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Gender Diversity Committee

RLL statement regarding gender identity and diversity

In RLL, we recognize that personal self-identification should not be subject to debate. We also acknowledge that students are most successful at learning when they feel represented in an inclusive environment that is respectful of diversity. As cultural contexts evolve, so do language systems and how they adapt to these contexts. Therefore, we share the idea that encouraging a multiplicity of experiences and identities in the classroom is essential to an effective educational environment.

At the same time, we realize that language textbooks and language-teaching practices may take time to catch up in acknowledging the many identities that students hold. To make our courses more inclusive, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures is taking the following steps to understand and address the evolving needs of our gender-diverse community: 

  1. hereby elaborating a statement to recognize and support a gender-diverse community in RLL;
  2. identifying present limitations and perceived barriers to inclusivity in the foreign-language teaching/learning context;
  3. collectively sharing a list of best teaching practices, such as incorporating options for students to pick non-binary pronouns, when available, in the RLL courses they take;
  4. designing workshops and discussion events to evaluate how RLL can further emphasize inclusion, in the case that Romance languages cannot offer non-binary alternatives; 
  5. collaborating with gender-diverse students to ensure that curricula are designed to best respect their identities and have appropriate discussions surrounding the evolving use of gender in language.