On May 21, 2021, the 1-day virtual symposium brought together scholars, teachers, faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students from within and beyond UConn to explore and examine theories and discussions started during the first year of this initiative within LCL. We shared ideas and began building practices on awareness-raising and de-centering whiteness in curricula and classrooms. Former presenters, José Aldemar Álvarez Valencia, Nicole Coleman, Dwight Lewis, Ervin Malakaj and Terry Osborn helped facilitate the two workshops, following the Special Talk and the Roundtable that includes Kevin Bruyneel and Manuel Antonio Ussa Tunubalá, a Columbian student activist and “caminante” of the Misak peoples.
Angela Pitassi, a Ph.D. student in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies at the University of Connecticut summarized the event as follows: “The symposium was wonderful for two reasons: first, students were protagonists of their life experiences in the classroom and beyond; secondly, the symposium allowed for inclusive dialogue without forgetting that every individual present had their own experience, thoughts, and hopes for the future. Personally, I hope that this is just the beginning of future collaboration and exchange, working towards classrooms in which all students and all experiences are equally valued.”