• Allow for a range of written “Englishes” that do not merely conform to standard definitions 
  • Avoid assumptions about language and educational, racial, or cultural backgrounds 
  • Allow for alternate forms of expression through collaborative writing processes 

At the Center for Writing and Rhetoric, we centralize antiracist commitments in our approaches to tutoring and working with written forms of expression. We support the uses of various forms of English, in order to recognize and actively challenge white supremacy in language and grammar and its various usages. 

In our approaches to tutoring and consultant sessions, we understand that accepted and standardized Englishes have been defined in opposition to dialects already designated as nonstandard, designations that are influenced by historical and contemporary cultural and political ideologies about the people who speak those dialects. For first reads, especially with non-native English speakers,we should consider the larger point a student is expressing, rather than getting caught up in grammatical specifics. This includes considering different modes of expression that may be culturally dependent. We value different approaches to writing that challenge both standard and formal forms of composition. We also acknowledge the integration of personal and alternative forms of expression that may emerge in papers, theses, or dissertations. 

In this commitment, we restrain from overcorrecting our students and believe in challenging hierarchies in tutorship; we let ourselves be guided by the unique writing styles of each of our students. We advocate for uplifting each student’s voice and agency; thus, we work through a collaborative process that will help produce better writers and better writing, as defined by the students with whom we are collaborating. Since we do not subscribe to a prescriptivist notion of grammar and standard English, our function as Writing Consultants is not that of copy editors who locate every “mistake”; rather, we aim to work alongside our fellow graduate student peers to collaborate within the writing process together in a way that validates all forms and dialects of English. 

In recognizing our unique position at Claremont Graduate University and the presence of racism in structures of higher learning, the Center for Writing and Rhetoric and its consultants commit to embracing and integrating antiracist pedagogy and praxis. In line with these values, we hold a commitment to solidarity with all students.