Dr. Cécile Accilien and Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither have received a publishing contract with Routledge Press. Learn more about their recent writing retreat!
Routledge Press recently invited me to contribute to a new book series titled, “The Antiracist Classroom.” Along with my co-author, Cécile Accilien of Kennesaw State University, we are under contract to author one of the books in the series, The Antiracist World Language Classroom.
Routledge Editor, Karen Adler, wrote the following: “Krishauna, your impressive background and work would make you the perfect person to author The Antiracist World Language Classroom. Practitioners would gain so much from your insights!” I, in turn, invited Cécile to join me on this important project. Cécile, who is originally from Haiti, is a prolific scholar, trailblazer and thought leader in world languages, French, francophone studies, and Haitian studies. With my background in Spanish, Afro-Latinx studies and diversity, equity and inclusion, I knew that we would make the perfect team.
Together, we submitted a carefully crafted proposal to Routledge, which was well received by expert reviewers, and accepted by the Routledge Editorial Board. Cécile and I entered our contractual agreement with Routledge Press on March 26, 2021 (click link to read more about our book). Our manuscript is due this fall 2021, and will be published in the spring of 2022.
This week (Aug 3-6, 2021), I experienced a 4-day writing retreat that gave me renewed focus and energy. Cécile drove from Atlanta, GA and I drove from Greensboro, NC. We met in the middle in Spartanburg, SC. We lodged at the Hilton Inn and Garden, and decided to make a work-vacation of it. THE RETREAT WAS FABULOUS!
While in Spartanburg, we wrote from coffee shops. We wrote while sitting at the pool. We wrote from our hotel beds, while lounging in our pajamas. We wrote from quaint little shops in downtown Spartanburg, while listening to live jazz musicians playing their saxophones in the square. We even worked in self-care, Black history, Thai food and sweet treats. We went to Cleveland Park, and walked and talked for miles. Much gratitude to my Graduate Assistant, Kayon Johnson, for mapping out such cool spots in the city.
Cécile’s check-ins with her family included a beautiful mix of French and Haitian Kreyòl. My check-ins included a melodic mix of Spanish and English. Language is our tool. Language is our soul. We both love the powerful proverbs and sayings that have survived Black Haitian and African American communities. It was fun to learn how many sayings are similar throughout the African diaspora.
Most importantly, this week Cécile and I were extremely productive. We shared such positive energy. The ancestors would have been proud of us. We could hear them saying, “You go girls. We’ve got you!”
I have learned over the years that for me to maximize my productivity with respect to writing, I need four alignments:
- The Spirit (For me, my spiritual center is Christ; for Cécile, her spiritual center is Christ and a spiritual mélange.)
- Solitude (The power of silence and me-time)
- A Powerful Team (Those who have my back)
- Time (As much as I can get or take)
If I am guided by the Spirit, my clarity, purpose and focus are at a higher level. Through studying with Quaker Minister, Sara Beth Terrell, I have learned so much about the power of silence. Therefore, I am perfectly content when I am alone. I love me, and I love what I have the power to create.
A strange paradox to my love of solitude is my love of teamwork. If I have a drama-free, supportive, goal-oriented, collaborative partner, we can change the world. This partnership is illuminated most strongly in my marriage to my best friend Julian Gaither; however, I also have found such a kindred spirit in my writing partners and colleagues.
Cécile and I kept stating how blessed we were to have such dedicated time to write this week. Our next retreat will be longer than our 4 days together, and most definitely near the water. We look forward to completing this book project. Please lift us up with prayers and positivity as we enter the homestretch. Also, we plan to launch a podcast very soon on the experiences of Black women globally. We have a splendid title for the podcast, guests lined up, and topics. Stay tuned!