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Antiracism and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives

This webpage is devoted to publicizing the SUNY Geneseo Department of Communication's efforts to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Antiracism. To learn more, please click on and read the information shown below.

The Department of Communication's Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and Antiracism

The SUNY Geneseo Department of Communication recognizes the differences between racist, non-racist, and antiracist academic cultures and commits to growing as an antiracist department. We commit to serving as allies to individuals who have experienced prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, and/or exclusion. We acknowledge that racism at both the individual and structural levels continues to be prevalent. We believe racism should not be ignored or condoned.

We commit to sharing the responsibility for increasing inclusivity, heightening awareness, strengthening empathy, and fostering empowerment. We believe it is our responsibility to actively contribute to an inclusive and equitable environment and to challenge discrimination and bias.

We commit to taking an intersectional approach to antiracism and we stand together against any and all forms of social oppression and injustice. We recognize that students, faculty, staff and administrators may belong to multiple social identity groups. We also recognize that racism often occurs in tandem with other systems of oppression (e.g., sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, among others).

We commit to celebrating our differences. We believe our differences, whether rooted in race, gender, religion, sexuality, ability, age, nationality, language and other factors, ultimately make us stronger and open our eyes to a multitude of various perspectives and experiences.

We commit to creating and fostering a departmental culture in which members are interveners and active bystanders who identify and interrupt racism in all forms.

We commit to creating mechanisms to encourage accountability to address racial and racist incidents.

We commit to providing educational resources about social awareness by integrating social injustice related topics into our curriculum and offering courses that highlight antiracism practices and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts. Courses offered during the 2020-2021 academic year include but are not limited to these 13 coursesWe share these additional educational resources to support our growth as an antiracist department.

We recognize the work that is required to grow as an antiracist department and commit to making that effort.

Faculty and staff in the Department of Communication:  Sasha Allgayer, Jonathan M. Bullinger, Karen Dickerson, Meredith Harrigan, Andrew Herman, Emi Kanemoto, Ming Lei, Noreen Mazurowski, Lee M. Pierce (s/t), and Atsushi Tajima

DEI Student Mentors:  Jada Atwood, Samantha Aya, Josephine Lewis, Mathew Martinez and Sophia Piazza

Excellence in Communication, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recognition

Excellence in Communication, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recognition


The Excellence in Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Recognition acknowledges communication students who have applied their communication skills and knowledge to promote antiracism efforts and diversity, equity, access, justice, and inclusion practices outside of their classrooms. Communication majors and minors with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the major are eligible. The recognition includes a framed certificate for an individual. Nominees will write a 250-500 word essay demonstrating how they meet three criteria:

Academic skills:  The nomination essay must demonstrate the candidate's knowledge of communication concepts and skills they learned from their specific communication courses that pertain to their DEI recognition.

Personal growth:  The nomination essay must demonstrate the candidate's emerging or sustained commitment to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Community influence:  The nomination essay must demonstrate how the candidate implements initiatives which cultivate/advance/model diversity and inclusion within the community. Please include specific evidence of exceptional efforts to foster a more inclusive environment and stand against discrimination.

Nomination Process

Peer nomination:  Nominations can be submitted by peers (students at SUNY Geneseo). One person can make a maximum of two nominations. Recognition nominations should identify specific examples of how the nominee meets the three criteria listed above through specific activities, actions, and accomplishments.

Self-nomination:  Nominations can be submitted by self. Self nominations must clarify the specific knowledge and skills gained in communication courses, and then identify the specific examples of how the nominee applied said knowledge and skills to meet the three criteria shown above.

Levels of Recognition

Amber Recognition (1st place); Sterling Recognition (2nd place); Russet Recognition (3rd place). Each qualified nominee will receive a certificate.

Application for Recognition

The student Application for Excellence in Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Recognition is here.

The deadline to apply for this recognition is April 1, 2021.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Student Mentors of the Department of Communication

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Student Mentors of the Department of Communication

DEI student mentors are a group of Communication students. Under the direction of a DEI faculty coordinator in the Department of Communication, they encourage the growth of fellow Communication students in order to foster a safe and inclusive environment for all students in the community of the Department of Communication.

Role of DEI student mentors:

To mentor communication students who have passion toward DEI topics; To be a bridge among students, faculty and staff in the Department of Communication; To commit to work and support increasing the presence of cultural and under-represented communities (including, but not limited to racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, linguistics aspects) through the use of collaboration; To provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas about DEI topics, especially in the field of communication; To be involved in the selection process of the Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Recognition.

2020-2021 DEI student mentors of the Department of Communication:

Jada Atwood

Samantha Aya

Josephine Lewis

Mathew Martinez

Sophia Piazza

2020-2021 DEI faculty coordinator in the Department of Communication:

Emi Kanemoto, Ph.D.;

Antiracism and DEI Resources

Please click here to see some of the antiracism and DEI resources as well as Resources from National Communication Association.

Understanding our privilege: 
Understanding White Privilege  
Understanding White Privilege (video)
Seeing White fragility (video) 
White Privilege Checklist  
Cisgender Privilege Checklist 

Understanding our implicit biases and identity threat: 

What are implicit biases? 

Responsibility for implicit bias
Checking our own implicit biases (offered by Harvard University)
Understanding microaggressions  
What microaggression is (video)
Examples of microaggressions (e.g., race, gender, sexuality) and strategies to intervene them 
Racial microaggression in everyday life 
Guide to responding to microaggressions 
Understanding cultural appropriation & voting 
Understanding cultural appropriation / cultural appreciation 
Understanding the importance of to Vote  
Understanding why Black Lives Matter: 
Some resources offered by #BLM to start engaging in conversations about race in the U.S. America 
What’s Wrong with #All/BlueLivesMatter 

Potential readings: 

Potential readings: the communication-focused insights

2020-20201 Communication Courses that Include DEI Efforts and Antiracism Practices

COMN 107:  Foundations of Media Writing

COMN 160:  Introduction to Mass Communication

COMN 288:  Communication, Diversity, and Inclusion

COMN 317:  Intercultural Communication

COMN 346:  Conflict, Negotiation & Mediation

COMN 354-1:  Photography as Visual Communication

COMN 354-2:  Media Ethics

COMN 356-1:  Rhetoric & Race America 2015-present

COMN 356-2:  Media, Urban Development & Activism

COMN 356-3:  Peace Communication

COMN 362:  International Mass Communication

COMN 367:  TV News