Lack of Diversity in NCA’s Journal Editorships and Editorial Boards

August 8th, 2018

Ronald L. Jackson II, President

Star Muir, First Vice-President

Kent A. Ono, Second Vice-President

Bonnie Dow, Council Chair, Publications Council

Justin Boren, Diversity Council Chair
National Communication Association

Via: Email


Dear NCA Presidents and Officers:

Collectively we write to share our extreme frustration with the consistent lack of diversity in journal editorships of the National Communication Association (NCA) journals. Given that NCA explicitly states on its website that as an organization it, “Supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion,” we believe our concern is necessary and timely. The lack of representation from historically marginalized groups both as editors and on editorial boards ensure that Communication Studies will remain a largely white discipline. Furthermore, each year despite nominations of senior scholars of color, NCA’s Distinguished Scholars remains an overwhelmingly white institution. This concern was raised at the Committee on Committees meeting at last year’s convention by Bernadette Calafell. Most recently, Chakravartty, Kuo, Grubbs and McIllwain’s essay (2018) published in the ICA’s (International Communication Association) flagship Journal, Journal of Communication, “#communicationsowhite” provides empirical evidence of the field’s largely white representation in our communication journals, including NCA’s, such as Communication Monographs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies. It is evident that NCA continues to have a diversity problem, specifically including people of color. 

Our response is exacerbated by the fact that we know minority (people of color) scholars who have put their names forth (and in some cases were recruited) for editorships of these journals yet were not chosen. We understand that there may be circumstances such as institutional support; however, the paucity of scholars of color who have served as editors of NCA journals and are editorial boards is not coincidental at this point. We recognize the intensive amount of labor that goes into these positions and know that some scholars of color may say no to nominations especially because of how they are often stretched thin by other service obligations because of the lack of representation on campus. As a result, it often falls on a small group of scholars of color to shoulder this work; however, we know of several recent instances of scholars of color at the full and associate levels who have not served in editor positions who were invited to apply or applied and were turned down for reasons such as “you are too junior” or were told behind the scenes that they were characterized by some as “too mean.” Uncritical statements like these need to be problematized. They reflect a paternalism and a commitment to white civility,  as the assumptions of those making these statements go unproblematized.

We want to raise critical questions such as these followings; What does “junior” mean? How is that determined particularly when we know faculty of color are often not afforded positions of power or always hired and welcomed at Research I universities that afford them high visibility? What does it mean when a white male who is an Associate Professor is not “junior” but a scholar of color at the same level is? How do narratives about “meanness” simply reify assumptions about white middle class civility and discipline faculty of color who speak out against white supremacy, homophobia, classism, ableism, and patriarchy? Does the Publications Council consider issues of power and historical discrepancies in their deliberations and recruitment? 

Whatever structures the organization currently has in place are not yielding productive results in helping NCA achieve its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Therefore, we collectively propose NCA commit to and create an initiative and working group to address this problem composed of members of color from the Asian Pacific American Caucus, Black Caucus, La Raza Caucus, queer and trans scholars of color from the Caucus on LGBTQ Concerns, people of color from the Women’s Caucus, and people of color from the Disability Issues Caucus. This group will create recommendations for inclusion which will be forwarded to NCA leadership and the Publications Council. Additionally, this group will have a representative on the Council. Furthermore, the Publications Council will report to the Legislative Assembly the steps they have taken toward the recruitment of journal editors and editorial board members of color. Several of us will be attending Legislative Assembly and intend to raise this as an issue. We look forward to working with you to address and fix these inequities. 


Collectively Signed  by
Bernadette Marie Calafell, Professor, University of Denver

Shinsuke Eguchi, Associate Professor, University of New Mexico  

Sandra L. Faulkner, Professor, Bowling Green State University

Benny LeMaster, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Steven Herro, College of Southern Nevada

Armond R. Towns, Assistant Professor, University of Richmond

Walid A. Afifi, Professor, University of California at Santa Barbara

Amy Young, Associate Professor & Chair, Pacific Lutheran University

Brendan G. A. Hughes, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Robert Mejia, Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University

Godfried Asante, Assistant Professor, Drake University

Joëlle Cruz, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder

Aaron Donaldson, Lecturer and Director of Forensics, Humboldt State University  

Dustin Bradley Goltz, Professor, DePaul University

Raquel Moreira, Assistant Professor, Graceland University 

Mia Fischer, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Denver

Diana Isabel Bowen, Assistant Professor, Pepperdine University

Kurt Lindemann, Professor, San Diego State University

Luis M. Andrade, Assistant Professor, Santa Monica College

Yea-Wen Chen, Associate Professor, San Diego State University 

Matthew Houdek, Lecturer, Rochester Institute of Technology

Desireé D. Rowe, Assistant Professor, Towson University 

Nina Maria Lozano, Associate Professor, Loyola Marymount University

Jiyeon Kang, Associate Professor, University of Iowa 

Srividya Ramasubramanian, Associate Professor, Texas A&M  University

Dreama G. Moon, Professor, California State University San Marcos

C. Kyle Rudick, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa

Melodee Sova, Instructor, University of Texas Arlington 

Tamara Afifi, University of California Santa Barbara (current editor of Communication Monographs)

Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, Associate Professor, The University of Iowa

Nicole Files-Thompson, Associate Professor, Lincoln University 

Jennifer A. Sandoval, Associate Professor, University of Central Florida

Angela J. Aguayo, Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Shantel Martinez, California State University Monterey Bay 

Patrycja Humienik, M.A., University of Colorado-Denver

Shadee Abdi, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Anthony Cuomo, Assistant Professor, West Los Angeles College

Sudeshna Roy, Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University

Rahul Mitra, Assistant Professor, Wayne State University

Tara G. McManus, Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Carlos A. Tarin, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at El Paso

Goyland M. Williams, PhD Student, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Marissa Doshi, Assistant Professor, Hope College

Andy Kai-chun Chuang, Associate Professor, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Deanna L. Fassett, Professor, San José State University (current editor of Communication Teacher)

Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, Professor, Southern Illinois University (editor elect, Text and Performance Quarterly)

Christina R. Foust, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication Studies, University of Denver

Joshua Hamzehee, PhD Student, Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge

Andrew Spieldenner, Assistant Professor, California State University San Marcos

Casey Kelly, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Michaela D.E. Meyer, Professor and Academic Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, Christopher Newport University

Robert Gutierrez-Perez, Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno

Sumana Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor, Marquette University

Shardé M. Davis, Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

Stacey K. Sowards, Professor, The University of Texas at El Paso

David C. Oh, Associate Professor, Communication Arts, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Jenna N. Hanchey, Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno

Greg Hummel, Assistant Professor, SUNY Oneonta

Carlos G. Aleman, Associate Professor, James Madison University 

Dylan Rollo, PhD Student, Northwestern University

Stephanie L. Gomez, Instructor, Weber State University

Tony E. Adams, Professor, Bradley University

Kara A. Laskowski, Professor and Chair, Shippensburg University 

Chiaoning Su, Department of Communication & Journalism, Assistant Professor, Oakland University

Ahmet Atay, Associate Professor, College of Wooster

Michael F. Walker, Instructor, Arizona State University

Bryan J. McCann, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication Studies, Louisiana State University

Kelsey Waninger, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Communication Studies, University of Denver

Jonathan P. Rossing, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Communication Studies Department, Gonzaga University

Sophie Jones, PhD student, University of New Mexico

Ashley Noel Mack, Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University

Aisha Durham, Associate Professor of Communication, University of South Florida 

Erin K. Willer, Associate Professor, University of Denver

Rachel E. Dubrofsky, Associate Professor, University of South Florida

Sara Baugh-Harris, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Denver 

Jason Zingsheim, Professor, Governors State University

Isaac West, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University

Michelle Colpean, PhD Candidate, University of Iowa

Yarma Velazquez Vargas, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge 

Jenny Korn, Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University

Michelle A. Holling, Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, California State University San Marcos

Dave Keating, Assistant Professor, California State University, Northridge

Joshua Ewalt, Assistant Professor, University of Utah 

Antonio Tomas De La Garza, Assistant Professor, California State University San Marcos

Daniel S. Strasser, Associate Professor, Rowan University

Zazil Reyes García, Assistant Professor, University of Incarnate Word 

Andrew Boge, PhD Student, University of Iowa

Sarah Amira de la Garza, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Christopher M. Duerringer, Associate Professor, California State University, Long Beach

Sergio F. Juarez, Lecturer, California State University Channel Islands

Ragan Fox, Professor, California State University, Long Beach 

Claire Sisco King, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University

Michelle Flood, PhD Student, University of Iowa 

C. Wesley Buerkle, Associate Professor, East Tennessee State University

Craig Weathers, PhD Student, University of Denver

Amy L Zsohar, PhD, Instructor, Inver Hills Community College

Angharad N. Valdivia, Research Professor, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Jeff Bennett, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University 

Valerie R. Renegar, Associate Professor and Chair, Southwestern University

Michael Tristano Jr., PhD Candidate, Arizona State University

Adolfo R. Mora, Assistant Professor, Schreiner University 

Kathryn Hobson, Assistant Professor, James Madison University 

George F. McHendry, Jr., Assistant Professor, Creighton University

Bernardita M. Yunis, Adjunct Professor, George Washington University, incoming PhD at University of Denver

Diana Leon-Boys, Doctoral Candidate, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Michelle Kelsey Kearl, Assistant Professor and Interim Chair, Purdue University Fort Wayne

Raka Shome, Senior Visiting Fellow, National University of Singapore

Oscar Alfonso M., Ph.D. Student, University of Utah

Bobbi Van Gilder, Assistant Professor, Weber State University

Anne Demo, Assistant Professor, Penn State University

Berkley Conner, PhD Student, University of Iowa  

Sarah J. Tracy, Professor, Arizona State University

Matthew W. Bost, Assistant Professor, Whitman College

Jessica Johnson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Denver 

Rebecca Avalos, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Colorado Boulder

Diane Grimes, Associate Professor, Syracuse University

Leslie L. Rossman, Lecturer, Humboldt State University 

Erin Watley, Assistant Professor, McDaniel College

Ariadne A. Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M International University 

Taylor N. Johnson, Ph.D. Student, University of Utah

Carla L. Fisher, Associate Professor, University of Florida 

Naida Zukic, Associate Professor, BMCC, CUNY Manhattan 

Marina Levina, Associate Professor, The University of Memphis

Rona Tamiko Halualani, Professor, San Jose State University

Shakuntala Rao, Professor, State University of New York, Plattsburgh

Richie Hao, Assistant Professor, Antelope Valley College

Anjali Vats, Assistant Professor, Boston College

Amanda R. Martinez, Associate Professor, Davidson College 

Carolyn “Carolina”  Webber, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina Upstate

Tina Harris, Professor, University of Georgia

Ephraim Nikoi, Associate Professor, UW-Superior

Bilge Yesil, Central University of New York

Rebecca Mercado Jones, Assistant Professor, Oakland University

Roberto Avant-Mier, Associate Professor, University of Texas, El Paso

Toniesha L. Taylor, Associate Professor, Prairie View A&M University 

Haneen Ghabra, Assistant Professor, Kuwait University