The Language Engagement Project and the Language Center, in collaboration with Rutgers English Language Institute and The School or Arts and Sciences, are pleased to launch an initiative on Language and Social Justice.
Over the course of our country’s history, systematic disparities between segments of our population aligned with race, gender, and socioeconomic status have reflected deeply entrenched differences in individuals’ access to resources and opportunities. Although often overlooked as contributing factors, language stands at the heart of simultaneously creating and combatting these differences.
In the United States, ideologies privileging a so-called’ ‘standard’ form of ‘unaccented’ mainstream speech style, rooted in colonialism, patriarchy, racism, and xenophobia, have stigmatized language varieties and their speakers. These ideologies have perpetuated linguistic bias against historically marginalized members of our society, reified discourses of monolingual superiority and fostered institutionalized linguistic discrimination.
In spite of decades of research that demonstrates that all languages and varieties are functionally and structurally equal, as well as multiple calls to challenge these ideologies, the U.S. This project answers calls and endeavors to create awareness of, challenge, and transform these inequitable practices across disciplines and effect change institutionally and in the public sphere.