Public Talk: “Black Lives Matter in Academic Spaces: Three Lessons in Critical Literacy” by Dr. Vershawn Young

Date and time: Thursday, February 24, 2022, 12:00-1:30 Pacific time

Free registration:

Speaker: Vershawn Ashanti Young, JD, PhD

Talk title: Black Lives Matter in Academic Spaces: Three Lessons in Critical Literacy, Dr. Vershawn Young

Talk description: This talk describes ways that teachers and the public in both Canada and USA have misappropriated the linguistic concept of code-switching as it applies to both Black language and Standard language speakers. The effect of such misappropriation harms rather than assists (as it is intended) Black language speakers in their pursuit of academic and professional discourse. Misappropriated code-switching harms Black language users socially, culturally, and psychologically and further contributes to state sanctioned brutality against Black bodies. Drawing from the fields of linguistics, socio-cultural education, communication, and cultural studies, the researcher presents three calls to action, framed as solutions to the cultural conflict about Black language use in classrooms, boardrooms, and technical and professional environments.