The Department of Communication at the University of Louisville is committed to fostering and maintaining a culture of equity, respect, and inclusion in which all students, staff, and faculty, are welcome. We believe centering diversity across the department, through our theoretical perspectives, and in curricula is necessary to prepare students to engage, improve upon, and succeed in a diverse world. As a leading metropolitan research university, we recognize the study and the practice of communication does not take place in a vacuum. We commit to establishing an anti-racist and anti-sexist climate free of bigotry. Our goal is to be inclusive and work for the well-being and engagement of all people in an increasingly interconnected world. We stand for the eradication of prejudice, hostility, and discrimination toward any culture or group because these have no place in a just society.
When we speak of diversity, inclusion, and marginality, we refer to the multiplicity of ways individuals experience persecution, undue stigma, or hardship on the basis of their identity. Those adverse experiences take myriad form and intensity and have befallen individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, ability, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion in the U.S. and abroad. We acknowledge the economic dimension of exclusion from higher education and society generally, and specifically work to include: families that are disenfranchised economically, those in impoverished communities, first-generation students, and those who have been separated by incarceration or foster care. This list is not exhaustive and cannot speak to the specific experiences of those excluded but is meant to signal the multiple ways diversity, inclusion, and marginality may manifest in the context of our Department, our curricula, and our work.
As a Department we commit to concrete steps to ensure diversity is not a box we are simply checking. As we work to serve generations of students, we strive to engage and empower voices that have been historically marginalized, unrepresented, underrepresented, or silenced. We look forward to amplifying voices through our scholarship and curricula to amend the historic exclusion endemic to communication education, research and industries. We are developing new courses that speak to the way communication may disrupt frameworks of marginality, and we are engaged in a constant iteration of past courses to include multiple perspectives, historically marginalized authors, and cutting-edge communication research. In addition, we are developing more ways to support and retain scholars from historically marginalized groups. We are excited about our commitment to our community and look forward to working with each and every one of you today and in the future.