The Re-Awakening of Self Around Others

Going back to the IWCA Conference in Chicago, I have to admit, I had not heard of the key note speaker, Neisha-Anne Green before, but I did sense alot of buzz around her as the key note speaker.  I had been out of the Writing Center circuit for a bit, but as we settled into her speech, “The Re-Education of Neish-Anne’s Green 2 ”    there were definitely some takeaways:

-The defining moments she describes about a truer Black Lives Matter perception that one that has been painted by the media.  Coming across images of other individuals that decorated campus life with bananas wrapped with a noose, being questioned about why she was parking her car in a college campus spot because many referred to her blackness as not being worthy of such a position and more, there are many referring moments Neisha-Anne Green refers to in being made aware of her lack of whiteness amid a public light.  These are all tragic commentaries on how far the United States should be growing away from and recognizing equality in everyone.  

-I like that Neisha- Anne Green allowed her diction to range from writing identified diction to the slang and occasional crass word we often hear – showing that anyone, everyone, is connected to a discussion on topics that range from race, study, professionalism, and culture.  In between those, we all need to be more supportive of each other.

-Certainly there was the call to be more than a spectator, but being an accomplice, being active in demonstrating rather than active onlooker that would say, “I can’t believe someone would say that to you!” and being the individual questioning the other putting someone down, and questioning THAT action on behalf of someone.  It is so easy to say AFTER the fact of a negative action or comment, “I am sorry they said that or did that to you.”  It is a totally different thing to, in the moment, stand up for someone and defend them and their right to a variety of freedoms in the moment.

-The references to code matching were brilliant, as well as the steps Neisha-Anne Green made to the levels of her awareness of herself, herself as a black tutor and herself as a black writer.  Being an ally opposed to being simply a bystander and spectator as mentioned above, makes all the difference in improving the world today.  This instantly reminded me of the museum display at The Holocaust Museum, where differentiation was made between those that were bystanders, those that were allies, those that were collaborators, those that were perpetrators, and those that were accomplices. 

-The levels of involvement indicated in Neisha-Anne Green’s speech today also hit home- in a word full of diction inappropriate at all levels, from political, to social, to academic, we call can do our part to make an influence and a change.  If everyone took one major step to correct the injustices that we often find towards one another in slander, in print, in the media, in the news, things will and would change, and they can.  These negative aspects do not just stop involving an election, they continue on various mediums as we see every day, from movie magnets, to actresses, to actors, to the stage, to the radio waves, to print, to the academic campus, to everywhere.

-In referring to texts such as Strategies for Writing Center Research (Lenses on Composition Studies)  by Jackie Grutsch McKinney,  I liked that this speech enabled many to go beyond her speech and explore what areas of growth we can find out talents, our strengths, our weaknesses, and move on beyond them even further.  I always find I am never done being educated as long as I do not simply give up that idea.  Neisha-Anne Green helped emphasize this fact for us through a powerful speech that kicked off the International Writing Center Association Conference.  It was up to each attending member to take a piece of her experiences and make every part of our world a better place.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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