Accent Discrimination: A Critical Race Theory Analysis

September 21, 2016 12:15 pm - 1:50 pm


Columbia School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Ave., New York 10027

Event Organizer


Who “has an accent”? Do you? Professor Mari Matsuda, a leading critical race theorist and feminist legal scholar, argues that we all have accents, and that radical pluralism in response to linguistic difference is required to achieve a vibrant equality and democracy. She is visiting the Columbia School of Social Work as part of the Distinguished Visiting Scholar series.

The event will take place in Room 311-312.

Can’t make it to the Social Work Building? Live stream available.

NOTE: CEUs are available (for nominal fee) for in-person and live stream attendance.

REGISTER HERE for all types of admission.

From one of Professor Matsuda’s writings:

“When certain accents are deemed inappropriate for the workplace, for political life, for use in schools and boardrooms, a policing of public and private boundaries occurs. Who may speak, when, and where, is a typical mechanism for distributing power.

Accents construct social boundaries, and social boundaries reinforce accents. The circumstances that perpetuate accents—including residential segregation, tracking systems in schools, and social distancing—are socially created. In distributing social standing according to accent we distribute according to accents we have, in part, created.”