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Linguistics Department Statements

UC San Diego Linguistics Department commitment to anti-racism

June 2020

The UC San Diego Linguistics faculty express our sadness and anger over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other Black individuals. As linguists, we understand that language is political and that silence is complicity. Therefore, we affirm unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. We express our support of ongoing protests and other actions against the circumstances of systemic racism that lead to the murders of and violence against Black individuals. We condemn the recent acts of police brutality against protestors, and we condemn those political leaders whose reactions to these events have varied between threatened violence and near-total inaction.

We stand in solidarity with all who seek to make fundamental and lasting change to the institutions that we represent and that represent us. As humanistic social scientists who study the structure, acquisition, processing, and use of human language in all of its forms, we understand how language is all too often judged and manipulated in ways that perpetuate systemic racism, that support racist institutions, and that fail to achieve anti-racist goals. We also commit to fighting against the racism which has long persisted in our field, and will continue working to dismantle many of the field's methodological practices and academic incentive structures which have upheld and perpetuated colonialism and white supremacy (​cf. ​​Charity Hudley, Mallinson, & Bucholtz, to appear​). This is despite the fact that decades of linguistic research have provided a very compelling argument for the underlying equality of all humans and all human cultures. This fundamental equality should lead us to proclaim, both in word and action, that Black Lives Matter.

Alongside the goals and strategies for supporting anti-racist efforts within linguistics stated in the Linguistic Society of America’s ​Statement on Race​, and more recently amplified by their ​Statement on Racial Justice​, we hereby commit as a Department to the following concrete actions.

  • We will continue to educate ourselves about active anti-racism, and we will consciously aim to resist institutional pressures and practices that directly or indirectly perpetuate racism, social injustice, and inequality.
  • We will review our undergraduate and graduate curricula and, wherever feasible, add substantive and relevant content to our courses that advocates for anti-racism, social justice, and equality.
  • We will create events and training opportunities to provide our faculty, lecturers, graduate students, and IAs with resources to promote anti-racism, social justice, and equality in the context of our diverse range of linguistics courses.
  • We will feature talks in our colloquium series by language researchers whose work is informed by anti-racism, social justice, and equality.

UC San Diego Linguistics Department commitment to anti-racism (PDF)

UC San Diego Linguistics Department policies on bias, harassment, and discrimination

December 2018

Every Fall, the UC San Diego Linguistics faculty reaffirms our policies on bias, harassment, and discrimination.

  • We value and support all members of our community: our students, post-doctoral scholars, lecturers, and staff, as well our faculty.
  • We uphold the UC San Diego Principles of Community, and expect all members of our Department to do so.
  • We do not tolerate bias, harassment, or discrimination, nor do we tolerate retaliation against any person who makes or reports a bias, harassment, or discrimination complaint. This means both not engaging in and not ignoring bias, harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. (Relevant UC policy can be found here.)
  • In our capacity as supervisors, faculty complete mandatory sexual harassment prevention training every two years.

Anyone who feels unsafe has recourses and resources, and may choose to share their issues and concerns either with responsible employees or with specifically-designated confidential resources. Responsible employees are required to report any incidents of prohibited conduct or retaliation to Elena Acevedo Dalcourt, Title IX Officer and Director of the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). Confidential resources are exempt from this reporting requirement.

Responsible employees. All members of our community can talk with any faculty member in the Department, including the Chair (Eric Baković). In addition, undergraduate students can talk with the Undergraduate Advisor (Marc Garellek in Fall 2018, Gabriela Caballero in Winter and Spring 2019), and graduate students can talk with the Graduate Student Head (Kati Hout) or the Director of Graduate Studies (Robert Kluender). We promise to listen and to take appropriate action. Outside of the Department, all members of our community are encouraged to report potential cases of bias, harassment, and discrimination directly to OPHD.

Confidential resources. Anyone who feels undecided about filing a formal complaint can also bring their concerns to the attention of the Office of the Ombuds. Confidential counseling services are available through Counseling and Psychological Services (for students) and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (for post-doctoral scholars, lecturers, faculty, and staff). In cases that potentially involve sexual assault, relationship violence, and/or stalking, all members of our community are encouraged to contact CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center.

We are, and remain, committed to the safety and well-being of all members of our community.

Farrell Ackerman          

Gabriela Caballero          

Andy Kehler  

Sharon Rose

Eric Baković

Ivano Caponigro

Robert Kluender

Will Styler

David Barner

Marc Garellek

Rachel Mayberry            

Eva Wittenberg

Leon Bergen

Grant Goodall

John Moore


[See PDF version]