February 2020 Newsletter www.orwac.org
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07/18/2019

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Greetings ORWAC members,

Recently, Communication has faced yet another large scale conflict over questions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This conflict has implications not just for feminist scholars and research about women, gender, and feminism because it also reveals the challenges that scholars of color, GLBTQIA scholars, and others historically excluded from the upper echelons of the academy continue to face as they struggle for recognition and support for work that expands the boundaries of what counts as legitimate and important communication scholarship.

The Organization for Research on Women and Communication has long maintained a commitment to nurturing a supportive academic community while encouraging rigorous and innovative scholarship related to women, gender, feminism, and social justice. In particular, Women’s Studies in Communication remains committed to advancing our understanding of the intersections of gender and race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, sexuality, and class, as well as the articulations between gendered performances, power, and representation in public culture. The journal has also aimed to feature the work of scholars from historically disenfranchised groups and ORWAC has sought to reflect diversity within the organization’s leadership. Furthermore, ORWAC maintains a commitment to our mentoring mission to promote the careers of the diverse scholars engaging in feminist work. We hope that others in the field find that ORWAC is a space for inclusion and openness to difference, and is a space where scholars who are historically underrepresented within the academy are welcomed to revise, challenge, and expand the field’s understandings about feminism and feminist approaches to communication studies.

The ORWAC Executive Board recognizes that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not merely issues of having diverse pools or even representation, but rather of strategically strengthening the organization over time with strong commitments to reflexivity, accountability, and transformation toward social justice. ORWAC and the discipline of Communication must also continue to learn, grow, and do better. ORWAC will be continuing the conversation about how as an organization, we could be doing more to ensure that our actions align with our commitments, and we applaud other organizations that are engaging in similar work.

Best wishes,

 

Leslie J. Harris

President, Organization for Research on Women and Communication

 

Kristen Hoerl

Editor, Women’s Studies in Communication

 

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