Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity Statement: 

In the Department of Communication, we acknowledge that there are groups of people who have been systematically mistreated and/or underrepresented in society, including in academia and in the discipline of Communication, as learners, as teachers, and as researchers. We acknowledge that these inequities are created and sustained by communication processes. To combat these injustices, we seek to cultivate an environment in which all people, regardless of their group and/or individual identities, feel recognized, heard, and celebrated through our service activities and our research and teaching practices. We seek to explore the means by which communication can ameliorate inequities and contribute to celebrating diversity.

We also support the University of Arizona’s mission regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion: 

At the University of Arizona, we strive to create a working, learning and living community where all members and visitors feel welcomed and valued.

The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) is committed to supporting a campus culture where all members of our community have equitable access to academic and professional opportunities and are supported in their individual and collective pursuits and efforts. For more information, please visit the web pages for The Office of Institutional Equity and The Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Land Acknowledgment:

We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O'odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service. 

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?

Diversity is defined as the presence of different group identities and their perspectives. Equity is defined as the equitable treatment, access, and opportunities for all people, regardless of group and/or individual identity. Inclusion refers to the respect and value that all people should feel whenever they are in a given environment, regardless of their group and/or individual identity.

Our Views on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

What is Diversity?

Diversity is the presence of different group identities and their perspectives. Diversity manifests based on factors that make us unique as people (e.g., cognitive skills, our personalities) and also our group identities (e.g., identities surrounding age, gender, ethnicity/race, sexuality, religion, SES, among others). In our department, we acknowledge and celebrate the diversity apparent in our students, staff, and faculty. We strive to give everyone a voice in the classroom and in our research, including those who belong to historically underrepresented groups.

What is Equity? 

Equity involves equitable treatment, access, and opportunities for all people, regardless of group and/or individual identity. Equity assumes that each individual in any given environment receives impartial and fair opportunities. In our department, this means that all people are granted the same opportunities to thrive in their specific roles (faculty, staff, student). 

What is Inclusion? 

Inclusion is the respect and value that all people should feel in any environment, regardless of their group and/or individual identity. This dictates that all people should feel that they belong and that they have value. In our department, every person should feel safe, supported, and comfortable in expressing their authentic selves.



Committee Spotlight

Jules Barbati: During my time as a graduate student, I’ve maintained an interest in using my research to bring awareness to social inequality and reduce prejudice and stigma towards marginalized groups. This interest is fueled both by my passion to ally on behalf of others, and by my own experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. My dissertation will explore a novel way in which media messages can be used to improve intergroup attitudes and promote allyship behaviors. 

Elena Chabolla: As a former journalist, English/Spanish interpreter, and as a staff member at the UA since 2012, one of my core beliefs is that all voices, needs, and perspectives have a right to be articulated and heard. Above all, I believe we must treat ourselves and each other with respect, kindness, and compassion. 

Kay Gim: Growing up in South Korea and pursuing my academic goals in the US made me carve the value of DEI deep into my heart. That said, I believe embracing "differences" makes us unique human beings. as a graduate student, I also consider this value in my research program. Since the beginning of my career, I have maintained an interest in building intergroup harmony. In particular, my research program explores how to promote positive attitudes towards marginalized groups, for instance, ethnic minorities, via various methods (ranging from experiments to machine learning).

Jake Harwood: I am a professor in the department with a career-long interest in intergroup conflict and intergroup harmony. My research examines ways that contact between people from social groups can ameliorate intergroup anxiety and stereotyping. Such issues are of obvious concern with ethnic and racial groups, for instance, but I am also interested in less talked-about intergroup contexts such as relations between age groups or groups based on ability/disability. 

Rain Liu: I am an assistant professor in the department. I was born and raised in China and moved to the U.S. to pursue my graduate degrees. One of my research interests is intercultural communication and persuasion, specifically, developing culturally contextualized communication strategies in promoting health and environmental conservation behaviors among social groups with different cultural norms and practices. I believe in the substantial power of communication in bridging gaps between people from diverse backgrounds, building up mutual understanding and a strong rapport. 


Questions or Concerns?

Please email us at comminfo@email.arizona.edu and write DEI in the subject line.

If you prefer to submit an anonymous comment or concern, you can do so here: https://bit.ly/3Tw55QC

Thank you! 


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

Places Offering Support: 

Centers Serving Specific Groups:

Teaching and Research Resources:


PDF icon COMM Dept. DEI Report 2021-2022 143.75 KB
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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