The RISE Lab is happy to release a White Paper detailing how institutional authorities in the State of Michigan and City of Detroit addressed water affordability and the mass water shutoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the first cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, were identified in the United States, community activists appealed to authorities to reverse this shutoff policy. Although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged people to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds to prevent community spread of COVID-19 , activists pointed out that this was impossible for many Detroit residents who lacked running water in their homes. Their pleas were initially dismissed, however, and it was not until March 10, 2020, by when Detroit had emerged as a national epicenter of COVID-19, that Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued executive order EO2020-28 halting water shutoffs and restoring water to disconnected homes. In December 2020, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that the City would cover outstanding payments through 2022 and permanently end shutoffs, but questions remain about whether these promises will be upheld, if they have not fundamentally changed their language and assumptions of the root problems related to water affordability.Continue reading “NEW White Paper: Detroit Water Shutoffs and the COVID-19 Pandemic”
I’m privileged to be on a powerhouse team with my WSU colleagues Drs. Stephanie Tong and Elizabeth Stoycheff on a new project that examines racist harassment, both online and offline, against Asians and Asian Americans, related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, and we just released a White Paper that is FREE for download.Continue reading “New White Paper: How Asian Americans Enact Resilience Against #COVIDracism”
For the August 2020 issue of Management Communication Quarterly, the journal has published an OPEN-ACCESS forum essay where a multicultural team of organizational communication scholars, from different universities, reflected on our collective sense-making of the historic COVID-19 pandemic. The essay builds on personal narratives from each of us on different questions posed by the lead researcher, to create a beautiful mosaic from our words, ideas and feelings. Below, I try to another iteration, by crafting together my fragmented narratives from an earlier, unedited version of the essay, to re-present those forms of expression, to create a new/old essay rooted in praxis. Thank you for reading.Continue reading “(Re)Crafting Narrative Fragments of Personal Sense-Making during COVID-19: Pieces from our 2020 MCQ Forum Essay”
When I began work on the Detroit Water Stories project, back in 2017, I was puzzled why more people living in the city and suburbs were not aware of or perturbed by the mass water shutoffs that had already impacted close to 100,000 households, since 2014. This was, after all, an issue that the United Nations had condemned in no uncertain terms as a major violation of human rights, after the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department started disconnecting water for residents who could not pay their bills — and in the richest country of the world, no less!Continue reading “New publication: What is “water privilege”? And how do we perpetuate it in our everyday language, to dismiss the problems of people who lack water access?”
We are still in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis, and my university has declared this week to be Graduate Student Appreciation Week. I think this is a wonderful move, both for graduate students and faculty, because it helps anchor us to each other and reminds us of how much we really, crucially depend on each other, especially in a R-1 setting. I think this is a wonderful move, not just because it foregrounds the social connections that remain crucial despite the physical distancing measures presently in place, but also because it emphasizes that this dependence is not just the resource-based variety (as in, “I need you to collect data for me,” or “I need you to write a letter of recommendation for me”) but involves emotional investment and labor from all parties — perhaps too much of it, at times. At the same time, this recognition invites further introspection about the lived experiences and conditions of our graduate students, challenging faculty to think beyond the staid (and quite possibly rose-tinted) nostalgia of “in the days when I was a grad student…” to listen to and act in response to their concerns. Whether this is about grad student stipends, housing, diversity and inclusion within the department, bureaucratic red rape, bullying, … the list goes on (sadly).Continue reading ““Appreciation” seems an inadequate word for thanking Grad Student Labor”
I’m so proud and excited that this labor of love from my awesome colleague (and friend) Jamie McDonald and I is finally out in PRINT! “Movements in Organizational Communication” is available for purchase through its publisher (Routledge) website HERE.
This book is the culmination of our vision for a volume that tackled state-of-the-art organizational communication research and related them to everyday events, in a way that felt more accessible for students. In short, something that made organizational communication seem personal and relevant! Personally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my amazing undergraduate and graduate students at Wayne State University and Purdue University, where I have taught classes on organizational communication, leadership, small group communication, professional issues, and communication technologies. Their questions and experiences helped stimulate the process for thinking about, designing, and creating this volume!Continue reading “Charting new “Movements in Organizational Communication Research”: My first book is out in print!”