“You write in order to change the world knowing perfectly well that you probably can't... and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.”
The F&M Writing Center recognizes that language is powerful. It has the ability to enlighten, but also oppress by perpetuating harmful ideologies—such as racism, sexism, and homophobia—both implicitly and explicitly. As writing tutors, we are positioned to disrupt this process by encouraging students to engage mindfully with the weight and implications of our word choice.
We, the staff of the Franklin & Marshall Writing Center, promise to
● Maintain a space, both in person and online, that is safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all members of the F&M community
● Examine our own intersectional positionalities in our annual training process and weekly staff meetings
● Recognize and combat discriminatory language in all its forms to encourage dialogue promoting equality and justice within the F&M community
● Collaborate with interested campus community members to stimulate ongoing conversations about oppressive language and anti-discriminatory pedagogy
● Uphold our commitment to antiracism, equity, and inclusion in our search for candidates during the recruitment process
● Seek out and welcome feedback—in formats such as online polls, individual correspondence, and group meetings—from WC students, partner organizations, and professors regarding our commitment to combating oppressive language in all services provided by the Center
● Assess the effectiveness of anti-discriminatory practices to guide our work at the Writing Center
We know that writing is only one way of combating oppression, that the work is ever-evolving and ongoing. But in our role as tutors who read, write, and speak with the campus community, we can influence how we use language at F&M.
By taking these first steps, we endeavor to support writers in recognizing and affirming all authentic experiences in a world that too often invalidates them. In that way, our work will change minds—or even the world—one millimeter at a time.
-Writing Center Staff