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Worth the Risk: Towards Decent(e)ring Whiteness in English Language Teaching

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(1 hour)
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Join the Bilingual Language and Literacy Investigative and Networking Group (BLLING) in welcoming JPB Gerald, MA TESOL, a scholar, whiteness consultant, and author of "Worth the Risk: Towards Decent(e)ring Whiteness in English Language Teaching."

The event will consist of a talk by JPB Gerald followed by a Q&A session.


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About JPB Gerald

JPB Gerald is an adult educator and doctoral student at CUNY (City University of New York) – Hunter College pursuing an EdD in Instructional Leadership. His scholarship focuses on language education, racism, and whiteness. A native New Yorker, he began his ELT career in 2008 when he was hired as a Guest English Teacher in Daegu, South Korea. He spent two years in South Korea, returning home to pursue a master’s degree in TESOL at the New School. He worked various ELT jobs around New York City during his studies, eventually teaching students from every continent aside from Antarctica, before taking a role as the manager of an adult education department at a community organization. His department led ESOL classes for adults and technology classes for senior citizens and he remained in this role for four years.

In his current position, he does employee training and curriculum development for civil servants, but his heart is in his doctoral work at Hunter, which he began in 2018 after realizing he felt the need to challenge the field he had come to love. His writing has been published in places including the New York State TESOL Journal, the British Columbia Teaching English as an Additional Language (BC TEAL) Journal, Language Magazine, and the Washington Post, and centers on the TESOL industry, the field of education, and the harm it can cause to its racialized learners and teachers. He has been featured on the Integrated Schools podcast and WSB-TV in Atlanta, and he hosts his own podcast called Unstandardized English, which focuses on language education, racism, and whiteness.

This past summer, after his article, “Worth the Risk: Decentering Whiteness in English Language Teaching,” was published, he began an ongoing project teaching small groups of educators how they can decenter whiteness in their institutions which he named after his 8-month-old son, Ezel (rhymes with “level”). He hopes that by the time his son is a public school student, these spaces will be safer for him.

He loves to run and has finished nine marathons, spends too much time on social media, and hopes you’re all wearing a mask and voting. He lives in Queens, New York, with his dog, Neptune, his wife, Alissa, and Ezel.

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