Department of English

Statement of Linguistic Justice

Xavier English Department and Writing Program

Fall 2021


Language can be used as a tool of power and has the ability to persuade, change policies, alter perceptions or beliefs, reinforce or challenge biases, incite violence and divisiveness or promote peace and inclusivity. Language reflects the ideologies from which it springs, and we acknowledge that what is commonly considered “proper English” is a specific dialect used by those in the highest tiers of power. This dialect is often called “Standard English” (SE) but contemporary linguists also use the term “White Mainstream English” to highlight the racial systems that inform this convention.


The Xavier English Department and Writing Program is committed to challenging linguistic bias and racist practices by acknowledging that multiple Englishes are equally relevant and that students have a right to their own language practices. We also understand that identities can be strongly tied to language and the words we use, as well as the labels others use for and with us. The Xavier English Department and Writing Program is likewise committed to ensuring that our students feel welcome in the classroom and that we respect diverse identities by using the correct pronouns and names of our students and colleagues.


We are committed to continued learning and growth in these areas and welcome feedback from our students and colleagues as we work to support linguistic justice for all.