Diversity and Inclusion Statement

As a community of teachers and scholars dedicated to the practice of communication, we, the faculty and staff of the Department of Communication at Western Carolina University believe in the power and necessity of communication to address our society’s most pressing concerns.

Effective and productive communication is built on the fundamentals of diversity and the inclusion of historically marginalized voices and communities. We know that addressing matters of injustice and inequity depend on our willingness to have the difficult and uncomfortable conversations that will help us move forward.

As such, we commit to using our knowledge and experience to educate ourselves and others on the role of communication in aiming to create a more equitable and just world for everyone, especially including communities and people marginalized and silenced on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, abilities, economic status, and any other trait used to oppress and exclude.

Specifically, our department engages our campus community in the following ways:

  • We create a safe place for open discussion to expose students to experiences that are different than those they have lived thus far.

  • We challenge the content and research that has been historically elevated while silencing valuable voices by including and empowering underrepresented authors, creators, and contributors.

  • We denounce violent communication in all forms including threats, prejudiced and pejorative language, and all other communication that seeks to discriminate and exclude.

  • We share in difficult conversations addressing bias and discrimination we see in others and in ourselves.

  • We model empathy and perspective-taking for our students as the basis for understanding and learning from one another.