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4C18 Update - Welcoming Survey Out and All-Convention Event Moving Forward

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I hope everyone has had a stimulating Fall semester or quarter, with bright and eager students, interesting work with them and colleagues, and time to rest and recharge for the coming year. I know I have, and I'm very grateful for my colleagues and students at UW Tacoma, and I'm most grateful these days for my hard-working colleagues associated with CCCC, all of whom are an important part of this year's annual convention. So thank you again to Jane Greer (Local Arrangements Chair) and her group on the ground in KC, and of course, the growing SJAC task force. Without all these and many other folks, like Emily Nafziger, Kristen Suchor, and Marlene Knight (at NCTE headquarters), we wouldn't have a convention or an organization.

Here's the updates on the planning and preparations for 4C18.
Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). This group is just about done with their initial duties, and likely will join the other…

#4C18 Update - Activist Workshops, Transnational Connections, and Tech/Access

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As you read about the new things developing around 4C18, please note the new volunteers in red text. I want to acknowledge their contributions. As in earlier posts, they are new members to the SJAC team.
Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). This work group is still talking with the local chapter of the NAACP and Literacy KC. They have also reached out to the Ida B. Wells Coalition against Police Brutality, BLM KC, the Kansas Human Rights Commission, KC Employee Rights Law Firm, and the ACLU of Missouri. Additionally, I've talked with Mayor Sly James' assistant in charge of his educational initiatives, and there is still a chance he may come and speak at our convention, but I won't know until much closer to the convention. I'm also currently talking with Literacy KC's leadership for ways they can partner with us at our convention. Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump…

#4C18 Update - Acceptances, Wait List, Cs Rally, Soundtracks, Yoga, and Sparkle-Whaaaat?

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This week there is a lot packed into this post. I hope it's helpful.

In the last few weeks, we've had a several additions to the SJAC, and I've tried to include their names in the work groups listed. Take note that we have several additional members helping us in some significant ways (in red text), and I thank them for their volunteer efforts, as I also thank the SJAC members who have been working since the beginning.
Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). We are still waiting to hear from the local chapter of the NAACP, Gillian Helm at Literacy KC, and the ACLU MO, and the Employee Rights Law Firm. I am in discussions with the education office of the major of KC, Sly James. I'm still hoping to have him participate in some way, perhaps in the all-convention event (see priority #8 below). Technology and Access (F2F and OL) (Stephanie Kerschbaum, Aja Y. Martinez, Bump Halbritter, Casie Moreland, Zan Goncalves, Bren…

#4C18 Update - SJAC Work Kicks into High Gear

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The work toward 4C18 in Kansas City is continuing to move forward with the good work by Jane Greer and her local arrangements committee, and Duku and the SJAC. As usual, I'll offer some updates on each of the ten priorities that the SJAC is working on with me. And a special thanks to Jesse Moore, who is my transparency officer on the SJAC. She collects much of the information I share each week. Her careful work is helping them and me stay organized and know what is being done. Thanks, Jesse.
Collaboration with local activists (Ersula Ore, Victor Del Hierro, Romeo Garcia, David Green). Both the work group and I have reached out to Dr. Williams at the local chapter of the NAACP, Jason Hale at Community Engagement and Education at the Center for American Indian Community Health, and Gillian Helm at Literacy KC. The work group contacted ACLU MO, Kansas Human Rights Commission (turns out they are not a good fit with us), and Employee Rights Law Firm. I am also trying to get a hold of t…

#4C18 Brief Update - The New Wait List

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I woke up this morning to find lots of discussions on social media concerning the new wait list policy that we are using this year in our convention acceptance process. It is new this year, and I do not know if it will be used next year. Let me explain why we are using it this year. And thank you for your patience in this unsual Cs year.

Because we were unsure about how many folks would accept or decline their invitations to be on the program and join us in Kansas City, I opted to use the wait list. I wanted to make the program as open to as many folks as possible who wanted to and could go to the annual convention.

As folks accept and decline their invitations over the next few weeks, we'll batch together those who can now be placed on the program (those on the wait list), and emails or new invitations will be sent to those folks. This is a more complicated acceptance process, but I felt it necessary given our situation this year. I didn't want to exclude anyone who could go…

4C18 Update - Off and Running

Over the last two weeks, the SJAC has begun its work in coordination with the local arrangements committee, led by Jane Greer. I approved the list of priorities as submitted and gave more particular instructions for each item. The chair of SJAC, Duku Anokye, began forming working groups to address each priority. We are off and running!

Below is the current priorities list for SJAC, and a few brief notes from me about each.

Center our attention around the needs and collaboration with local activists. A list of local groups and activist organizations, including the NAACP has been created and is being pursued to find out who would like to engage with us at 4C18. Among the groups we are interested in are: American Indian Health Research & Education Alliance (AIHREA), Literacy Kansas City, Indivisible KC, the local KC mayor's office, and the local branch of the NAACP. I'm hoping these groups can work with us, but who can and will is still an open question at this early stage. Id…

4C18 Update - SJAC Priorities are Submitted

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Over the last two weeks, a lot has happened around planning for #4C18 in Kansas City, MO. We added one new member to the SJAC, Tamara Bulter. Most crucially, SJAC deliberated carefully over all the suggestions for the convention that was sent to us by members via the Google survey last month and listed in the Joint Statement from the Caucuses. They provided me with this list of prioritized items to consider:

Center our attention around the needs and collaboration with local activists. Access to the conference both f2f and online- enhanced technology. Safety and security including how we engage with allies, availability of information to negotiate spaces, apps, and perhaps a pre-workshop that will set the tone of “mindfulness and preparedness.” Engagement with police or other authorities?Facilitate a variety of donations to local movements on the part of membership as well as other professional organizations that support the conference (i.e. book publishers, etc.). Letter writing campa…

CCCC 2018 Update - Task Force on Social Justice and Activism at Cs

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As you likely know, the CCCC's Executive Committee decided to continue with the 2018 national convention in Kansas City, with some major changes to the program and convention structure to include more safety measures for our members and more activist and social justice oriented activities and work while at the convention. While many of these activist activities and convention structures will be unique to KC, many may become permanent convention structures. For sure, this coming national convention in KC will be special, as we'll as have a larger budget to work with than what is normal or sustainable in future years. This larger budget is due to the NAACP's travel advisory in Missouri. If you want to know more about our nearly two-month process to this decision, you can read the CCCC 2018 Update letter that went out to all the members during the second half of the process. 
As promised and as part of the EC's decision, I formed a new task force, the Task Force on Socia…

Letter to CCCC Members about the NAACP Travel Advisory and CCCC Statement on It

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Dear friends and colleagues,

As of this morning, I have seen the good feedback and discussions that several CCCC members have posted in various places on FB and on the G'form I set up to gather your ideas for 4C18 in response to the NAACP's Missouri Travel Advisory. Much of the discussion has been frustration around the CCCC's statement on the travel advisory's lack of concern over people of color's safety, especially black members, in Missouri, that this is yet another version of the way white supremacy works. It prioritizes monetary loss or gain over the very real bodies and lives of people of color. I hear this. From a personal standpoint, I agree. I am one of those bodies. I know, first-hand how traveling in particular spaces can be unsafe, make one feel anxious and unsure about everything. None of this shit is fair. I know, really. I care deeply about our black members and the black communities in Missouri, and painfully realize that any decision we make abou…

Demographic Information Issue in the Proposal System

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Recently, it came to my attention that the system we use to gather proposals for the CCCC convention sent demographic information back to those who registered by email. This was information that proposers provided when they submitted their online proposals. If the proposer used their institutional email, technically this may give that institution access to the proposer’s personal information, which they may not wish to share with that institution.

Once this information was brought to our attention, NCTE quickly initiated changes to prevent the proposal system from sending the demographic information as part of the submission confirmation email. As of about 2:00 pm on Monday, May 08, the system stopped doing this. Again, this will NOT happen from this point forward. We are very sorry to those this may have affected.

I’d like to explain why we are trying to collect this information and what we’ll do with it. Because of how NCTE and CCCC information is structured, we cannot just find out …

Changes for #4C18 in Kansas City

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This post is meant to help those who plans on proposing a panel, workshop, poster session, or individual presentation for the 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication (#4C18), which will be in Kansas City, MO. There some important changes this coming year.

You can find the CFP online and be sure to look carefully at it, as well as the criteria reviewers will use to rate proposals. Below I'll highlight a few new things that can affect the way you write your proposals this year. There are differences from past years' conferences.

No Clusters, but Hashtags There are no clusters, instead, we have hashtags, which I’m hoping will be used in a variety of ways on social media. The hashtags are a bit broader. Up to 3 hashtags can be associated with any proposal, but all proposals must have at least 1 hashtag. These hashtags will be used to organize the conference program in a similar fashion as the old clusters, but because I won’t use the hashtags to funnel proposals t…

Day 3 of #4C17 . . .

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Well, yesterday, day 3 of 4C17 was a very busy, but wonderful day. I had more packed sessions. I saw some former students, and of course, I received my book award.

My first session was a small one with Lisa Ede and a number of others, a cultivate session on mentoring. It was a stimulating and informal, just the way I like things. As I sat in our circle talking with the group and listening to people's ideas about mentoring, I couldn't help but realize how wonderfully collaborative, engaged, and filled with goodwill most of the folks in our field are. It made me feel a very fortunate to have found the field of Rhetoric and Composition to work in and for, and Lisa herself has no small part in me finding my way to Rhetoric and Composition. She was an early mentor herself to me at Oregon State.

Next, I chaired a super-full session on mindfulness with Emily Beals (a former student of mine), Donna Strickland, Christie Wenger, and Jennifer Consilio. I really love it when folks incorpo…

Day 2 of #4C17 . . .

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Yesterday was a great day. Linda's keynote was wonderful. She reminded me of a great web site for teaching writing, Spurious Correlations. And she offered a great term that I'll use, Educational Intelligence Complex (EIC).

I got a chance to sit down for lunch with Victor. He and I are very similar in temperament, so every time we sit down, we have a great time. And we can't stop laughing and kidding. I am so lucky to have had him as my mentor. I can remember the first time I ever talked to him. It was a phone call to ask about the program at WSU. This was when I was deciding what PhD program to go to. Within 10 minutes of our 30 minute conversation, I knew that he was the man I needed to work with. He would show me how to do this thing, and I was right. He was and he has. I'm deeply and wonderfully indebted to Victor.

I was a respondent in B.08, a panel on socially just pedagogy done by three wonderful, young scholar-teachers, Carolyn Salazar Nunez, Danielle Bacigalupo…

Day 1 - 4C17

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Well, it's the first day of the conference and yesterday, the pre-conference day, was very good. Linda Adler-Kasner did a wonderful job managing our time in the EC meeting. With a full agenda, we finished 25 minutes early! And we got a lot of business done, some of which folks will hear about at the Town Hall on Saturday. So if you want to hear about some exciting news about Cs, come to the town hall meeting on Saturday morning!

Yesterday ended by going out to dinner with Charlotte Hogg (TCU). Charlotte and I were both MA students together at Oregon State back in the early-mid 90s. We haven't had the good fortune to see much of each other over the years, but we have occasionally been lucky enough to get together. And like the other times, last night was just a wonderful way to end a good day, with an old, good friend. It felt like we never left each other.

We ate at Altabira City Tavern, which is on the 6th floor of the Hotel Eastlund. The food was good, the clam chowder was g…

Bout ta Start . . . Stay Tuned

Well, I'm up and ready for my first day of 4C17, which is actually the pre-conference workshop day. I have an all-day Executive Committee meeting to attend, so I can't join any of the really great workshops offered this year. Portland is a city I know pretty well, as I lived in Oregon for some years back in college and just after. It is a wonderful city and has lots to offer visitors.

I won't lie. As I begin doing conference things already, my mind moves to next year's conference, the one I'll be running in Kansas City. I'm trying to stay right here, but I can't help think about things I'd like to do next year. But I shall put those ideas aside to enjoy all the hard work that Carolyn and many others have put into this conference.

BTW, if you are staying on the West side of the river (opposite side from the convention center), you can use your complimentary Max (light rail) passes to get to the convention center. It's about a 15 minute ride from Pion…

Heading to #4C17 in Portland

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I'm going to try an experiment this year. I'll be blogging my experience at #4C17 in Portland. I'm going to try to do at least one post per day, likely in the evening after the day's events are over. I won't make it to many sessions this year, as I'm schedule is very full, but I thought this might be a good way to reflect on things, slow down my experience, be present more.

My wife and I are about to leave Gig Harbor and drive down to Portland. More soon . . .


Is Grammar Racist? A Response

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After all the negative press in the far right-media and blog sphere recently over my writing center's antiracism and social justice statement at the University of Washington, Tacoma, a center I direct, I thought I'd offer a personal response to some of the most frequent misunderstandings and questions about the statement and my own teaching and work. These are my views and not necessarily those of the university or the writing center.

The Crapstorm  The hoopla began when my university did a story on me and the center's antiracism statement on Feb 17. It took about three days for the crapstorm to hit the far-right media. Many of the articles open with some kind of statement that suggests the center and I, or the university more generally, promote the idea that English grammar is racist. Here's a few:

"College Writing Center Declares American Grammar A ‘Racist,’ ‘Unjust Language Structure’" Rob Shimshock (Feb 20, 2017, The Daily Caller), reprinted on Feb 20 on Fo…