2016 Annual Meeting Attendees be sure not to miss the following activities and presentations organized by CEDL, the Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics.  All attendees – not only those from underrepresented ethnic minorities – are encouraged to attend, in order to better acquaint themselves with the work of this population and the special challenges faced by its members.

1.    An organized session on Latin@s in Linguistics, Thursday, January 7, 4:00 – 5:30 PM in Salon 9/10

Participants:             José Camacho (Rutgers University)
                                Manuel Díaz-Campos (Indiana University Bloomington)
                                Silvina Montrul (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
                                Iman Nick (University of Cologne)
                                Rafael Orozco (Louisiana State University)
                                Ana Celia Zentella (University of California, San Diego)

The year 2014 marked the twenty year anniversary of the LSA’s Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL).  Since CEDL’s inception, the US American society has witnessed many important demographic developments.  One of the most significant involves the growing size and significance of the Latino population.  According to some of the latest figures released by the US Census Bureau (Ennis, Rios-Vargas, & Albert, 2011), between the years 2000 and 2010, the reported size of the Hispanic population within the United States grew by an astounding 43 percent.  This remarkable increase was more than four times that witnessed by the total US population.  Not surprisingly, this demographic development has also had a significant effect upon the linguistic panorama of the United States.  For example, of the 60 million US American residents who were classified as “speaking language other than English at home”, approximately 62% indicated that the spoke Spanish or a Spanish Creole (Ryan, 2013).                                                            

Despite the indisputable importance of this sub-population within the United States, ample research indicates that members of this ethnolinguistic community continue to experience regular exogenous and endogenous acts  of discrimination, through the systemic marginalization, homogenization, denigration of their heritage cultures, appearances, and languages (Chavez-Dueñas, Adames, & Organista, 2014; Lee & Ahn, 2012; Murillo & Smith, 2012; Reynoso, 2004; Urciuoli, 2013).   Furthermore, there is much research which indicates that US institutions of higher education are by no means immune to this ethnic marginalization (De Luca & Escoto, 2012; Salazar, 2011; Taggart & Crisp, 2010; Villamil, 2011). Nationwide, the Latin@s remain disproportionately underrepresented among the faculty and student populations of colleges and universities, nationwide.                   

The purpose of the this symposium is to bring to light some of the ways in which the linguists and the LSA as a whole can more effectively support the advancement of this vital ethnolinguistic group, both inside and outside of academia.  With this overarching goal in mind, this symposium has four specific objectives.  The first is to provide detailed information about Latin@s in Higher Education in the past, present, and near future. 

Speakers are José Camacho (Rutgers University), Manuel Diaz-Campos, (Indiana University Bloomington), Silvina Montrul (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Ana Celia Zentella (University of California, San Diego, Emerita).

2.    Meeting of the Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL), Saturday, 9 January, 7:30 – 9:00 AM, in the Shaw Room

Networking for current and potential members of CEDL.

3.    Special Panel on Hate Speech, Saturday, 9 January, 9:00 – 10:30 AM, in the Shaw Room

According to the FBI’s 2014 statistical report, for the year 2012, there were approximately 5,928 hate crime incidents (HCIs) involving nearly 7 thousand criminal offenses committed within the United States.   A careful examination of these HCIs reveals that the majority could be divided into three different category types: 1.) religion-based (17.4);  2.) sexual-orientation based (20.8%); and  3.) race-based (48.5%).  Included within these statistics is a significant number of language-based acts of hate (i.e. hate speech).                                                                                                    

As disturbing as these statistics are, it is generally agreed amongst law enforcement and civil rights activists alike that the actual incidence of HCIs are in all likelihood significantly underestimated.   At the same time, the damage which these incidents cause cannot be overestimated.  As an official U.S. Department of Justice report on HCIs on US campuses explains: “The widespread use of degrading language and slurs […] has two serious consequences.  First, the use of such language creates an atmosphere that permits conduct to escalate from mere words to stronger words to threats and, ultimately, to violence […] Second, even in the absence of escalation, bias incidents can have a traumatic impact on students, staff, and faculty” (2001: 5). 

Speakers are Susan Benesch (Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University), William Eggington (Brigham Young University), and Joe Tuman (San Francisco State University).