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Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The UNC Department of Linguistics strongly reaffirms the University’s commitment to honor diversity of all forms, and to ensure equal access to educational and employment opportunities. We are committed to upholding the federal and University policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment, verbal, physical, electronic, on the basis of all protected statuses, age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. Beyond this, we are deeply committed to maintaining a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all individuals in our classrooms, events, and all other areas of departmental activity. We value the richness that a diversity of experiences brings to our community.

We acknowledge the existence of past and present disparities that have prevented equal access to educational opportunities in linguistics. We seek to remedy these harms by actively maintaining a department culture that is representative and welcoming of the university and regional communities that we serve. We welcome course enrollment and degree program applications from students of all backgrounds, and commit to giving our students equitable access to mentorship.

As linguists, we recognize that many beliefs about language have been used to maintain systems of inequality and oppression. We commit to educating our students and the public about ways in which language ideologies that characterize some varieties of language as “inferior” create pretexts or proxies for discrimination based on other aspects of identity. In our teaching, we strive to affirm the legitimacy of all signed and spoken languages and dialects by discussing language patterns from a representative range of cultures and geographic regions. We strongly support our field’s commitment to the reliable documentation of languages, and to the application of our knowledge for the benefit of the speech communities that we study.

Diversity-related Resources at UNC

Linguistics courses that discuss diversity or language in relation to structural discrimination or marginalized peoples

  • LING 050. First-year seminar: Language in the USA
  • LING 138. Linguistic Anthropology
  • LING 260. Languages of Southeast Asia
  • LING 302. Language and Power
  • LING 303/561. Native Languages of the Americas
  • LING 305. Race against Time: Language Revitalization
  • LING 335. Structure of African American English
  • LING 541. Sociolinguistics
  • LING 542. Pidgins and Creoles
  • LING 543. Language in Politics

Links to resources related to linguistics and diversity