The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and its Office of Communications and Marketing won a 2019 MarCom Award for the campus-wide campaign against hate that launched in late 2018.
UTHSC received a Gold Award for the “UTHSC Stands Against Hate Campaign,” a collaborative effort by faculty, staff, and students to take a stand against hate in all its forms, after a shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue and a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, that fall.
The campus made its public declaration against hate through an observance in the General Education Building on November 8, 2018. The lunchtime observance was attended by leadership, students, faculty, and staff.
“Addressing this form of hate requires calling it out into the light and then striking at its roots, even if it sometimes means acting alone and in the face of people who harbor goodness within, but fail to understand the impact of their intrinsic bias on the welfare of others,” College of Medicine Executive Dean Scott Strome, MD, said during the observance. “Addressing this form of hate forces us to recognize that we bear such biases, and pledge to listen and to act upon feedback that paints a portrait of ourselves that we may be ashamed to acknowledge. Addressing this form of hate requires introspection, courage, and action.”
In addition to the observance, the campus community signed several banners with messages that “Hate Has No Place at UTHSC,” “UTHSC is United Against Hate,” and “UTHSC is a Hate-Free Campus.” The banners garnered hundreds of signatures and hang throughout campus as an ongoing message of solidarity that UTHSC stands against hate.
Yard signs with the same messaging were created and displayed throughout campus during the campaign and have been displayed since, when current events warrant.
The campaign received much public attention from those who pass by the university and the Memphis Medical District, as well as from several media outlets including Local 24, FOX 13, WMC Action News 5, and even a year after the launch, in the Memphis Flyer.
“Not only am I so proud to be a part of a campus that does not condone any type of hate, but it’s apparent our entire campus is proud,” said Sally Badoud, MBA, assistant vice chancellor for the UTHSC Office of Communications and Marketing. “This award is for our students and employees, as this was a great campus collaboration.”
The MarCom Awards is an international competition that recognizes creativity and ingenuity in communication. Each year, about 6,000 print and digital entries are submitted to MarCom for their annual awards.