About the LJC
Language is connected to identity, histories, and communities–all of which can be heard within our communication. Communicating effectively and responsively in a diverse, multicultural society means valuing your own and others’ diverse languages. That includes world languages and linguistic varieties within English found throughout Georgia: from Southern American English to Appalachian “mountain talk” to Gullah Geechee.
The LJC’s mission is to identify, design, and sustain community language and literacies to equip culturally and linguistically diverse youth to participate in their communities. We work towards this mission through meaningful research collaborations that begin with community dialogues, become summer literacy workshops and events, and result in community accountable dissemination. This is all thanks to the generous support of The Spencer Foundation, Mercer University, and our many community collaborators.
The views expressed are those of the LJC collaborators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Spencer Foundation.
We engage in community-initiated activities to support youth language and literacy practices, address linguicism, and remove linguistic barriers to youth learning and becoming. This work begins by learning from local communities in community dialogues where we:
- Identify strengths and resources within local communities that are not currently recognized or drawn from in local schooling spaces
- Respond to youth, family, and community identified problems, questions, and requests identified during community dialogues
- Develop project teams to develop summer literacy workshops and community education events to address problems, answer questions, and respond to requests using the collaboratively identified community strengths and resources
Summer Literacy Workshops
The project teams for each free summer literacy workshop include at least one researcher, one community educator, and one community member. These workshops and one day community education events occur in community spaces and have three goals:
- Work with youth and community members to identify and describe language and literacy practices valued in the local community
- Support language and linguistic justice within the programming’s design, activities, embedded research, and resources
- Determine the best ways to support, sustain, and disseminate the collaborative work within schooling spaces
Disseminating What we Learn
Once project teams work with community members to define and design language and literacy practices that sustain language and linguistic diversity, we seek innovative ways to ensure these ideas and resources are made available for families, educators, schooling systems, and policy makers. This includes:
- Presenting the work at local, regional, and national conferences where there is a commitment to language and literacy equity
- Publishing resources, materials, and resources in Open Educational Resource databases, Open Access Journals, and at no cost
- Free materials for Georgia teachers, libraries, and schools with embedded professional learning