Diversity Statement & Diversity Plan
“As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences. The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples.”
The Brigham Young University School of Communications embraces its responsibility to create and maintain an environment of inclusiveness that engenders appreciation for diversity and unity. In addition to the promotion of academic excellence and life-long learning, BYU’s mission is to pursue the full realization of human potential. Our belief that human potential is of divine origin motivates us to respect all people and to value the rich diversity of the human family. We believe diversity strengthens our academic community and enriches the educational experience for all our students.
We seek a learning environment that reflects the diverse nature of our sponsoring institution, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As we do so, we recognize that despite our differences in cultures, ethnicities, languages, or social or economic backgrounds, “what unites us is far more than what differentiates us.” Thus, recognizing that diversity and unity can be mutually reinforcing, we seek a community, brought about not through similar attributes or backgrounds, but rather through mutual respect and charity towards all, so that we are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”
While we will not support practices contrary to doctrines of the LDS Church or policies of BYU, we categorically oppose prejudice and reject behavior that excludes, marginalizes or is derisive of others and we unreservedly affirm principles of justice, inclusion and equity. Faculty, staff, and students have a shared responsibility to promote a positive environment that is welcoming of all peoples.
In order to reach our goal of creating and maintaining a unified, yet diverse academic community, the Department of Communications plans the following:
“We each need to create the attitudes of inclusion, acceptance, and unity wherever we find ourselves…Each of us should be fair to everyone, especially the victims of discrimination, isolation, and exclusion.”
- Continue our ongoing program to identify potential faculty candidates and assist them financially to complete a Ph.D. program;
- Take an active role in contacting all possible female and minority faculty for full-time positions;
- Aggressively recruit female and minority candidates for our adjunct faculty;
- When possible, temporarily convert open positions to visiting faculty positions, to be filled with female and minority candidates;
- Arrange for short-term faculty exchanges with historically black colleges.
- With the help of alumni in large, urban centers (such as New York, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Houston, Phoenix, and Los Angeles), identify promising minority high school students who are in their freshman or sophomore years and are interested in communications; establish and maintain relationships with the students and their parents in order to recruit them to attend BYU.
- Invite and provide scholarships for minority students to participate in Summer Workshops hosted by the Department of Communications and Continuing Education.
- Identify and recruit minority students already attending SOAR (Summer of Academic Refinement, a program offered by BYU’s Multicultural Students Services), who are interested in Communications.
Teaching and Experiencing Diversity
- Develop a field study in Harlem and Manhattan to run parallel with the Department’s New York Internship Program in order to provide students with an in-depth multicultural experience;
- Develop a study abroad in Auckland, New Zealand in order to provide students with an in-depth multicultural experience;
- Fully implement “diversity across the curriculum” by providing the faculty with consultant-led workshops and professional development opportunities; We must work harder to build mutual respect, an attitude of forbearance, with tolerance one for another.
- Assess course offerings to ensure incorporation of multicultural viewpoints and monitor syllabi for inclusion of same;
- Ensure that diversity outcomes are met in professional lab settings; specifically that news publications strive to cover stories that reflect diverse viewpoints and that strategical labs strive to serve clients representing culturally diverse backgrounds;
- Proactively recruit guest speakers who reflect multicultural backgrounds;
- Financially support internships for students traveling internationally to cover College performing groups;
- Fully develop the international internship program, providing scholarship monies for interested students;
- Encourage and support faculty to pursue multicultural and international lines of scholarly inquiry.