A Message from the PD Program at USC

As members of the public diplomacy faculty at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, we stand in solidarity with efforts to eliminate anti-Black racism and structural inequities. We mourn the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement and share the national outrage at continuing systemic racism. 

As we all learn early on in our study of public diplomacy, listening is at the core of our discipline, and now is an especially important moment to listen and take action. We have heard the voices of our students, past and present, urging a re-doubling of efforts to ensure that diversity of expression and representation is deeply embedded in all that we do and teach. This message has been received, and the Public Diplomacy (PD) program at USC is committed to doing the programmatic and structural work needed to achieve meaningful and lasting change.

Last year USC was one of only two schools in the U.S. to support the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) Diversity Forum at the level of sponsor. We are currently working to increase our support this year.

We are also broadening our outreach by contacting, for instance, every U.S. Department of State Diplomat in Residence in the U.S. As many of you know, their primary job is to recruit for State, with a particular focus on under-represented communities. We asked that they consider the PD program as a resource for counseling their students about the field of public diplomacy.

The Center on Public Diplomacy continues to provide a platform for the constructive exchange of ideas and practices among public diplomacy scholars and practitioners around the world, and we are making an effort to highlight publications that address the role of public diplomacy in nurturing and strengthening an anti-racist community. The center is also making plans for programming that explores and examines what Black America means to the world and to public diplomacy.

We know that more can be done, and toward that end, we welcome input from our students and friends of the PD program on ways that we can move forward together to help reverse a long legacy of racism. We have already held one Town Hall session with students to listen to their perspective and ideas, which were thoughtful, timely and most important, actionable. We urge you to continue to contribute your insights and proposals on how we can work together to open new pathways for opportunity. Our PD community is strongest when everyone is both included and respected.

Robert Banks Jay Wang         
USC Master of Public Diplomacy program



USC Master of Public Diplomacy program

USC Center on Public Diplomacy


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