Council on Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication’s Anti-Racism Statement

As part of an international and culturally diverse organization dedicated to excellence in technical and scientific communication and its academic programs, the Council for Programs in Technical & Scientific Communication (CPTSC) Executive Committee and the CPTSC Diversity Committee recognize that effective communication and its pedagogy are possible when a multiplicity of voices can be included and heard. Because of this stance, we join our voices with other people and organizations in denouncing recent incidents of racist hatred, especially against Black communities.

Recent racist incidents and disruptions affect all of us, potentially inhibiting the ability for our academic programs to:

  • safely exchange ideas with interested parties
  • deliver equitable and inclusive instruction, and
  • continue to pursue the eradication of systemic racism and oppression through education that includes critical discourse, critical technical communication, and critical technological literacy.

As an organization focused on academic programs in the field, we also recognize that systems dedicated to education are shaped by systemic racism, often in tacit ways, especially when powerful people within those systems do not acknowledge inherent injustices. Combating racism in technical and scientific communication is the work of all members and leaders of CPTSC to prioritize anti-racist agendas in support of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues and the sustainability of our field and organization.

Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following actions, and we encourage all CPTSC members and other interested people to join in this work while holding CPTSC accountable to carrying out these commitments:

  • CPTSC will continue to offer the annual Diversity Scholarship to graduate students from under-represented groups who are studying technical and/or scientific communication.
  • CPTSC will continue to support and encourage members of its Diversity Committee (functioning since 2004) and colleagues from under-represented groups, especially those working at educational institutions serving under-represented populations, as we seek to make the field and its programs more responsive to voices that offer a variety of cultural perspectives and to recognize and counteract systemic racism.
  • CPTSC will strengthen its efforts to achieve broad representation in its membership, Executive Committee, and other committees, valuing voices from many cultures and perspectives. We will enhance connections between the Diversity Committee and the Executive Committee in order to find effective strategies for increasing diversity, enhancing visibility, and improving accountability within CPTSC.
  • CPTSC will encourage members to explore means through which teaching, scholarship, and academic programs in the field can meaningfully contribute to the quest for social justice. We will use existing CPTSC platforms, such as our journal Programmatic Perspectives, our annual conference, and our social media outlets to aid this effort. We will use annual CPTSC research grant awards to encourage research on anti-racist pedagogy and initiatives within the field.
  • CPTSC will create anti-racist policy that will apply to CPTSC events and platforms. This statement should include a mechanism for BIPOC and multiply-marginalized scholars to anonymously report racism or discrimination (including misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia) to members of the Executive Committee. The policy will state specific actions that the leadership of CPTSC will take to address the reported situation.

We recognize that anti-racist work is ongoing, so we welcome continued conversation from CPTSC members and other interested people as we decide on the details of carrying out these commitments.

Please direct comments and questions to the current CPTSC President, Dr. Marj Rush Hovde at