Culturally Responsive Literacy

John Zimmerman, Mary Frances Rice, Ana June, Karla Baldonado, Aretha Matt, Peninah Walpo

UNM, and its branch community colleges, serving a unique and diverse student population, see literacy issues (speaking, listening, reading, writing) in every classroom and across every discipline on a daily basis. Additionally, this issue has persisted for decades, touching everything we do and everything that our students experience once they leave us. Illiteracy or struggles with basic literacy are impactful barriers that our students face, and these issues make sense to tackle from an interdisciplinary research perspective.

Teaching and enhancing literacy are not enough. We also need to pay attention to the unique populations we serve and what strategies can best create a necessary sense of belonging within an expansive definition of "Culturally Responsive". Positive change in this area will exert a positive influence on our entire state, campus communities, surrounding regions and for each individual student that we serve.