Department of Communication and Media Studies Pledge of Commitment to Racial Justice

The Department of Communication and Media Studies continues to be enraged and heartbroken by the systemic racism in our communities. We extend our solidarity with Black and brown students, staff and faculty at Stetson University and with the larger Black and brown communities across our country and the world. We denounce systemic, institutional and individual racism. We affirm that Black lives matter.

As educators in the Communication, Media and Journalism fields, we commit our study and our practice of communication to productive action, including the creation of an environment where those who have been historically marginalized are welcome, affirmed, included and valued, and where racism and discrimination are not tolerated and actively rejected.

The Department of Communication and Media Studies pledges the following actions:

  • We will be more aware of our own implicit and unconscious biases and will work to reduce and fight against them.
  • We will use our privilege to speak out against racism, injustice and inequality.
  • We will ensure our classrooms and programs are spaces where all students are valued and supported in their personal and intellectual growth and learning.
  • We will continue to be open to the review and discussion of institutionalized racism and its repercussions in our classes.
  • We will collaborate with others and support them as we create spaces of change, work toward social justice, and disrupt oppressive structures.
  • We will identify practices of white privilege and dominance within the communication and media studies field and interrogate those assumptions and structures. We will endeavor to critically examine our own work and teaching to ensure that we:
    • Include diverse theories and practices.
    • Include work produced by individuals from historically marginalized groups of people, including Black people, Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC).
    • Address the fullness and wholeness of the lives of marginalized individuals and communities, as well as the violence, injustices and discrimination they face.
    • Include the importance of understanding intersectionality and how it shapes an individual’s experiences of oppression and marginalization.
    • Use our yearly curriculum and program assessment to evaluate our progress toward these goals.
  • We will increase our demand for a larger enrollment, employment and retention of BIPOC students, faculty and staff at Stetson, and will continue to proactively ensure candidate pools for future job openings in our department reflect our students and the world.
  • While we aren’t perfect, and recognize that we may make mistakes, we are committed to addressing and minimizing harm caused by structures of oppression and will ensure our actions, both personally and professionally, work toward righting wrongs.

Signed,

Su Young Choi – Assistant Professor

Andy Dehnart – Visiting Assistant Professor

Mary Grieder – Adjunct Professor

George Griffin – Adjunct Professor

Erik Johnson – Assistant Professor

Michael McFarland – Associate Professor

Jelena Petrovic – Associate Professor

Tara Schuwerk – Associate Professor