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Sept. 21: Accent Discrimination: A Critical Race Theory Analysis

  • Columbia School of Social Work, Room 311-312 1255 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

INCITE proudly co-sponsors ACCENT DISCRIMINATION: A Critical Race Theory Analysis, an upcoming event hosted by the Columbia School of Social Work.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 12:15 - 1:45 p.m.

WHERE: Columbia School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Avenue (between 121st and 122nd Streets), Room 311-312

Who “has an accent”? Do you? Professor Mari Matsuda, a leading critical race theorist and feminist legal scholar, argues that we all have accents, and that radical pluralism is required in response to linguistic difference to achieve a vibrant equality and democracy. The Honorable Richard Posner, in his quantitative analysis of scholarly influence, lists Mari Matsuda as among those scholars most likely to have lasting influence. Professor Matsuda has written:

“When certain accents are deemed inappropriate for the workplace, for political life, for use in schools and boardrooms, a policing of public and private boundaries occurs. Who may speak, when, and where, is a typical mechanism for distributing power.

“Accents construct social boundaries, and social boundaries reinforce accents. The circumstances that perpetuate accents—including residential segregation, tracking systems in schools, and social distancing—are socially created. In distributing social standing according to accent we distribute according to accents we have, in part, created.”

Mari Matsuda is Professor of Law at the Richardson School of Law at the University Of Hawaii. She is visiting the Columbia School of Social Work as part of its Distinguished Visiting Scholar series.

Please visit the event page for further information.