College of Communication > About > Diversity, Equity & Inclusion > Action Steps

DE&I Action Steps

​​​Progress on the College of Communication 2023-2025 Three-Year DEI Action Plan will be reflected here. We will update this page regularly. If you have questions, comments or feedback, please reach to deicmn@depaul.edu.

o   Associate Director of Graduate Student Services Karin Winters joined the college DEI Committee as a staff representative. Winters will focus on improving the staff onboarding process with more equitable and inclusive practices.  

o   The journalism program and the Chicago chapter of the National Association for Hispanic Journalists partnered to host city of Chicago officials for a forum to discuss the ongoing efforts to support migrants recently bussed from Texas to Chicago with dignity and respect. 

o   Christina Steed was named the 2022-2023 Center for Communication Engagement (CCE) Faculty Fellow. As a CCE fellow, Christina focuses on multicultural marketing communications. Along with teaching in the PRAD program, she consults with the public relations and advertising program (PRAD) director and chair on curriculum, programs, and initiatives.  

o   PRAD faculty member Nur Uysal designed and analyzed a college-level survey; the results will inform future college DEI-related programming. 

o   Interim Dean Lexa Murphy resumed ‘Caffeine with the Dean,’ a weekly forum for students, staff, and faculty to discuss ideas, questions, or concerns. 

o   Journalism student Madison Comeau was hired as a 2023 DEI Student Fellow. Madison’s role will help engage and support the college’s efforts to generate a continuous conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion with students.  

o   Instructor Adriane Stoner organized the fall graduate student event, “Race and Fandom: A Discussion of Intersectionality in Media Studies,” featuring University of Oregon Professor Dayna Chatman.

o   In response to feedback from student journalists, the college established a part-time faculty advisor for student Spanish-language publications and to teach a journalism course on bilingual reporting. 

o   PRSSA DePaul students and PRAD Associate Professor Nur Uysal received support to attend the Plank Center DEI Summit and Mentoring Gala in November 2022. The summit is an opportunity for professionals, educators, and students to learn more about developing strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. The summit concluded with an evening gala to recognize diverse PR professionals committed to mentorship and leadership. 

o   PRAD instructor Marshall Goldman’s incorporated equitable and inclusive related assignments to two courses:  

o   For a campaigns class, Goldman established a partnership with the Chicago Police Department where students developed a campaign to inform citizens of their rights when engaging with the police. The campaign ran this past summer throughout the city.  

o   Goldman’s portfolio course included an assignment where students worked on designing and developing a social media campaign around inclusive campus restroom signage. 

o   At the start of the fall term, DEI Faculty Advocate Luisela Alvaray re-engaged the college community to prioritizing work toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment, and updated the college on the following efforts:   

o   Presented a summary of current college DEI-efforts and outlined opportunities to engage during the academic year 

o   Curated additional DEI-related resources and information for the college’s intranet resource site 

o   Helped secure support for efforts to diversifying course content with Interim Dean Lexa Murphy by establishing the Course Resources Diversification Program 

o   Ensured college representation at the fall 2022 university DEI Summit, co-sponsored by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and the Office of the President 

o   DEI Faculty Advocate Luisela Alvaray supported faculty members scheduled for a formal review with meetings that provided a confidential space for faculty to discuss the review process and their overall experience at DePaul. 

In Fall 2020, the college hosted Jacinta Yanders, PhD, for the workshop, "Decolonizing Your Syllabus." This workshop interrogated the ways white, straight, male, cis and Western perspectives and voices have been historically centralized in academic discussions.

In a follow-up microtraining, we challenged faculty to:

  • Carefully review their course syllabi and readings for Winter 2021.
  • Reflect on the diversity (or lack thereof) of scholars, case studies and examples that were presented in their course material.
  • Commit to making at least two meaningful changes in course materials this quarter (and then two additional changes every quarter moving forward).
  • The college provided resource support for faculty to take up the challenge.

In a follow-up assessment survey of faculty in Winter 2021:

  • The vast majority of reporting faculty took the challenge seriously (86%), engaged in significant reflection (83%) and sought out new and diverse voices (88%)
  • While faculty made changes to their course materials, only 43% felt satisfied with their results, marking a desire and an understood commitment to keep doing better.

The work of decolonizing our courses and dismantling systems of oppression in our institutions is ongoing, and we want to hear what you think.

  • Which class readings have a made an impact for you?
  • Where can we better represent a range of voices, identities and perspectives in your courses and areas of study?

On May 21, 2021, the college's 2020-21 DE&I student fellow, Jordan Dockery, presented a summary of her discussions with students and student groups from across the college to all faculty and staff. The findings of this report will inform our work as a college moving forward.

Some core themes in the report included:

  • Polarized responses from students about diversity in the college
  • A desire for greater accountability and transparency coming from the college
  • The immense difficulty of the past year and what actions helped students

Students said that “accountability” and “transparency” can mean several things, including:

  • More visible and vocal political commitments that take an active stance and include a plan to move forward
  • Increased communication about current DE&I work in the college
  • Clear information on how DE&I discussions are being turned into action-based initiatives
  • More discussions of social and university inequalities that include student perspectives and feedback

During a challenging year, students appreciated when faculty:

  • Prioritized students' well-being
  • Offered check-ins
  • Increased flexibility
  • Recognized the hardships of the year
  • Allowed for time to process
  • Created a sense of community
  • Promoted student involvement within the college
  • Shared resources with students