2021 Conference for Antiracist Teaching, Language and Assessment

Join us for the Inaugural Conference for Antiracist Teaching, Language and Assessment
An opportunity for instructors across a variety of disciplines to meet, share ideas and build antiracist approaches to teaching and learning.

A Free Online Virtual Conference held via Zoom

  • Friday, September 17, 2021 (11:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.)
  • Friday, September 24, 2021 (11:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.)
  • Friday, October 1, 2021 (11:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.)

Registration deadline: September 16 at 11:00 a.m.

Register Now

Keynote Speakers: Vershawn Ashanti Young, Victor Villanueva, Ana Milena Ribero and Asao Inoue; with roundtable discussion moderated by Jesse Stommel 

This conference is funded through an endowment housed at Oregon State University that was generously given by Asao and Kelly Inoue in 2021. The endowment is supported in part through the sales of Asao Inoue’s book Above the Well: An Antiracist Argument from A Boy of Color (WAC Clearinghouse and Utah State University Press).

Day 1: September 17

  • 11:00 a.m. Conference opens and announcements
  • 11:15 a.m. Ana Milena Ribero keynote and Q&A
  • 12:30 p.m. Zoom break (off-Zoom activities)
  • 1:00 p.m. Vershawn Ashanti Young keynote and Q&A

Day 2: September 24

  • 11:00 a.m. Conference opens and announcements
  • 11:15 a.m. Victor Villenueva keynote and Q&A
  • 12:30 p.m. Zoom break (off-Zoom activities)
  • 1:00 p.m. Alexandria Lockett keynote and Q&A

Day 3: October 1

  • 11:00 a.m. Conference opens and announcements
  • 11:15 a.m. Asao Inoue keynote and Q&A
  • 12:30 p.m. Zoom break (off-Zoom activities)
  • 1:00 p.m. Roundtable discussion (all five speakers)

Meet the Keynote Speakers

Vershawn Ashanti Young, who goes by dr. vay, is a scholar within the disciplines of communication and writing, gender, performance, and race. He brings all these together in his scholarship and public work. He regularly serves as a consultant to schools and organizations around issues of cultural competency, educational access and success for historically oppressed people of colour; around issues of gender equity, and what he calls the continuing civil rights movement. He is perhaps best known for his scholarship on the concept of codemeshing, where he advances that writers and speakers should use their home linguistic backgrounds to communicate, particularly in high stakes communication situations. He further advances that students and professionals from diverse language backgrounds should not have to sacrifice their language identities in the face of long-standing U.S. linguistic prejudice against such groups.

dr. vay has authoured or co-authored 9 books, including his recent Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric (Routledge 2018), Neo-Passing: Performing Identity After Jim Crow (Illinois 2018) Antiracist Pedagogy in Writing, Rhetoric and Communication Studies (Parlor Press 2016/17), and Other Peoples English: Code-Meshing, Code Switching and African American Literacy (2018 Parlor Press). He is currently completing two monograph and one teaching guide: Straight Black Queer: Gender Anxiety and the American Dream and When Teachers Hurt: Narratives of Failure and Success in Teaching and Learning and the teaching guide: The Pocket Guide to Code-Meshing: Raise Your Authentic Voice in Academic and Public Speaking and Writing.

He is currently a professor in the departments of Communication Arts and English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada. He has served on the faculties at the University of Kentucky and the University of Iowa. He has also served as an administrator within both Chicago Public Schools and Los Angeles Unified School District. He has served as a high school teacher of English, drama, and speech communication, and has worked as a professional actor. He still tours his one-man show “Your Average Nigga,” titled after his first book of the same name.

Victor Villanueva is Regents Professor Emeritus, a former director of comp, director of a university-wide writing program, director of an American Studies program, English department chair (twice!), editor of the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric monograph series of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, former head of that organization, its Exemplar, Rhetorician of the Year, among other honors. Yet with scores of articles, books, and talks later, he remains most concerned with the connections between rhetoric and racism.

Ana Milena Ribero is a proud Latina, Mother-Scholar, and assistant professor of rhetoric and writing at Oregon State University. Her research and teaching mainly focus on rhetorics of im/migration, rhetorics of race, critical literacies, and Women of Color feminisms. Her current book project, Dreaming the Nation: The Rhetorical Story of Dreamer Activism, tells the rhetorical story of Dreamers and the activism in which they engaged during the Obama years. Chronicling and analyzing the rhetoric in some of the most significant moments of activism of the 21st century, Dreaming the Nation theorizes and illustrates the radical, queer, and decolonial power of Dreamer rhetorics, even as said rhetorics often also deployed neoliberal and patriarchal tropes to argue for immigrant inclusion.

Asao B. Inoue is professor of Rhetoric and Composition in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. His research focuses on antiracist and social justice theory and practices in writing assessments. He is the 2019 Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and has been a past member of the CCCC Executive Committee, and the Executive Board of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. Among his many articles and chapters on writing assessment, race, and racism, his article, “Theorizing Failure in U.S. Writing Assessments” in Research in the Teaching of English, won the 2014 CWPA Outstanding Scholarship Award. His co-edited collection, "Race and Writing Assessment" (2012), won the 2014 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for an edited collection. His book, Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing for a Socially Just Future (2015) won the 2017 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for a monograph and the 2015 CWPA Outstanding Book Award. He also has published a co-edited collection, Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and The Advancement of Opportunity (2018), and a book, Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom (2019). His newest book, Above the Well: An Antiracist Literacy Argument from a Boy of Color will be out in the fall of 2021. 

Alexandria L. Lockett is an Assistant Professor of English at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. At Spelman, she teaches business, professional, digital, and technical writing courses that center Black Women’s epistemologies, narratives, and Herstory. This effort emphasizes access, collaboration, and knowledge equity. In particular, she is dedicated to expanding Wikipedia engagement among culturally diverse editors. Since 2006, she has integrated Wikipedia editing across the curriculum. Lockett has led several development workshops about Wikipedia editing to improve writing and research across disciplines at various colleges and universities, libraries, and community organizations like AfroCROWD and Black Lunch Table. Specifically, she serves on the CCCC special executive committee on Wikipedia (2018-current). She has also served as a consultant and technical writer for the Wiki Education Foundation (2015-2019).

In addition, Dr. Lockett publishes about the racial politics of technology and labor. She is lead author of Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods (WAC Clearinghouse, April 2021) and co-editor of Learning From the Lived Experiences of Graduate Student Writers (Utah State University Press, May 2020). Her scholarship has also appeared in Composition Studies, Enculturation, and Praxis, as well as Wikipedia @ 20: An Incomplete Revolution (MIT Press), Humans at Work in the Digital Age (Routledge), Out in the Center (Utah State University Press), and Black Perspectives on Writing Program Administration: From the Margins to the Center (SWR Press).

An extended biography is available via her portfolio at: www.alexandrialockett.com.


Jesse Stommel is co-founder of Digital Pedagogy Lab and Hybrid Pedagogy: the journal of critical digital pedagogy. He has a PhD from University of Colorado Boulder. He is co-author of An Urgency of Teachers: the Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy. Jesse is a documentary filmmaker and teaches courses about pedagogy, film, digital studies, and composition. Jesse experiments relentlessly with learning interfaces, both digital and analog, and his research focuses on higher education pedagogy, critical digital pedagogy, and assessment.