Welcome to Friday! What a whirlwind of a week it has been and still will be!
Monday we started with our first Brown Bag research presentation. Scott lead us through some rich conversation about his book on human rights cinema. A wonderful conversation.
(Another Brown Bag research presentation comes this next MondayEric will be presenting on ethnography and his decades-long project on rural community in the West. Join us at 11:00-11:50 BSB A217. As always, the whole community is invited.)
Then on Wednesday Kit and Ziyu wowed us with their super cool work at our first colloquium. Sitting in the back watching the two presenting and listening to the questions I was so dang impressed by all of us. Amazing work by each of our faculty and students. Smart, thoughtful, supportive, helpful questions. I understand that productive the conversations continued after the colloquium.
Wednesday evening, ACT Human Rights Film Festival along with the CLABlack/African American Cultural Center, the departments of History and Ethnic Studies hosted a conversation about the symbols and history of lynching. The theater was full to overflowing with students, staff, faculty, community members. The presentations, the film, the panel discussion, and the Q and A were hard and powerful and important. They raised as many questions—more in fact—than the program answered. My friends, we have much work to do to make all of our community members believe they are in a space where they can flourish. That is what I learned.
It is an important lesson.
It was in the context of all of these events that one of you wrote to me the other night to say how proud you are of the department and how you hope your kids will find themselves in a department like ours when they reach college.
Well I am proud of us too. Proud of what we have accomplished. And proud of our willingness to confront honestly all that we still have to do.
To engage carefully challenging moments, we need deeply rooted and well-tended roots.
One way we want to grow these roots is by talking more often and in more intentional ways with our undergraduates. As you know, the communication club is up and running and doing wonderful things.

We are starting another new way to connect with undergrads. We are calling this our Conversations for Community orC4C.
Our first C4C is this next Wednesday on October 4 from 12-1 in Eddy 100. We will be talking with students about lots of ways of exploring communication outside of the classroom including study abroad, the CPD, the Act Human Rights Film Festival, and the Communication Club.  We would love to have dozens of students—majors and non-majors—join us for these conversations.
But let’s build community among faculty and staff as well.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. For me, a short visit with some high achieving high school students Saturday morning and then into the rest of the weekend. Maybe I will get a loaf or two of rye bread baked and perhaps I will read a few more pages in Arundhati Roy’s most recent novel.