2020 was a challenging year with a global pandemic, economic hardships, and heated political battles. At the same time, 2020 saw renewed calls for social justice, and citizens rising up in support of equity and equality. With 2021 promising more of the same, now, more than ever, the world needs educated, motivated individuals willing to stand up and advocate for the causes that will make our world a better place. Whether that advocacy takes a local or national focus, we look to communication studies graduates, who are prepared and educated to take on these advocacy challenges.
Communication studies is a natural fit for those interested in advocacy. The National Communication Association website indicates that communication studies programs prepare graduates to “identify the challenges facing communities and the role of communication in resolving those challenges,” and to “empower individuals to promote human rights, human dignity and human freedom.” Indeed, in communication studies courses, our students learn the social science behind many of the skills needed for successful advocates. Some of those skills include learning to build, maintain and leverage relationships; learning to work in and lead effective groups; learning the elements of persuasion and rhetoric; and learning the skills of public presentations that are so crucial for sharing an advocacy message with allies and decision makers. Communication studies students also develop the fundamentals of strong writing, research and critical thinking that are crucial to developing effective persuasive advocacy messages and efforts.
Mahatma Ghandi said “we need not wait to see what others do” to make the world a better place. With so much on the line in our world, communication studies graduates are needed more than ever to help make a difference. Whether they are employed in business, non-profit or government, communication studies graduates know they are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to step up and lead and to make the changes they want to see in the world.
By: John Strada, Senior Lecturer, EKU Department of Communication
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