LAGRANGE, Ga., March 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Literacy Research Association (LRA) has released a Literacy Research Report entitled Racial Justice in Literacy Research. “For centuries, literacy has been at the center of the dehumanization of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, a national insurrection, the waning of a global pandemic, exacerbated educational inequity across the globe, and the recent anti-Asian hate crimes in Atlanta, it is fitting that we look to racial justice in literacy to illuminate a pathway for the future,” state co-authors of the report.
“Mockery, intimidation, bullying, and violence in schools and public spaces are signs of injustice suffered by individuals who experience racial violence,” according to a recently released LRA Statement Against Anti-Asian Violence. The statement also indicates that incidents from implicit bias to verbal and physical violence can be considered hate incidents.
The Racial Justice in Literacy Research report, which can be accessed on LRA’s site, addresses the status of race and racism in the U.S. and discusses how racism operates in society in general, and literacy research in particular. Race and racism in literacy research are interrogated by inviting the field to move beyond the Black-White binary that continues to impede racial justice in U.S. literacy research through a presentation of how race functions in the education of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. In support of the LRA Statement Against Anti-Asian Violence, the Racial Justice in Literacy Research report addresses hate crimes in the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. More broadly, the report addresses racism in literacy research to advance racial justice for literacy equity. BIPOC continue to face literacy injustices in repressive laws designed to regulate whose literacy is valued, who has access to literacy, and how literacy is assessed. The laws are a pretext for institutionalized racism that justifies and regulates literacy, as well as obscures unfettered and equitable access to all. No other skill has been equally targeted. The report ends with emerging principles for advancing literacy research that reflect racial justice, and in turn, literacy, and educational equity for all.
“We hope that diverse publics, including literacy educators, will utilize the report as a way to have critical conversations that will lead to actions, such as policy changes that address systemic racism,” stated LRA president, Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon, professor of literacy, department of reading & language arts, Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
LRA is a non-profit professional organization with 1800+ members who share an interest in advancing literacy theory, research, and practice.