ETSU Department of Communication & Performance
Statement on Recent Events and Matters of Race
June 3, 2020
One of the critical goals of the programs in the Department of Communication & Performance at ETSU is to “promote civic engagement, social responsibility, and civil dialogue in local, national, and global arenas.” And one of our core values is inclusiveness “that fosters respectful, ethical engagements and dialogues across populations and communities, and that advocates for free and open exchange of ideas, sustained democratic values, and working for the public good.” These components of who we are as a department compel us to respond to recent events at national and local levels.
The faculty and staff of the Department of Communication & Performance recognize that the brutal and senseless death of George Floyd exists not as an isolated incident but only the most recent, prominent example of the disturbing inequalities of basic human rights across populations and communities in our country. Further, we contend that systemic racism stands at the center of that unequal distribution and that we have much work to do uprooting it. We recognize that compassion is critical to the work of uprooting racism, and we stand in solidarity with ETSU students, staff, and faculty of color. But we know that compassion alone is not enough.
We are committed to fighting social injustice—in our classrooms, our scholarship, and our communities. In that, we—a predominately white faculty—also affirm our commitment to listen to and validate the stories of those directly impacted by racial discrimination. We will continue to use, teach our students to use, and seek out new ways to use, the power of communication and story to create a more humane and equitable world, where all people enjoy life and liberty, regardless of skin color.