Last month, some 3,000 Communication scholars attended the NCA 107th Annual Convention, themed “Renewal and Transformation,” in Seattle, Washington.
The Opening Session, sponsored by the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, highlighted the role communication plays in Native communities, through language, art, culture, and ritual. This interdisciplinary panel included Eean B. Grimshaw, Assistant Professor of Communication at North Carolina Wesleyan College; La Royce Batchelor, Founder and CEO at Clever Crow; Abriel Johnny (Cowichan and Tlingit), Board of Directors Chairperson for the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation and Commissioner on the Seattle Women's Commission; Esther Lucero (Dine’), President/Chief Executive Officer for the Seattle Indian Health Board; and Scott Pinkham (Nez Perce), Assistant Director of Diversity & Access for the College of Engineering and American Indian Studies lecturer at the University of Washington. Panelists examined the ways communication helps these communities overcome challenges associated with race, education, poverty, healthcare, and Native language maintenance and renewal.
Tina M. Harris, Douglas I. Manship-Dori Maynard Endowed Chair of Race, Media, and Cultural Literacy in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, delivered this year’s Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture. Harris addressed “Intentional Transformation in the Midst of Change.” The presentation examined intentional transformation, which requires a commitment to creating a new normal in response to the many inequities and imbalances that have for far too long impacted every facet of life.
On the final evening of the convention, before presenting this year’s NCA Awards, NCA President David T. McMahan, Professor of Communication at Missouri Western State University, spoke on “Assessing and Advancing the Discipline.” McMahan’s presentation addressed the state of the Communication discipline and considered its future.
The Opening Session, Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture, and Presidential Address and Awards Presentation are available on NCA’s YouTube page.
The convention also included the NCA Graduate School Open House, Exhibit Hall, NCA Job Fair, and more than 1,000 sessions and business meetings designed to allow attendees to share ideas, present new research, and network with colleagues across the discipline.
NCA extends thanks to all who participated in this year’s convention! For more information, visit natcom.org/convention, and check out the #NCA21 hashtag on Twitter to see what attendees were discussing and sharing during the convention.
And start planning now to attend next year’s convention, “Honoring PLACE: People, Liberation, Advocacy, Community, and Environment,” to be held November 17 - 20, 2022, in New Orleans, Louisiana.