Michela Russo

The RLL Gender Diversity Committee (GDC) was formed under the founding principle that encouraging a multiplicity of experiences and identities in the classroom is essential to an effective and inclusive educational environment. 

“In RLL, we recognize that personal self-identification should not be subject to debate,” the GDC mission statement says. “We also acknowledge that students are most successful at learning when they feel represented in an inclusive environment that is respectful of diversity.  As cultural contexts evolve, so do language systems and how they adapt to these contexts.”

Co-founded by an intergenerational team of faculty and students, the GDC aims to create pedagogical resources for the Romance languages taught at U-M which are continually being updated as gender-diverse language evolves.

Michela Russo, one of the co-founders of the GDC, was recently invited to the University of Minnesota to discuss this evolution of gender-diverse language at a seminar.  According to an article published by the Minnesota Daily entitled “Seminar combines foreign, gender-inclusive language,” Romance languages have gender encoded within the language in categories that English does not, such as adjectives and nouns, putting gender even more at the forefront.

Read the full article on the Minnesota Daily.