Writing Center Journal


Though the conversation about race and racism in individual writing centers has developed in the last 30 years (Coenen et al., 2019; Condon, 2007; Dees et al., 2007; Denny, 2010; Faison, 2018; García, 2017; Greenfield, 2019; Greenfield & Rowan, 2011; Grimm, 1999; Kern, 2019; Lockett, 2019), scholars rarely discuss the racial climate of writing center professional spaces. This article reports on the findings from the Racial Climate Survey of Writing Center Professional Gatherings. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected in spring 2019, when participants were asked about their experiences and perceptions of the racial climate of international, national, regional, and local writing center professional gatherings during the 2017–2018 academic year. Results show a statistically significant difference between White participants and BIPOC participants in relation to experiences of racial microaggressions, tensions/comfort in professional gatherings, and experiences in sessions about race/racism. Across multiple survey questions, the lack of diversity noted by participants was one of the most significant factors shaping their experiences of the racial climate of writing center professional gatherings. Based on the results, suggestions for how to improve the racial climate of writing center professional gatherings are provided.