Communication Department Pledge to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


The Department of Communication commits to using communication to create a more just, equitable, and humane world. Departmental members strive to cultivate environments where everyone is valued, respected, and treated equitably. Given the frequent lack of concrete actions associated with  “diversity” statements and the limits of “inclusivity” discourses, which often function to increase belonging into systems that threaten and harm rather than transform and heal, the Department aspires to and supports anti-oppression, including anti-racist, teaching practices that value the importance of difference and acknowledge the role of power in shaping everyday experiences, while also centering marginalized communities and individuals. In course offerings and content, pedagogical approaches, faculty recruitment and development, activist research and community engagements, and awards and honors, departmental members examine and envision alternatives to oppressive systems and work collaboratively to create more livable, humane environments.

This process requires reflecting on the ways our own actions may be complicit in upholding harmful relations, as members of a university system that represents the presence and legacies of settler colonialism and other forms of white supremacy and cisheteropatriarchy. Accordingly, the Department commits to engaging in individual and communal reflection to imagine and implement ways of being, knowing, and communicating so that all those who enter into departmental learning spaces may be supported in leading good lives. This process also involves using communication knowledge and skills to promote inclusive, equitable relationships, communities, and processes, including empathy, listening, invitational rhetoric, dialogue, peacemaking, alternative dispute resolution, transformational change and other communication practices that foster belonging and wellbeing.

As part of these efforts, the Department supports the Brenda J. Allen Identity & Inclusion Fund to honor Professor Emerita Brenda J. Allen and her innumerable contributions to anti-racist pedagogies, policies, and possibilities and to enable future generations of students to continue her work of supporting more just, equitable, and sustainable communities.