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.
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.
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.
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.
Larissa Terán: I am from the small border town of Douglas, Arizona which intersects with Agua Prieta, Sonora. That said, I have spent my whole life trying to consistently navigate between two distinct cultures. This personal connection that I have has fueled into a passion to do whatever I can do to ensure that all experiences and voices are heard in any environment I find myself in. As a graduate student, I especially consider this in my research towards the importance of media representation and marginalized groups.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and write DEI in the subject line. Thank you!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources
Places Offering Support:
Centers Serving Specific Groups:
Teaching and Research Resources: