Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Communication Department’s staff, faculty members, and graduate students work to educate and prepare Aggies for an increasingly diverse world. Consistent with Texas A&M’s Vision and Strategic Plan, which demands a university that “welcomes and seeks to serve persons of all racial, ethnic, and geographic groups as it addresses the needs of an increasingly diverse population and a global economy,” we wish to affirm our department’s Statement on Communication Ethics and Diversity:
The Department of Communication embraces the development of a socially and culturally diverse intellectual community that is grounded in an awareness of the political and social structures embedded in the process and study of communication. As scholars and students of human communication, we must reflect on the myriad ways in which racism, sexism, heterosexism, trans-antagonism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination, inequality, and hate are buttressed by repetitive messaging — sometimes easily identified as “hate speech,” other times more heavily coded and too readily dismissed. In that reflection, we must seek to critically engage and systematically challenge the everyday communicative expressions that enable varied forms of social exclusion, inequality, and injustice. Hate is not an Aggie value. To that end, we embrace the freedom of expression and intellectual inquiry. We recognize that free and responsible communication is central to a flourishing democratic society and we advocate for ethical communication practices that include truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, integrity, respect, and reason. Moreover, we affirm the importance of diversity and recognize the necessity of including the voices of members of historically marginalized communities in our research, teaching, and service. Following the National Communication Association’s Credo for Ethical Communication, we “condemn communication that degrades individuals and humanity through distortion, intimidation, coercion, and violence, and through the expression of intolerance and hatred.”
The Department of Communication’s Climate and Inclusion Committee therefore promotes the values of diversity and inclusion throughout the life of the department: undergraduate and graduate instruction, research and scholarship, and service and engagement. These values include respect and encouragement for people of diverse backgrounds, including, but not limited to, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status. In addition, the Associate Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strives to promote the department’s own leadership in efforts related to DEI in the college, university community, and the field of communication.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
ANNUAL “COMMUNICATING DIVERSITY” STUDENT CONFERENCE
Every year the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University invites submissions from undergraduate and graduate students across the nation to our annual day-long student conference, “Communicating Diversity.” The conference provides a forum to showcase, share, and engage in discussions about scholarship on communication and diversity. We invite submissions related to, though not limited to, cultural diversity in “old” and “new” media, global technology, civic discourse, leadership, health communication, organizational communication, rhetoric and public address, interpersonal communication, and intercultural communication.
Detailed information about the conference can be found on our conference website:
DIVERSIFYING OUR GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
The Associate Head of DEI and members of the Climate and Inclusion Committee have been actively involved in diversifying our undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Examples of our activities include:
- The development of best practices and syllabus statements to promote diverse and inclusive educational environments in all classrooms.
- The development of new courses such as COMM 245 Difficult Dialogues on Power, Privilege, and Difference, COMM 338 Critical Race Discourse, and COMM 343 Communication and Cultural Discourse.
- The creation of our Certificate in Communication, Diversity, and Social Justice. This certificate is available to students of all majors at Texas A&M. To apply, go to the Certificates page.
- The promotion of strategies to decolonize our current courses starting at the level of the syllabus.