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The MSU Denver Writing Center wishes to acknowledge those who came before us and lived on this land, the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The Cheyenne and the Arapaho have both been displaced many times via US Government treaties. In 1851, parts of Colorado, including the land our campus sits on, was promised to both tribes. However, due to the incoming gold rush and White settlement, these promises were not kept. The tribes were then forcefully relocated from their land in 1867 to Oklahoma, where they remain in small numbers on reservations in the state today.
The MSU Denver Writing Center also recognizes that the creation of our campus, starting in 1973, displaced not only the working poor and immigrants living in the Auraria neighborhood, but also small businesses and industry as well. By displacing so many, this campus effectively moved or destroyed the culture, community, and tradition of this land.
We are fortunate to call Auraria and MSU Denver a place of learning and inclusion, but we also recognize the loss of so many different people for us to have this opportunity. We are grateful to have the ability to work and learn on this land, and continuously strive to implement practices within this meeting place that break down colonial thinking and its effects. As the most recent stewards of this land, we must never forget the ones who came before us or their ancestors who are still with us. There are many ways to support Indigenous peoples today, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho, at The American Indian College Fund, Association on American Indian Affairs, or the Native American Rights Fund.
The MSU Denver Writing Center supports Black Lives Matter and is committed to anti-racism. We are proud of the statements issued by our university and fully support them (which can be found here and here). We particularly commend the President and the MSU Denver Board of Trustees for their commitments to use the university system for “constructive social and political change” and, to that end, we are now, and have always been committed to creating an anti-racist environment in the writing center and will become even more active in the university community in these pursuits. We also stand by the resolution of the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy and the Africana and Chicana/o Studies Departments as they strive to make MSU Denver more equitable.
We recognize that the police have murdered countless brown and Black people, including George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Atatiana Jefferson. We mourn the countless other Black, Brown and Indigenous victims, the numbers of which are growing every day. We acknowledge that systemic racism and police brutality are the causes of these deaths. In order to address these tragedies and enact justice, we support efforts by the Black community to dismantle white supremacy, and to end police violence. We support an overhaul of the current racist systems in our society, including our government and criminal justice system, and believe that such change cannot come soon enough.
We recognize the role racism plays in shaping educational systems, including here at MSU Denver. Because we focus on writing, we are deeply aware of the role language plays in shaping thought and power structures. Language and our attitudes toward spoken and written language are both vehicles for and symptoms of systemic and implicit racism. As writing professionals, we are called to value the language of Black, Brown, and Indigenous groups and dismantle the white supremacy embedded in social, academic, and professional communities.
In our commitment to anti-racist practices we will take concrete, actionable steps to challenge and dismantle practices that value white voices and uphold white supremacy over Black, Brown, and Indigenous voices in our community. (See below for a list of tangible actions)
We will continue to:
To that end, we welcome any and all feedback about this policy and/or our actions. Please let us know how we’re doing responding to our Antiracist Feedback Form.
It is important to us that we do not just give lip service to the idea of antiracism, but take concrete action to be an antiracist organization. To that end we have taken these steps, so far. We welcome any suggestions from the community, as well.
The first step was to establish the CIDCA Committee who is:
Activities that came out of the CIDCA committee and other staff initiatives include:
The MSU Denver Writing Center is committed to making our space, our resources, and our website accessible and inviting for the entire MSU Denver community.
We believe “accessibility” is both an attitude and a process. As an attitude, it encompasses ways of thinking about who we are and who we serve. As a process, it means considering how we serve and welcome the MSU Denver community. We believe “accessibility” is a process of constant tinkering and improvement.
The MSU Denver Writing Center uses the mywconline platform for scheduling and holding virtual sessions. We recognize that many screen readers may not work with the platform. If you are using a screen reader or need any other accommodation, please let us know. We can move your session to Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
If you have suggestions for how we can improve the accessibility of our built space, website, or any other aspect of the MSU Denver Writing Center, or if there is something that hinders your access to our built space or website, please email us.
Writing Center Director