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Statement on Anti-Discrimination & Diversity

 

     Rationale for the Statement

(passed February 2019 by the WSCA Legislative Assembly)

This statement was prompted by recent (2018) social protests about racism and the rise of white nationalism; states' passage of legislation that allows for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity; governmental actions that aim to restrict the rights of historically marginalized populations on the basis of sexuality, race, ethnicity, gender nationality, ability, immigration status, religion and/or language; federal actions that seek to ban individuals of Muslim descent; and infringements on academic freedom that follow from scholars' advocacy. This statement functions as an opportunity for the Western States Communication Association to reaffirm its commitment to "principles of equal opportunity, freedom from harassment, and freedom from discrimination" (WSCA Policies and Procedures).

     Statement

(passed February 2018 by the WSCA Legislative Assembly)

 

The WSCA opposes the abuse of communication in order to silence, coerce or exploit individuals or groups based on essentialized differences.

 

The WSCA opposes acts of violence against all individuals regardless of differences.

 

The WSCA opposes all that discriminates, prohibits, and/or restricts individuals’ expression and movements based on essentialized differences.

 

The WSCA opposes official ties to groups, organizations, or governmental agencies that engage in practices that are discriminatory.

 

The WSCA opposes policies or actions that undermine or restrict diversity.

 

The WSCA opposes any restrictions on academic freedom.

 

As such:

 

The WSCA emphasizes our belief in the power of communication to have transformative possibilities in social relations;

 

The WSCA endorses the use of public protests, advocacy, civil disobedience and/or other nonviolent means of expression as (counter)responses to acts of injustice;

 

The WSCA fosters inclusive and equitable spaces;

 

The WSCA promotes equality of opportunity;

 

The WSCA endeavors for social change and justice in its pursuits;

 

The WSCA supports communication scholars’ and practitioners’ exercise of academic freedom.

 

     Aim of the Statement

(passed February 2019 by the WSCA Legislative Assembly)

While ultimate endorsement of this statement is an important step to conveying WSCA's stance on socio-political matters that may impact members of the Association, there are also additional steps to be considered. The statement aims to function as a means to enact the values inherent within. Thus, as endorsed by the Executive Council, and passed by the Legislative Assembly, this Statement would (1) guide future decisions and/or action of officers, Executive Council, committees, and/or Legislative Assembly; (2) be communicated to members, individual and department, of the Association, (3) be posted on the Association's website located under a newly (2018) created page that promotes its policies and stances on this and similar matters; (4) be given due consideration by current or future interest groups, convention program planners, and/or during site and/or hotel selection; and (5) seek the endorsement of affiliate organizations.

 Family Friendly Resolution

(passed February 2010 by the WSCA Legislative Assembly)

Whereas WSCA is a family-friendly association, and whereas WSCA is committed to making association activities accessible to all members, and whereas some members are precluded from participating in WSCA activities due to family responsibilities, be it resolved that WSCA commits to considering issues of family responsibilities when identifying and implementing association activities.

 

 

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