The Department of Communication Arts strives to be a supportive and empowering place in which to learn and work. We recognize that there are historically marginalized communities at the university, and that we have the potential to perpetuate structural inequality as well as the responsibility to work against it. We are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive climate for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual identity, gender identity, ability, age, parental status, or any other aspect of identity. Affirming UW-Madison’s strategic diversity interests, our department endeavors to:
- Increase access and opportunities for underrepresented students, first generation college students, and women
- Eliminate the achievement gap between majority and underrepresented students
- Recruit, support, and retain more diverse faculty, staff, and students, and
- Prepare all of our students, staff and faculty to thrive personally and professionally in a world that is diverse, global, and interconnected.
Comprised of representatives from each of the four areas, the Diversity and Equity Committee works to develop concrete strategies to improve our department’s climate while also serving as a point of contact for those with relevant questions or concerns. Specifically, this committee seeks to:
- Gather and communicate information about issues related to diversity and equity on a regular basis
- Provide education and training for faculty, TAs, and instructional staff about issues of diversity and equity in the curriculum and in the classroom
- Promote efforts to recruit, support, and retain a diverse student body, and
- Serve as a resource and liaison for those who have experienced incidents related to bias, harassment, or other issues related to diversity and equity.
The Diversity & Equity Committee has recently focused on activities such as:
- Facilitating department-wide colloquia on the topics of “Interrupting Microaggressions and Dealing with Hot Moments in the Classroom” with Donald Gillian-Daniel, “Trauma-Informed Pedagogy” with Sam Becker, “Making the Case for Inclusive Classroom Practice” with Gabe Javier, and “Scientifically Tested Methods to Reduce Prejudice and Promote Inclusivity” with Markus Brauer
- Conducting a survey targeted to issues related to diversity and equity amongst our graduate students and staff
- Diversifying our department by hiring faculty of color and improving our hiring practices
- Providing brief trainings during department meetings on topics such as difficult subjects, teaching international students, disability accommodations, universal design, trans-inclusive pedagogy, and diversifying the Communication Arts syllabus
If you have concerns about issues relating to Diversity & Equity in the Communication Arts department, please feel free to contact one of our 2021-2022 members: