Public Affairs and Engagement Committee Endorsement of TESOL Statement on Capitol Building Attack

Posted By: Netta Avineri Public Affairs/Engagement,

AAAL endorses the recent TESOL statement focused on the US Capitol Building attack. AAAL’s mission focuses on “improv(ing) the lives of individuals and conditions in society.” To work in solidarity with others moving towards social change, it is critical for AAAL members to be aware of TESOL's statement about the attack on democracy, fueled by white supremacy. The TESOL statement and AAAL’s endorsement of it sends a clear message about the field’s collective perspective on the connections among democracy, systemic injustice, discourse, and social change.

Applied linguists observe and interpret the lives of individuals, the practices of communities, and the ways in which our interactions shape and are shaped by contexts in the real world. Critical applied linguists focus their observations on issues of justice including oppression, power, political discourse, language and the media, and racism. It is essential for the field to prioritize cultivating scholars and practitioners who are not only aware of and examining these issues but collaborating to contribute to social change - in our teaching, research, and public engagement.

Legacies of oppression and anti-democractic rhetoric continue into the present day, and have ongoing dire consequences in the lives of all in the United States. Examining the role of language/discourse in the media/online spaces, and their relationship with hate and political rhetoric, should be a collective endeavor. It is our shared responsibility in scholarly communities to attend to these consequences to effect a socially just society. It is essential to recognize and reckon with these truths in order to create a more just world.