Happy Friday, happy end of March, happy spring!

Most of you know by now that Gloria is retiring effective April 18. She has a new job managing volunteers, and developing and delivering various trainings for University of Arizona Extension. Among other things, this new job gets her in the same town as her grand twins in Tucson.

For many years, Gloria served the department and the university well. She earned the BA and MA from the department, later returning as an instructor and then shifted to a wide variety of very important roles across the university including serving as lead support in the CLA Deans office before coming home to Communication Studies. She worked with Sue to get us moved into BSB and has trained me in the job of chair over the last 3 and a half years.

The department is hosting a going away party at Café Vino, Monday, April 16 from 3:30-6:00. We will have cocktails, bubbly, and savory and sweet treats. Ann Gill and I will offer toasts a bit after 4:00. Please join us.

Katie G’s book is officially out! Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy of Dissent: Feminist Rhetoric and the Law. If ever we need heroes like RBG, we need them right now!

This afternoon, Dr. Leonarda García Jiménez, Associate Professor and Vice-Dean of Journalism at the University of Murcia (Spain) presents our next research roundtable entitled “Communication, Identity & Technology: The Social Construction of “Otherness” in Europe.”  The roundtable begins at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30th in Eddy 100. Immediately following the talk, we have space reserved at Nick’s Italian, 1100 S. College, for a social gathering.  They have set aside the game room area for us.

Many of you were at the CSUnite march yesterday afternoon. We joined thousands from across our community for a demonstration that hate has no place at CSU.

But, of course, it does. I chatted with a couple of folks who had found yet more hate-filled, white supremacist posters in the Education building yesterday.

When we say hate has no place at CSU, we mean that as hortatory, as a dream and a hope. It is so important to say this clearly: in fact there is hate in our community, on campus, perhaps in our department.

Our wishes do not make hate disappear. Our hopes do not keep people from posting posters. Our best intentions alone do not stop the aggressions against people of color, of different abilities. They do not quell oppressions based on gender, sexuality, national origin, age, or veteran status.

Yet, our wishes and hopes and intentions matter. Kenneth Burke writes that attitudes are incipient actions. Our hateful attitudes leak out even when we try to cover them over. Our attitudes of love and kindness, care and concern must also show forth. Albert Bimper asked us to tell each our own stories, to listen carefully to the stories of those around us, and to weave those stories into a larger whole that cares for and about our individuality and our collectivity. He drew on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words from his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” The next sentence reads this way: “Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial ‘outside agitator’ idea.”

It is easy for us to dismiss the posters and the swastikas and the nooses as the work of “outside agitators” or of individual bad actors. Regardless of whether CSU faculty, staff, or students committed these hateful acts they come from and are part of our community. They are part of who we are; they circulate in the same networks we circulate in. Their hate undermines all of our humanity and makes particularly hard the lives of those who are the direct targets of this hate.

What have we and are we doing in the department to confront this hate directly? We have argued for and hired in the area of race, ethnicity, and dialogue. We are actively studying our undergraduate curriculum; and we will survey and talk to students about the ways we are creating curriculum and classrooms where all students can thrive while confronting directly practices that undermine personal and academic success. We are committing ourselves to helping every student no matter their identity, background, or ability who is a CMST major or is in our classes to have equal opportunities to succeed at CSU and graduate.

Many people yesterday said it is not enough to talk. As communication scholars and teachers, we know that talking is the fundamental way we navigate this world. I will keep talking about hate and hope in the Friday email. We will keep talking about student and community opportunities to thrive and we will confront oppressions as directly as we can.

And I will say again and again, all of you are welcome here.

Well, this email is longer than I thought it would be! Good heavens, there is a little—ok a lot—of the preacher in me.

I hope all of you have wonderful weekends. For me I will buzz through today filled with meetings and conversations. Tomorrow, I will join friends at the café. I am like to bathe, scissor, and clip the dog. I may well make hot cross buns because, well, it is that time of year.

I hope you make this a good Passover weekend, a good Easter weekend, a good humanist weekend; a good weekend devoted if it can be to kindness, care, and connection.