Originally posted June 2, 2020
The Department of Communication Studies at UNCG expresses our shared commitment to recognize and address the tragic, brutal, and unnecessary deaths of Ahmaud Arbery (Georgia), George Floyd (Minnesota), Marcus Smith (Greensboro, NC), Breonna Taylor (Kentucky), and countless other African Americans. These killings demonstrate the ongoing dangers of systemic racism that dehumanizes, demeans, and threatens African Americans. These injustices continue amidst a pandemic that disproportionately affects people of color and people in fragile economic situations. We recognize the multiple, intersecting oppressions experienced by many African Americans due to the interlocking system of racism and classism. We acknowledge and share the outrage at these events and at the systems that enable them to continue.
Our department’s mission states: “We teach and research communication to connect people, create change, and work toward a just world.” We cultivate a culture of care, valuing each person’s inherent dignity while honoring our collective commitment to each other’s well-being. As students, scholars, and practitioners of communication:
- We listen and respond to the voices of the oppressed. To our African American colleagues, students, community partners, and constituencies, we respect and acknowledge the pain and share your grief inflicted by systemic racism.
- We pledge to actively practice anti-racism by preventing, confronting, and working to remediate all forms of discrimination and dehumanization. Let us know your ideas and thoughts about what more we could do.
- We affirm our academic and civic duties not only to speak out against injustices, but also to stand with, and take action for, peace and justice for all.
- We abhor violence as a method of gaining compliance or addressing conflicts.
- We affirm and will fulfill our obligation to speak truth to power, and to hold accountable the people and institutions that abuse their power.
- We affirm the urgency and renew our active striving for social justice, especially the inherent right of everyone—regardless of wealth, identity, creed, or heritage—not to live in fear and to feel valued as full partners in sustaining a thriving democracy.Silence in the face of bigotry and violence bespeaks complicity. We affirm our commitment to promoting and practicing peaceful dialogue. Even when such dialogue proves difficult, we embrace the obligation to recognize our shared humanity and to communicate across differences.