National Day on Writing 2020

Celebrate National Day on Writing at URI!

“Language is personal, visceral, and powerful; it is tied to our lands, to our bodies, to our relationships, and to our knowledge. Every time we speak or sign in our particular accents and dialects, syntax and rhythms, cadences and inflections, we identify ourselves and bring social history and personal experience with us.”—Antena Language Justice Initiative

Join us for the University or Rhode Island’s (URI) fifth annual celebration of National Day on Writing (NDOW) Oct. 18-22, 2021. This year’s week-long celebration will focus on language justice. We invite YOU to participate!

Language justice is a movement that recognizes every person’s rights to their own language(s). Language justice advances the idea that no one language, dialect or accent is superior to any other. Advocates for language justice celebrate language diversity and work to create language equity. They build spaces and imagine a world where people can communicate using the languages with which they feel most comfortable and capable.

Students across the nation have joined the conversation around language justice, using TikTok and other social media to share ideas and commentary. See what they have to say and, of course, how they choose to say it.


We encourage you to join this conversation. Here’s how you can participate:

  • Create and post original content related to language justice and share on your own TikTok or Instagram account with the hashtag #NDOW21URI
  • Submit original content to to be featured on our NDOW TikTok or Instagram account
  • Visit the Undergraduate Writing Center in Roosevelt 009 and the WRT Production Lab in Roosevelt 320 on Wed., Oct. 20! The Production Lab will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Writing Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participate in activities and games related to language justice, tag the graffiti wall, and snag some candy and NDOW swag!

Each day you participate, either by posting online or visiting in-person, you will be entered in a drawing to win a prize. Prizes include Apple AirPods, Ram gift cards, luxe pens, classic and high-tech journals, URI apparel and an external hard drive. The more you write, share and hang out, the more chances you have to win!

Need ideas for creating TikTok or Instagram content? Try these:

  • What is your linguistic background — your language heritage, your language variety, your dialect or accent? What do you love about it?
  • What are your earliest or most fond language memories? Stories? Songs? Conversations? Language games? Books?
  • What do your social events (family dinners, conversations with friends, religious ceremonies, study groups, internet forums, bodega interactions) sound like? Let us listen!
  • What assumptions do people make when they hear you speak or read your writing? Have you ever been profiled because of the way you speak or write? Have you ever judged or profiled others because of the way they speak or write? What associations do you have with certain accents, words or ways of writing?
  • What have you learned by watching other participants’ TikToks or Instagram contributions? What might language justice look like, sound like or feel like? What can you do to support language diversity, equity and justice?

Want to learn more about language justice? Check out the resources below.

RVA Language Justice Initiative
Why English Class is Silencing Students of Color
Don’t Hate on Spanglish!
How “Proper English” Is A Trojan Horse For Bigotry
African American Vernacular English Has Tones
Signing Black in America
Everyone has an Accent
We Been Knowin’: Toward an Antiracist Language & Literacy Education
Linguistic Profiling
Keeping Out Grendel

Contact Information
Have a general question about NDOW? Contact Stephanie West-Puckett at For more information about the URI Undergraduate Writing Center Activities, contact Heather Price or 401.874.5065. For more information about the WRT Production Lab Activities, contact Donna Hayden at or 401.874.5932