Highbury Community Garden Initiative: CARE’s Community Researcher Venessa Pokaia updates

Update 3

CARE’s Community Researcher Venessa Pokaia updates us on how the Maori-centred and driven Highbury community garden is coming along.

This is part of the Pā Tamariki initiative, a community-led culture-centered social cohesion intervention created by the Highbury Advisory Rōpū, built by tangata whenua community researchers at the Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) in partnership with the community in Highbury.


CARE Director, Professor Mohan Dutta’s academic-activism recognised by NCA with prestigious Presidential Citation

NCA Presidential Citation for Professor Mohan Dutta

Professor Mohan Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication and Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), has been commended by the NCA with the Presidential Citation for his impact as an activist-scholar in the #CommSoWhite movement.

The movement began as a result of growing recognition that the communication field was mainly dominated by white perspectives and preferences, which affected how people were recognised by their work. Resulting research supported the movement as it revealed how the field has historically ignored the contributions of scholars from diverse backgrounds.

Professor Dutta says he’s humbled to be part of a broader movement that is creating generative changes for minoritised scholars.

“Communication as a discipline is rooted in the intersections of colonialism and Empire, having historically worked to systematically erase diverse forms of scholarship. This is reflected in the plethora of ways in which knowledge is organised in the discipline. The #CommSoWhite movement is a critical part of the conversation to build spaces for transformation.”

Professor Dutta’s contributions involved efforts to uplift all minoritised communities in the discipline, including writing blog posts, developing interventions on digital platforms and collaborating with other activist scholars in the field. Together, they established digital spaces where scholars could express their experiences and challenges regarding inclusion in the discipline.

Alongside Syracuse University’s Professor Amardo Rodriguez and Georgia Southern University’s Associate Professor Elizabeth Desnoyers-Colas, Professor Dutta co-edited the special issue of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research on ‘Merit, Whiteness and Privilege’. In his role as Editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Professor Dutta played a key role in establishing a platform for diverse forms of scholarship addressing communication practice. This initiative involved launching a new section within the journal titled ‘Communication Intervention’, which sought to highlight a wide range of community-engaged, place-based scholarship.

While grateful for this recognition, Professor Dutta says there is still much work to be done in advancing equity and inclusivity within academic spaces.

“We need to continue to build critical interventions that bring about changes to how scholarship is understood and recognised. Doing this work brings about risks from being targeted by structures of whiteness, and my current energies are focused on how we safeguard academic spaces for scholars doing the brave work of challenging these structures.”

About the National Communication Association

The NCA advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry. The NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching.

Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, the NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

Article Source: Professor Mohan Dutta’s academic-activism recognised with prestigious Presidential Citation – Massey University


Honour Te Tiriti: Professor Mohan Dutta Highlights Te Tiriti’s Role in Fostering Inclusivity Amid Xenophobic Discourse

Professor Mohan Dutta reads tweets in response to his message supporting Te Tiriti. In reading out these messages, he juxtaposes the divisive ideology of xenophobic white supremacy with the principles of aroha and manaakitanga that emanate from spaces dedicated to upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi. By advocating for the honoring of Te Tiriti, Professor Dutta elucidates the pathway toward fostering inclusivity, respect, and reciprocity within society.

CARE Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Phoebe Elers receives the 2022 MSA MBS Research Excellence Award by Massey Business School

Being recognised in our own College, the Massey Business School, for our research excellence, gives us joy, says Prof. Mohan Dutta. CARE is grateful to the significant contributions made by Dr. Phoebe Elers as a postdoctoral fellow. Phoebe has led a range of culture-centered interventions and is an important contributor to the theorising of the culture-centered approach (CCA).

The 2022 MSA MBS Research Excellence Award is presented to Dr. Phoebe Elers, Prof. Mohan Dutta and Senior Lecturer Dr. Steve Elers from School of Communication Journalism and Marketing, Massey Business School for the paper: Culturally centering digital inclusion and marginality: A case study in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Link to paper- https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/14614448211063180


National Communication Association (NCA) Scholars’ Office Hours (2023)

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All attendees are invited to NCA Scholars’ Office Hours on Friday, Nov. 17, from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at the Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center.

This annual session provides seasoned scholars, junior scholars, and graduate students the opportunity to network and connect with each other in an informal and interactive atmosphere focused on mentorship. Participants can also meet the current NCA journal editors at the session.

Keeping with the convention’s theme – “Freedom” – this year’s Scholars’ Office Hours expands what it means to be a “senior” scholar in the field of Communication. Participants can expect to meet and speak with scholars who are well-published and advanced in their careers.

At the same time, the session will center scholars who advance community-engaged scholarship, activism, and other non-traditional communication work. We are thinking specifically of scholars who “free up” or open the discipline to new ways of thinking and doing communication work, thereby pushing the discipline forward in transformative ways.

We have assembled an eclectic and diverse group of scholars who cut across multiple areas of the field. To see the full list of participating senior scholars, visit NCA Convention Central.

If you are a graduate student, new tenure track faculty member or adjunct faculty member, you are especially encouraged to attend! We are particularly excited to welcome Black, Indigenous, and early career scholars of color, LGBTQI scholars, and scholars negotiating different abilities working at diverse intersections.

If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to reach out to co-planners Mohan Dutta and Rebecca de Souza. We are excited for you to join us and start networking!

Mohan Dutta, Scholars’ Office Hours Co-planner, Massey University, New Zealand

Rebecca de Souza, Scholars’ Office Hours Co-planner, San Diego State University