CWPA Statement on Supporting a Diverse and Inclusive Environment

The Council of Writing Program Administrators is committed to ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and supportive environment in which WPAs, the instructors in the programs they direct, and the students in those programs can continue to thrive and learn. Consequently, we are committed to explicitly acting against any programs, policies, or other structures in society and schools that produce inequality, division, exclusion, or unfair advantage to any one group by luck of birth.

During the 2016 Presidential election, we heard harsh rhetoric that caused great concern among many of those in our community. Since the election of Donald Trump as President, we have seen violence and other hate-inspired acts on our campuses and elsewhere that make members of our community fear for their safety and futures. This election has also called our core values into question: diversity and inclusiveness have been part of CWPA’s research and administrative agendas since the forming of the organization. We have also recently started a more targeted effort to diversify the membership of the CWPA Executive Board, its committees, and the organization as a whole. What we know about how students learn to write, and how we might design programs to support that, is informed by those students' ethnicities, genders, classes, sexual orientations, abilities, religions, and languages; what WPAs from diverse backgrounds bring to us is a more informed and richly nuanced perspective that is invaluable to all of us, but particularly to the students in our programs. We also know that building a more just and equitable world in the future means explicitly confronting the structural problems that cause our society to be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, monolingualist, among other problems of injustice. So we continue to pledge to identify such problems and act against them.

CWPA pledges to continue its diversity effort and will also continue to foster inclusion more generally; promote research into student diversities; promote policies that increase diversity in our membership and in the population of people who administer writing programs; and explicitly act against the structures that cause injustice today. We will continue to work with reasonable parties to achieve acceptable policy compromises that honor all the lives, backgrounds, and learning conditions of our students. However, we will also continue to oppose the adoption of national, state, and university policies that harm the diverse students who learn to write in our programs, the diverse instructors who teach in our programs, and the diverse WPAs who administer those programs, and we will work to change those policies already in place.