The Council of Writing Program Administrators is releasing the following statement in response to HB2 in North Carolina prior to our conference this week in Raleigh.
Statement on North Carolina’s HB2
Council of Writing Program Administrators
In March 2016, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (HB2). The law severely limits protection from a wide range of discrimination, including preventing workers from seeking relief in cases of workplace discrimination, overturning local policies that protect LGBTQIA citizens, and prohibiting transgender individuals from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.
When HB2 was passed, the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) considered very seriously how to respond, given that our summer conference was scheduled to be held July 10-17 in Raleigh. Many of our peer organizations have chosen to boycott the state of North Carolina until HB2 is repealed. Instead of canceling the conference or moving to another location, however, CWPA has decided to come to Raleigh to voice our objections while in close proximity to the state legislature, to stand alongside our North Carolina colleagues who are protesting this unjust law, and to affirm the thousands of citizens who are already asserting that such discriminatory laws have no place in American--and North Carolina--society.
HB2 legislation runs counter to our mission as an organization. CWPA values and affirms difference. We are keenly aware of how this legislation affects our colleagues and students across the state, especially those who are LGBTQIA, and it reinforces the need for us to stand fast to our ethical and civic responsibilities. Our organization is composed of teachers of rhetoric and writing and administrators who frequently interact with other publics, including legislators. As such, we use and teach the tools of language in ways that encourage full civic participation, including criticism of unjust actions and language. We are faced with one of those moments as we enter Raleigh as leaders in higher education and as guests, joining our North Carolina-based members who are living through the unjustness of HB2.
HB2 reinforces and institutionalizes discrimination, intimidation, and gross abuse of political authority. The Council of Writing Program Administrators stands against HB2 in solidarity with our North Carolina colleagues as we gather in Raleigh.