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Thu 28

April 28

How Our Accents Can Divide and Unite Us

Common Ground Committee

Location: Online

CAN THE WAY WE SPEAK BE A SOURCE OF UNITY INSTEAD OF DIVISION? TWO JOURNALISTS SHARE THEIR STORIES.

We all judge others on how they sound: their accent, their pronunciation, their use of slang. Some of us have been criticized for these things ourselves, mocked because we sound different from those around us.

The way we speak can be a source of division. But it doesn’t have to be.

In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we speak with Jessica Mendoza and Jingnan Peng of The Christian Science Monitor. They host the Monitor’s new podcast Say That Again?, which explores how we sound, how we listen, and how we can come to better understand each other.

Both hosts and guests on this show were once newcomers to the US. We hear some personal stories of how their own voices have affected their experience, and how listening differently can help us all find common ground.

Our show includes several extracts from Say That Again?, including a man who was turned down for a job because of his accent, and two women whose use of Black English – often derided by outsiders – has become a source of pride both professionally and personally.

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