Friday event to focus on diversity, inclusion and social justice

By Sedonia Martin on April 26, 2018

Award-winning scholar will deliver keynote address at Mass Communication and Communication Studies Symposium

Amber Johnson and student
Amber Johnson (credit: St. Louis University)

The Towson University Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies presents the Symposium “Showing Up, Making Space and the Political Imagination of Diversity” on Friday, April. 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. 

As part of the College of Fine Arts and Communication performance theme, “What’s Your Story?” the symposium’s keynote speaker is Amber Johnson, Ph.D., an award-winning scholar, artist and activist from St. Louis University. 

Johnson’s speech, “The Revolution Requires Forgiveness, Imagination & Fun” centers on “any change we engage in must first center healing from social injustice. 

“If we do not take the time to heal, we will inevitably repeat our traumas,” said Johnson. “I am dedicated to creating spaces that foster healing through art, dialogue and play.”

Assistant professor Michaela Frischherz, along with the Symposium Planning Committee composed of Desiree Rowe, Ph.D and Erin Berry-McCrea, Ph.D., have put together the event to kick off the annual communication studies symposium schedule in collaboration with professor Marcy Lightfoot’s COMM 422 Conference and Meeting Management class.

According to Frischherz, “The symposium convenes Towson University and the surrounding Towson and Baltimore community to engage in a daylong event which confronts themes of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.”

The department chose this topic which highlights some of the relevant themes discussed in the MCCS classrooms and taken up by TU students.

“With the emergence of communication studies, as a new TU department (fall 2018), this event highlights both the disciplinary and interdisciplinary commitments of communication studies” Frischherz said.

“As communication teachers and scholars, we emphasize the importance of communicating across differences and [this event] highlights the value of this emphasis across the curriculum and community,” she added.  

The committee hopes those attending the daylong event will engage in productive dialogues and to ignite discussions about our socially unjust world in which “we experience moments that require small and large acts of repair” according to. Amber Johnson.

“Part of that repair process is showing up, making space, and engaging in wound and wonder alike,” Frischherz noted. 

For the schedule of speakers contact .

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Diverse and Inclusive Campus.