Listening with šǝqačib: Writing Support and Community Listening

Joe Concannon, Boo Balkan Foster

Abstract


This essay examines writing partnerships in 2016 and 2017 that invited community nonprofit volunteers and employees into šǝqačib, which is a Seattle youth (middle school and high school) Native cultural literacy classroom community. As a white settler employed by the nonprofit during the events described, I emphasize the wisdom of šǝqačib students who reflect on the collaboration. Drawing on Rachel Jackson’s work on community listening, I find that šǝqačib students demonstrate the importance of cultivating listening practices when community literacy practitioners enter identity-safe scholarly communities such as šǝqačib. I urge academic and literacy supporters in similar contexts to center Native and Native youth voices in their own terms.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.