Dear colleauges, students, alumni and friends:
The Department of Communication Studies condemns the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Sean Reed, and the continued enactment of white privilege across the nation.
These are moments when, for many of us, communication fails, words fall far short, and the sounds and images scrolling on our devices overwhelm. We feel at a loss, unable to utter our rage and our grief.
And yet we are communication scholars, teachers, and practitioners. We know that words and images and all the ways we communicate matter.
Let us state it clearly: We condemn the violence of white, patriarchal racism.
But let us also state what we stand for and who we stand with.
We stand with Black Rams Matter and Black Lives Matter.
We join CSU’s Vice President for Diversity, President McConnell, Dean Withers and the College of Liberal in standing in unity with our Black and African American colleagues, students, and community members.
And we join the National Communication Association, Rhetoric Society of America and other professional organizations in asserting the essential force of higher education—and the liberal arts in particular—as sites of positive struggle.
As students and teachers of communication, we recognize that demanding change is conflictual. Movements for justice are always deemed ill-timed and uncivil. We know that the powerful will always try to silence the disempowered. We see this right now, as every action for justice is condemned while the actors are shot at, sickened with tear gas, and arrested. Journalists reporting the stories on the ground are attacked and imprisoned.
We join with the calls for racial justice. We join calls for women’s rights, for GLBTQ rights, for Indigenous rights, for disability rights. We stand together for a more just and more humane world. And as a Department of Communication Studies, we condemn the rising tide of violence against journalists and against freedom of expression.
We also stand in hope: hope that collective and individual action can bring justice, hope that passionate communication devoted to democratic reform can foster change, hope that we can build in our community the justice and compassion for which we advocate.
To actualize hope, we need action. We can find resources at the Vice President for Diversity’s website.
If you experience or witness bias, you can report it to the Bias Reporting System.
We are a strong and diverse and resilient community. And we are a community willing to express our hurt and our anger and our rage.
Greg Dickinson
Mural by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez. Photo by Lorie Shaull.