Tell your story of healing.

Communicating Diversity 2021:
Call for Submissions

Communication for Collective Healing

This year’s theme of “Communication for Collective Healing” was chosen because 2020 has been a year of emerging trauma and retraumatization. As police brutality continually threatens the lives of People of Color, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates pre-existing social inequalities, and natural disasters threaten regions around the globe it is imperative that we as scholars examine how communication can be used to promote healing. We invite undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines to submit projects that address the role of communication in collective healing. Possible research areas include narratives/storytelling as healing, microaggressions, systemic/institutional discrimination,  trauma-informed approaches, care labor, community building, collective action, media activism, organizing, and health interventions and more. 


We invite submissions related to, though not limited to, communicative processes in issues such as power, privilege, social justice, and climate and inclusion, in a variety of contexts (e.g., rhetoric, media, health, organizational, intercultural, political). 


This virtual conference will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2021 and  will focus on the theme “Communication for Collective Healing,” with full paper sessions, research escalator sessions, alternative format sessions, and a keynote workshop by Dr. Amber Johnson. Throughout the event, talented undergraduate and graduate students will present scholarship engaging diversity in a variety of contexts and through different theoretical lenses. The values of community, healing, engagement, and collaboration will be at the center of the conference experience through interactive workshops, community building activities, and healing practices.

Scroll down to see submission guidelines. 



Share your voice

Full Paper Sessions: Submit a 250-word (or less) abstract to the submission tab by midnight CST on April 1, 2021. Please include your name, university/college affiliation, departmental affiliation, and student status (undergraduate or graduate), as well as three self-identified keywords that describe your presentation. Abstracts should be attached as PDF document with no identifying information in the document.


Research Escalator Sessions: Submit an extended abstract (500 words) of your paper. This abstract will be reviewed by up to 3 potential mentors (more advanced scholars with expertise in the field and/or your paper topic). If your abstract is selected for mentorship, you will be expected to send the most recent version of your paper to your mentor by May 1st so that they have sufficient time to review your piece.

Alternative Format Sessions: Alternative formats such as art, film, and performance are welcomed. Please provide a 250 word description and rationale for your alternative format presentation. Be sure to discuss what technical requirements your presentation will require, duration, and how the presentation connects to the conference theme. 


During the conference, time will be set aside specifically for the research escalator sessions. Submitters will meet with their mentors in one-on-one mentorship meetings to discuss their feedback on the manuscript (audience members are welcome and encouraged to attend these conversations as well). At the end of the session, all regroup and submitters will give a short “recap” of new directions/goals as well as highlight the main points they took away from their mentorship sessions


All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of experts. Socially relevant and theoretically informed abstracts that fit the conference theme will be prioritized. Submitters will be notified by April 15th, 2021 about their acceptance or rejection. If your submission is accepted, you will be put on a panel to give a 10-12 minute presentation about your project during the conference on Saturday, May 22nd. 

Those accepted to the conference are eligible for the Communicating Diversity Paper Competition. To be considered, submit your paper (10-page minimum) directly to by May 1st. Top student papers will be recognized at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

**Submission decisions have been sent via e-mail. Please add the following e-mail addresses to your contact list to ensure that you will receive e-mails from the conference team: &

Man Using a Tablet


Undergraduate and graduate students from any institution of higher education are eligible to participate.


Registration for the conference is available and is free of charge. The registration deadline is May 15th, 2021. Spaces are limited.