Community Change Award

November 30, 2010

Wheelock Associate Professor Maya Honda is being honored with Community Change, Inc.'s prestigious Drylongso Award for her work as a linguist and educator in support of indigenous language revitalization. The Drylongso Award focuses on honoring "ordinary people doing extraordinary work against racism" in the Greater Boston area, and exemplifies both the importance of making a difference in the local community as well as pushing forth a message of diversity. The Community Change Leadership Awards on November 30, 2010, will honor the awardees at the event and highlight the importance of work being done to fight racism.

"Professor Honda's work has not only made a remarkable difference in the Wheelock community, but in the Greater Boston community as well. We are honored by her nomination for the Drylongso award and are proud to have such a distinguished promoter of equality among our faculty," said Wheelock President Jackie Jenkins-Scott.

Community Change, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote equity and racial justice by combating systematic racism and serving as a catalyst for action and education against racism. CCI aims to make the historical and ongoing role that racism has in our society visible, and to challenge that role. The Drylongso Awards align themselves with this mission and were established in 1989 to honor people doing significant anti-racism work within the local community. Inspired by the book Drylongso: A Self-Portrait of Black America, the Drylongso Awards reflect the message of the book and the struggles faced when challenging racism.

Maya Honda is an Associate Professor of Human Development at Wheelock College. Her focuses are linguistics and developmental psychology with specific interests in language and cognitive development. Her work examines the development of scientific thinking and how to make linguistic examination of languages conceptually available to students of every age. Furthermore, she works to encourage language diversity through multilingual education. As a result, she has teamed up with teachers in Nicaragua to create culturally appropriate materials in local languages and has done similar work with community educators and teachers at the Oklahoma Native American Language Development Institute, the American Indian Language Development Institute in Arizona, and the Navajo Language Academy. She is author of the book, Linguistic Inquiry in the Science Classroom: "It is science, but it's not like a science problem in a book," and co-author with Wayne O'Neil of two books, Understanding First and Second Language Acquisition, and Thinking Linguistically: A Scientific Approach to Language, both of which grow out of work with Native American teachers and with Wheelock College students.

Wheelock College is proud to celebrate Professor Honda's receipt of this award and acknowledges her outstanding work in challenging racism through education. Professor Honda further carries forth the values of diversity Wheelock hopes to instill in its community and is honored by both her ongoing work in education as well as her acceptance of the Drylongso Award.

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