Shining Light on Linguistic Discrimination

Recorded in 2021

$ 59

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Society at large has mostly come to a collective understanding that we shouldn’t discriminate against someone because of their race, gender, religion, etc., but language-based injustice is still prevalent – even among progressive-minded people who care about social justice. This includes the legal system.

In this session, Professor Nathan Sanders (University of Toronto) will explore the connection between language, and how someone speaks, with how they are treated. In particular, he will discuss how misconceptions about how language works reinforce unjust social structures. He will then discuss ways to reduce language-based injustice.

The session will finish with a small panel discussion on linguistic discrimination in the legal system. One of Canada’s most high profile cases of linguistic discrimination will be included. Following the trial of David and Collet Stephan in Alberta, dozens of medical and legal experts filed a complaint against Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Terry Clackson over comments the judge made about a Nigerian-born medical examiner’s accent. Our panel will share their own experiences and provide tips to help you address language bias.

Accredited for 90 EDI minutes in Ontario. Approved CPD in BC. Others check with your authority.