Chesline Pierre-Paul

Decolonizing Language Through Global Media Activism & Transracial Allyship

Together we’ll into the ubiquity of White supremacy as a core tenet of Euro- and Americano-centric political & educational rhetoric around language. Upon acknowledgement of these colonial realities, we’ll look into alternative paradigms that center language at the intersection of race, culture, and self-identity where global media activism & transracial allyship serve to establish anti-colonial resistance through powerfully unsettling creativity & transdisciplinary intelligence.

By the end of this talk, we will empowered to know: 1) how to use language to activate advocacy over privilege; 2) use language activistically to establish anti-colonial radical resistance; 3) become mini language intrapreneurial activists. Learn to be power through creatively disruptive activism and be accountable to the standard of social justice anti-racism impresses upon us to reestablish. Today.

Ask the speaker a question


  • Feilin says:

    Dear Chesline,
    Thank you for your presentation. I have to listen to you multiple times because there is so much information and wisdom packed in such a short amount of time.
    I also have meant to learn Haitian Creole as my step-mother is native Haitienne, and I am a French speaker. We usually communicate in French but I would like to make an effort to learn her language and culture. Lately I have been living away and haven’t had much opportunity but I also believe this will be important to show my siblings that I value their Haitian heritage.
    It is wonderful to hear about your story-telling project. These are the resources that I crave, to be able to learn more.
    Your work helping people reconnect with their heritage is so relevant to my family, as going forward, I am also seeing my sisters not learn Haitian Creole. My step-mom also speaks to them in French even though her native language is Creole and she uses it with all her friends and family. I wonder if when they are older and can make their own decisions about their needs in reconnecting with their heritage if they would be able to reach out to an organization or individual to help them in their journey.
    Your talk is invaluable to me as I am trying to learn skills for inclusiveness to use as I tutor my sisters Latin American Spanish every day. (this is my hope to giving them a resource to connect with their Spanish-speaking neighbors)
    Do you have any book suggestions for a white ally?
    All the best

  • Suzanne Zaccour says:

    Brilliant! Amazing presentation, thank you 🙂

  • yokmonster says:

    Thank you so, so much for addressing this topic so articulately. Relatable, comprehensive and extremely relevant. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

  • Jhony Andrade says:

    Thank you Chesline. Beautifully explained 🙂

  • LoboBobo says:

    Hi, Ches,
    Your work is very impressive. I love the commitment you have made to this effort.
    I found your comment about sometimes being strategically, or I think, tactically mistaken about interactions with people very interesting. It’s a good, alternative way of seeing that dissonance between two streams of a language.
    I think it is very important that there is a standard language structure and pronunciation, without which our methods of communication would drift apart until they are no longer intelligible, one to the other. For example, in this video, you could have used a Creole, but we would not understand you, and you really don’t expect that English users all over the world will learn a particular Creole. That doesn’t negate the value of that particular type of speech, because it expresses the experience of a people that could not be expressed any better.
    The term colonialism is very politically charged. People think of the western powers connected with the word colonialism. But in the context of language conformity, this also has happened in China, Russia, across the Arab world. It is the history of mankind that there have been dominant cultures and languages and others not dominant. And of course, those relationships can change and even reverse. I am sure their are places in Africa, there it is better to speak one tribal language and to speak it the right way, than another. So I am uncomfortable in that sense that colonialism creates an inaccurate “east-west” paradigm, when in fact, the relationship between language speakers, are in fact, as you indicate, all about power relationships around the world.
    What do you think?
    Great lecture, Ches!

  • Danielle L says:

    Wow, this talk is blowing up my brain in so many good ways! There are so many important concepts & practices unpacked here to think about and engage with… I especially appreciate the attention on identifying and disrupting presumptions of neutrality and of who has authority in language use. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Dejla says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful talk! I grew up and still live in Germany and am therefore as fluent as one can be in German. However, due to my visible non-whiteness, I still get asked invasive questions (i.e. “do you speak German with your parents?”, which is nobody’s business) whenever I am unsure about minor things like prepositions. (White) Germans often get prepositons wrong as well, thus it is only due to my appearance that I my status as a native speaker is questioned. So thank you for addressing issues like “native speakerism” in such an engaging way!

  • daniegomez649416 says:

    I loved this talk so much! So many nuggets, this is my third time listening to it and I get something new each time.

  • Alesia says:

    I’m learning one heritage language (Hungarian), but I should learn the endangered one (Louisiana Creole) too.

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