Pass The Mic Series

Dismantling Racism: Working from the Inside Out (July, 2020) In the first of our Pass the Mic series, Ayanna Cooper provides resources that support anti-racism, equity, and access in the U.S. The article also contains a list of just a few resources and organizations that can help to elevate our own understanding of how to dismantle racism while at the same time moving the work forward.

The Weaponization of English (August, 2020) In the second installment, Kisha C. Bryan and JPB Gerald examine coded language, position statements, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the spirit of acknowledgement and reconciliation

And Justice for ELs (September, 2020) And Justice for ELs is an essential resource for school leaders. Ayanna Cooper, editor of Language Magazine’s Pass the Mic series and a former U.S. Department of State English language specialist, has “been there, done that” and is now sharing how best to translate today’s federal mandates into actionable steps for ensuring the civil rights of our nation’s multilingual learners.

Questions to Ask Ourselves (October, 2020) Jolisa Beavers examines the role of language in constructing a homeplace in challenging times. The author argues that that today, a homeplace is also a space of companionship. A place where compassion thrives, equity and anti-racism discussions are being had, and structures and policies are being reimagined. Individuals in this space trust each other enough to share openly and honestly, even without professionalism, without the fear of being shamed, ridiculed, or oppressed in any way.


Leading and Learning (December 2020) Kia Myrick McDaniel examines the practitioners, systems, and structures in educational equity. The author states that as we continue the pursuit of equity across the country, no more salient example of the shift to inclusion and representation has occurred than the nomination and election of Kamala Harris.

A Voice for English Teachers in Africa (January 2021) Okon Effiong describes efforts to boost professional development both by and for English language teachers from Africa

Black History in the Community (February 2021) Settenah A. Wright explains why teachers of English learners need to teach local Black history and how to do it. Wright insists that there is no doubt that K–12 English learners (ELs) who are being educated in the U.S. should receive instruction about Black American history related to their communities.

All Englishes Matter (March 2021) Mary Romney explains the need for inclusive listening materials. The exclusive or predominant use of inner-circle Englishes in English language teaching (ELT) materials creates and perpetuates myths about the ownership and legitimacy of English. It maintains the hegemonic structure that privileges inner-circle Englishes.

After Whiteness (April 2021) J. P. B. Gerald, Vijay A. Ramjattan, and Scott Stillar present the first part of a vision of a possible future for English language teaching. From the canon to hiring practices to the classroom, we would be speaking about an entirely different field of English language teaching (ELT) if Whiteness were no longer centered, and although we are years of hard work away from this possibility, any calls for radical change are well served by pointing toward a possible future, and as such it is valuable to entertain the idea.


“Who You Be?”: Welcoming in the Language of Critical Love (May 2021) Shekema S. Dunlap, Millicent Carmouche, and Natasha Thornton share the power of being in African American language. To establish and maintain classrooms that are culturally responsive to the linguistic resources of students, the journey begins and ends with the teacher—teachers who understand that loving and humanizing pedagogies are not just about instruction but a way of believing and living.

Shackles by Any Name… (June 2021) Bremen de Haan and Darlyne de Haan see Juneteenth as an opportunity to address the societal legacy of slavery in the U.S. and the consequent educational inequalities.

Young, Bilingual, and Black (July 2021) Ayanna Cooper shows how fostering bilingualism and biliteracy works at Boston’s Toussaint L’Ouverture Academy

After Whiteness, Part Two (August 2021) J. P. B Gerald, Vijay A. Ramjattan, and Scott Stillar stress the importance of decentering Whiteness in English language teacher training and recruitment

Make English Truly a World Language (September 2021) Venice Irving and Anna Hearrell explain how cultural awareness can bridge the English divide