Taylor & Francis and NCA work together to help New Orleans
Katherine Burton, Publisher of Journals in the Taylor & Francis Group, gives an overview of the company’s annual meet up at the National Communication Association’s (NCA) convention and how it made a difference in New Orleans.
Our arrangements with scholarly societies are founded on support and collaboration and often provide us with opportunities to forge links with communities outside of the academy. Each year during November, books and journals colleagues from both the UK and US meet up at the annual National Communication Association's (NCA) convention to discuss projects and developments with editors and authors and provide support for the discipline through our publishing partnership with NCA. This year was an especially significant year for Routledge books and journals at NCA, as we were gathering in New Orleans to participate in the meeting that chose the theme of 'Voice' as its major focus. Apt for a scholarly association committed to the research and development of communication, but made more poignant perhaps by the location.
Finding ourselves in New Orleans six years after the city had been devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, was a humbling experience especially with evidence of the destruction that wrecked large sections of the city still being so prominent. How could we help the voice of NOLA and her residents be heard? How could our being there make a difference?
Making a difference was a significant motive for NCA in their convention planning and through partnering with local organisations, they reached out to the community in a very special way. Working in collaboration with projects such as Habitat For Humanity and Projects with Purpose NCA organised a 'Day of Service' for conference delegates and volunteers. This event was the brainchild of NCA's then First Vice-President, Rich West, whose ambition for this year’s convention was to bring together scholars to not only debate the role that communication studies plays in discussing/studying rebuilding communities after crisis, but to actively participate in the rebuilding themselves.
The volunteer 'Day of Service' was attended by over 60 conference delegates, including Kath Burton, Journals Publisher from MPK. Teams of volunteers were despatched to insulate a house, clear land for building, paint an entire building's facade and pack bags with food supplies for children at the local school - a Thanksgiving treat!
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