CCDE launches with three days of opening events

CCDE opening banner-01

Join us as we celebrate the grand opening of our newest research center: The Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity (CCDE). The purpose of this center is to bring together faculty, programs, community partners, and students to expand on their impact within the University of Washington and surrounding communities. Together, these diverse groups of people purse to achieve a mission committed to research and innovation, leadership development, and a desire for a community-centered impact. As part of a premier public research institution, CCDE offers a cohesive space for all groups to utilize in deploying skills of scholarship, communication, and critique the bout against the inequalities that persist in the face of our changing world.

Opening Events:

May 27 > What I Said and What I Meant: Cross Cultural Communication Workshop with Rosetta Lee
Time: 6 – 9 p.m.
Location: Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club

Humans communication on many levels: spoken language, tone, body language, style and personality. The fact that we have complex cultural identities and a host of differing past experiences increases the probability of cross-cultural miscommunications. This workshop presents major cross-cultural communication theories, ways that cultural values, power, privilege and differences affect the way we communicate, tools for questioning assumptions, and ways to improve cross-cultural communications skills.

May 28 > Panel on ‘Empire’: Righteous or Ratchet?
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.
Location: CMU 120

What do you think about the hit television show “Empire”? Does it represent African Americans as righteous or ratchet? How must we consider this show in a #BlackLivesMatter era? Please join members of the Minority Leaders of Communication (MLC), visiting professors from the University of Texas, Austin, and University of California, Santa Cruz, and other UW professors as we discuss the cultural implications that “Empire” has not only on hip-hop and African American communities, but on broader society.

May 29 > Opening Remarks
Time: 9:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Location: HUB 214

Stop by as the CCDE officially goes public for all ranges of people to apply themselves and make a difference in the surrounding communities. This is just the beginning!

Keynote Speaker: Herman Gray
Time: 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.
Location: HUB 214

Join us for the Grand Opening of the CCDE as renowned, award-winning scholar Herman Gray kicks off the day with some words encompassing the addition of the research center. Herman Gray is a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is arguably the most influential scholar of African American television studies today.

Gray traverses a wide terrain of knowledge, including metatheoretical mediations on politics of difference in media; historiographies of racialized television industries; critiques of Black men’s images on television; elucidations of racialized representations in the news; explorations of the nuances of marketing to African Americans through media; and studies of jazz music, musicians, and industries.

In addition, Gray is the acclaimed author of “Cultural Moves: Culture, Identity and the Politics of Representation(University of California, 2005), “Watching Race: Television and the Sign of Blackness(University of Minnesota, 1995), and “Producing Jazz: The Experience of an Independent Record Company (Temple, 1988). He is the editor of two collections as well: “Towards a Sociology of the Trace” (University of Minnesota, 2010) and “The Sage Handbook of Television Studies (Sage, 2014). He has lectured around the world and has been on the editorial boards of prominent journals on culture and race studies, including Cultural studies, Callalloo, Velvet Light Trap, Cultural Studies, Critical Methodologies, Television and New Media Studies, American Quarterly, International Journal of Cultural Studies, and Cinema Journal.

Staged Reading of The Mamalogues by Lisa B. Thompson
Time: 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: HUB 214

Following our keynote speaker, Lisa B. Thompson offers a chance for students and faculty to explore the intersections of race, class, and motherhood in the age of anxiety. While “The Mamalogues explores how past and current racial traumas shape contemporary black motherhood, it also illustrates the frustrations of all women who find it difficult to find their bearings within the current cultural landscape.

Thompson is a playwright and Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of English, Women and Gender Studies and Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently the Associate Director of the John L. Warfield Center of African and African American Studies. Thompson is the author of “Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality And The NEW African American Middle Class(University of Illinois Press, 2009), which received Honorable Mention in competition for the Gloria E. Anzaldua Book Prize from the National Women’s Studies Association, and the play “Single Black Female(Samuel French, Inc., 2012), a nominee for the 2004 LA Weekly Theatre Award for best comedy. Her work has been supported with fellowships and awards form a number of institutions, including the University of California’ Office of the President, Michele R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, UCLA’s Center for African American Studies, the Five Colleges Inc., and Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

Panel: “Is Equity a Scholarly Responsibility?”
Time: 2:00 – 3:45 p.m.
Location: CMU 202 (Simpson Center)

Scholars take it upon themselves to transform academia by pushing the limits of modern and historical theories and practices by actively engaging with several communities of different backgrounds. The purpose of this panel is to challenge students and researchers across different disciplines alike to discuss how they investigate, communicate, and address equity.

Panel: “Thinking With and Through Difference: Popular Representations, Race, and Political Economy”
Time: 3:45 – 5:15 p.m.
Location: CMU 202 (Simpson Center)

Popular culture – visual, aural, and textual – has increasingly been seen as significant to an understanding of political economies by a diverse range of disciplines including history, anthropology, and political science. Connect with researchers from different disciplines to discuss how they better understand difference – as a vector, a category, a modality.

Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity Reception
Time: 5:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: CMU 126 & CMU 129

Join us as we conclude our opening day with a reception open to all, wrap things up with good company, and celebrate a new space for higher research pursuits and an overall space to celebrate the differences we all bring to the table of academia.


Please RSVP to these events via the following link:


“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
                   – Audre Lorde