The Wagner College Writing Center hosted an event called “Reading Between the Lines” on Friday, April 14, 2023, which involved an interactive gallery walkthrough of different works by lesser known writers and artists to encourage people to read more, understand more, and explore cultural works more freely than they had before coming to the event.
The event was led by Writing Intensive Tutors (WITs) Leslie Baez and Alexa Santiago, whose goal was to shed light on marginalized authors and artists to provoke a discussion about works that the media and general academic structure excludes. The event also included contributions from the Black Student Union (BSU) and Asian Pacific Islander Association (APIA).
Some of the works in the gallery included: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala, The Human Zoo by Sabrina Murray, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad, Linguistic Justice: Black language, literacy, identity, and pedagogy by April Baker Bell, and The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit, to name a few.
Participants were asked to leave written responses to prompts, such as “Has your identity affected your academic experience?”, “How can we improve academic environments for underrepresented groups?” as well as “Which strategy do you feel is most effective: Permission to Fail and Demands to Succeed?” This last question was based on research Alexa and Leslie read by Gloria J. Ladson-Billings titled, “I ain’t writin’’ nuttin’: Permission to Fail or Demands to Succeed in the Urban Classrooms.”
Leslie and Alexa concluded the event by leading a discussion that engaged participants in their responses to the prompted questions and shared what they learned through engaging in scholarship during the 2022-2023 academic year that focused on the academic experiences of underrepresented groups.