Colloquium: Dr. Len-Ríos of Univ. of Georgia to discuss teaching diversity

Maria Len-RiosOn March 30, Dr. María Len-Ríos will be at the UW Department of Communication to give a talk about teaching diversity in the classroom. Join us; all are welcome.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 30 at 3:30 p.m.
CMU 126

Synopsis > Attitudes Towards Issues of Diversity: Lessons for the Classroom and PR Communications Practice

Can you teach an appreciation for diversity? Dr. María E. Len-Ríos will discuss the results of some of her research that addresses: How do we know if teaching students about issues of diversity is effective? Her research shows that while learning about diversity can occur at the conceptual level, it is harder to move the needle when students try to apply it in practice. Her analyses examine ethical orientations and personality characteristics associated with learning from and attitudes toward diversity courses. Related, and also of interest to Len-Ríos and colleagues, is the concept of political correctness. The term is often used as a response to or in defiance of calls for mutual understanding and perspective taking. In connecting this concept to public relations, Len-Ríos explores how a defiance response (e.g., “you’re making too much of race”) is perceived, among other response options, when public figures answer media accusations that they have made racially insensitive statements. Her experimental findings look at whether defiance is more acceptable than other response options as well as if there is a difference between whether a celebrity or a politician provides a “defiant” response.

Bio: Dr. Len-Ríos, an associate professor of public relations at The Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication at The University of Georgia, has studied the issues of racial, ethnic and gender representations in media content since 1999. Her co-edited book, with Earnest L. Perry, “Cross-cultural journalism: Communicating strategically about diversity,” was published by Routledge in December 2015. She earned a B.A. from Macalester College (St. Paul, Minn.), an M.A. from The University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. from The University of Missouri, Columbia. She is known for her work in health communication, underrepresented groups and crisis communication in public relations. She serves on the editorial boards of The Howard Journal of Communications, Journal of Public Relations Research, the International Journal of Strategic Communication, and the Public Relations Review.