Statement from the Department of Communication Studies
Thursday, June 4, 2020

The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor at the hands of current and former police officers in recent weeks are a stark reminder of the systemic and institutional racism that infects the United States. We in the Department of Communication Studies stand in solidarity with those condemning these murders, demanding that Black Lives Matter, and calling for change. Moreover, we have been appalled by the use of militarized police tactics to attack peaceful protesters. These tactics are an assault to the core values of our democracy. 

The uprisings happening around this nation are a direct result of hundreds of years of discrimination and hate rooted in white supremacy. They are also a sign that people will no longer tolerate the cultural and economic inequalities that disproportionately affect women and minorities—inequalities that the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare. We believe it is past time for reforms that create more just and equal lives for everyone.

Given all of this, we recommit ourselves to being anti-racist and will continue working to eradicate racism, sexism, ableism, classism, heterosexism, transphobia, ageism, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination through our teaching, research, and service. We reaffirm our belief that human communication, in all its forms, must be at the heart of such work. Ultimately, we are dedicated to advancing communicative practices that encourage empathy, advance justice, and build ethical communities. 

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