Dear MasonCOMM community,
If you are a student, staff or faculty member, department affiliate, Mason campus partner, or are in any way connected to the Department of Communication at George Mason University, you are invited to participate with us in our three-phase project: MasonCOMM Voices.
In the spirit of the joint statement from our incoming President Gregory Washington and our Interim President Anne Holton, the MasonCOMM Voices series is a project committed to contribute to our efforts to live up to Mason's mission to be an “inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world.” You can read the presidents' joint message here: https://ulife.gmu.edu/joint-message-from-anne-holton-and-greg-washington/.
The MasonCOMM Voices series offers our departmental social media platforms to the voices of our community (our students, staff, faculty, affiliates, campus partners, and their family and friends) to express themselves and engage in dialogue devoted to the university's effort to expand inclusiveness and the promotion of justice.
MasonCOMM Voices Phase 1: Voices of Color
The recent death of George Floyd, the surge of support around the world for the Black Lives Matter movement, the ensuing protests denouncing excessive use of force against Black and Brown bodies, and the swelling rise of open conversations about systemic racism define our current moment. The Department of Communication at George Mason University recognizes that these events and this discourse affect our community. We understand we are challenged, personally and professionally, as well as individually and collectively, in navigating tough emotional responses to the current events and the legacy of racism. Wanting to encourage discourse and growth within and beyond our community, we invite members of MasonCOMM to contribute to the MasonCOMM Voices series. We sit at a significant moment in history. Voices matter. The MasonCOMM Voices project will offer our social media platforms to the voices of our MasonCOMM community. We invite you to participate by sharing yours.
Phase 1 will run through July. In Phase 1, MasonCOMM Voices of Color, we offer our social media platforms to our community. We invite persons of color in our MasonCOMM community to provide conversation-starters that express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on current events during this historical time in America's racial history as events unfold. Everyone in our community is invited to engage by reading, responding, expanding, and sharing. We hope to create a fruitful dialogue that brings our community together and promotes our commitment to justice by inviting all to engage in conversation around the following themes.
June 29 - current events (comments received by June 25)
July 6 - freedom of expression (comments received by July 2)
July 13 - struggles with racism (comments received by July 9)
July 20 - triumphs, successes, and hope (comments received by July 16)
July 27 - our future (comments received by July 23).
By inviting MasonCOMM community members who are persons of color to provide conversation-starters, we hope to promote an ethic of listening that centers the voices of those who may have felt muted or even silenced in broader discourses. All MasonCOMM community members are invited to follow our platforms to engage by reading and interacting with the published comments by sharing, responding, and adding their own expressions of thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
To provide conversation-starters for Phase 1, click the link below. This link can be accessed repeatedly. :
We invite all in our community to engage to participate in the conversation by engaging with those comments on social media to discuss, respond, add, and share. To do so, please follow us:
Given the nature of our platform as that of an academic department in a public university, the following kinds of comments are subject to deletion by our moderators:
- comments that are in any way defamatory or that promote divisiveness;
- expletives, obscenities, or other offensive language;
- commentary that endorses or condemns a specific political party, appointed or elected government official, or political candidate.
Upcoming Phases: MasonCOMM Voices Phases 2 and 3
Phases 2 and 3 will offer the platform more broadly to an increasingly wider range of voices in our community. Subsequent phases of the MasonCOMM Voices series will be informed and framed by themes shaped from the commentary in Phase 1. Phase 2 (September-October 2020), "MasonCOMM Voices from the Margin," will invite conversation-starters from anyone in our MasonCOMM community who has felt in any way marginalized in any place and time. Phase 3 (February-March 2021), "MasonCOMM Voices of Change," will provide a platform for everyone in our MasonCOMM community to express themselves on the events of the historic year 2020 and the ways we, and our world, have been changed by the events of this historic year.
We deeply appreciate all efforts in our community to work toward a more inclusive and just world. Thank you for your participation in this project by sharing your voice through providing conversation-starters and/or by participating in the ensuing conversations on our platforms.
George Mason University Department of Communication
June 22, 2020