November 19, 2020

MS in Professional Writing Adjunct Instructor, Emily Bailin Wells, EdD, Launches Anti-Racist Dialogue and Artifact-Based Initiative

Congratulations to Emily Bailin Wells, EdD, adjunct Instructor for the MS in Professional Writing program, on the recent launch of a new initiative: Holding | Space: De/Centering Whiteness

Holding | Space is a comprehensive dialogue and artifact-based program designed to support deep and authentic racial identity exploration as a starting point for communities that seek to be actively anti-racist every day. The project's target audience for anti-racist identity work is white people, specifically (but not exclusively) white women. As Bailin Wells describes, “In order to authentically engage in anti-racist work, we have to begin with our own racial identity stories; we must consider how race has informed our lived experiences (both consciously and unconsciously, explicitly and implicitly) and subsequently, how we see and understand the people and world around us.” Holding | Space centers conversation on personal experiences alongside engagement with texts and media pieces by Black and other people of color with a focus on texts that challenge Whiteness, White supremacy, and White privilege.  

The last few months have brought an unprecedented level of attention to issues of racial justice, police violence, and White privilege. And, perhaps most importantly, the concept of anti-racism has officially entered into the mainstream lexicon. Anti-racism is the policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance. A scholar of anti-racist pedagogy, Bailin Wells explains “It is imperative that we as White folks find other White folks to do this work with-- and not rely on Black folks and other people of color to support us, to carry us, or to validate us. Holding | Space offers a place to have important conversations that center on self-awarness, our individual roles in dismantling racist policies and practices, and how we can work to be actively anti-racist every day. This is on us: to do this work and engage in action together.”

On the Holding | Space site individuals can sign up for a free bi-weekly newsletter, one-on-one coaching and consultations, small-group discussions about Whiteness, and arts-based workshops that tackle unpacking racial identity. Bailin Wells sees her work with Holding | Space  as a place for conversations to start and new perspectives to solidify. “We all need space and opportunities to think, to ask questions, and to interrogate how we have been socialized and influenced by media images and messages to make assumptions about others.”

In the MS in Professional Writing program, Bailin Wells teaches the core course Document Design and Data Storytelling. To learn more about the MS in Professional Writing program visit sps.nyu.edy/mspw.

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