Press Room

How Do Communication, Race, and Class Affect Police-Citizen Relations in 2015?

May 14, 2015
Experts Available
Race/Class/Gender, Social Justice

Washington, DC  -  Unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray has sparked national conversations about joblessness, race, and police violence that have been simmering for years. Gray’s death is just one of several recent and highly publicized deaths involving police officials.

  • Is there more than one message being conveyed by those protesting Gray’s death?
  • How can communication between police and communities be improved?
  • What role does technology play in the issues being discussed (civilian camera-phones, police body cameras)?
  • Could police communication training improve interactions with communities?

Communication expert Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead of Loyola University Maryland says that the riots in Baltimore can be viewed through various lenses, including from a communication perspective. Prof. Whitehead specializes in the intersections of communication, race, and class.


Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead
Department of Communication, Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore

Dr. Whitehead’s research is on communication, race, class, and gender.

She frequently provides Baltimore media with commentary on race, including a recent, four-part series in theBaltimore Sun, “From Enslavement to Freedom,” and she is the author of three books including “Letters to My Black Sons: Raising Boys in a Post-Racial America,” released in 2015.

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