese's V-formation provides a model of collective action used by community organizers that can inform our work in writing centers, providing us with tools to rethink our current practices, to initiate new partnerships, and to put antiracism into practice-not only in our local centers, but in our professional communities as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWriting Centers and the New Racism
PublisherUtah State University Press
Pages150-174
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780874218619
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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