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Pepperdine Journal of Communication Research

Abstract

In a time of heightening racial tensions and a nationwide declaration for social justice, Universities across the country had varying reactions and responses to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter and their role in creating spaces and resources for students. In this essay, I examine the way that Christian institution Pepperdine University handled the situation and examine the rhetorical strategies they used in their official statements released in response to the situation. Pepperdine University used repetition and sequencing, prophetic voice, and synecdochical gaze to communicate to their students that their first priority in light of the events was to uphold their Christian mission and act according to the Biblical values the University was founded upon. The administration also utilized their religious authority in order to communicate to students.

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