Daniela Crespo-Miró (they/them)
In the spirit of collaboration and equity, I chose to serve in RLL’s Gender Diversity Committee in order to help work towards an environment, both within and outside of the classroom, that accounts for transgender and nonbinary faculty and students. As an instructor of Spanish, I have found it is essential to provide students with the tools, as well as the trust, to engage in gender neutral language that allows them to engage with their peers, interrogate their own sense of being in the world, and express their identity fairly.
Sabine Gabaron (she/elle)
Lecturer IV of French
Despite many changes in the French language these past years, I am surprised at and disappointed in how very little attention is directed toward inclusive writing and gender representation in textbooks. I am very much interested in finding ways to promote awareness and productive discussions, and ultimately collaborate in the development of teaching materials to strengthen our language program.
Nicholas Henriksen (he/him)
Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics
As a member of U-M's campus community, I strive to promote a diverse and equitable environment that embraces and values diversity in all forms. As Associate Chair of RLL, it has become crucial for me to acknowledge and address the barriers that can disrupt an inclusive learning atmosphere. One such challenge lies within the structure of Romance languages: our goal of maintaining an inclusive environment is hindered by the prevalence of gender-binary grammatical forms when alternative, gender-diverse pronouns exist. Confronting these realities also relates to my research as a linguist, and I'm excited to collaborate with my peers to understand how language is adapting to an evolving cultural context.
Michela Russo (she/her)
Lecturer II of Spanish and Italian
As a teacher in RLL, I acknowledge that pronouns intervene profoundly with the constitution of gender identity and a sense of self. Language is one of the most common mechanisms by which gender is constructed and reinforced, through both grammar structures and everyday-life language performances, especially within and across educational spaces. Language, however, can also be the site of micro and macro aggressions, oppression, and discrimination. As such, I recognize the enormous power that languages hold. I acknowledge and value the intersection between language, cultural and educational practices, and the great ethical responsibility that we, as educators, hold in honoring principles of justice, respect, and equity through language matters.