Question: CWPA pledges “to 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,” and WPA-GO is dedicated to supporting this mission. How will your selection to the WPA-GO Graduate Committee advance this goal?
Stacy Wittstock: As I have noted throughout this application, my research and professional experiences have often intersected with the structures that support continued racial, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic injustice in the US education system, though I myself have never experienced this kind of discrimination. As a white, cis-gender, able-bodied, native English-speaking woman, I am aware of the ways in which I am complicit in structures that systematically disadvantage students from diverse backgrounds–therefore, I am committed to continually interrogating my own positionality as a researcher in the field of Composition, and (hopefully!) as a future WPA.
If selected for the WPA-GO Graduate Committee, I would not only bring my commitment to support the WPA-GO mission of social justice, but also my own experiences as a witness to exactly these kinds of systemic and institutional discrimination, as an after school coordinator for a low-income middle school, as a coordinator for a writing support program that primarily supported underserved and underrepresented students, and as a teacher currently working in a racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse writing program. It was these experiences that shaped my decision as a member of the WPA-GO Mentoring Strands Committee to propose a panel for WPAs of color to speak about their experiences in academia, and these same experiences are shaping the ways that I think of planning an accessible and safe CWPA social as co-chair of the CWPA Local Committee. Thus, I hope to continue this work within WPA-GO as a member of the Graduate Committee.