110th Annual ECA Convention
Providence, Rhode Island
Wednesday, April 10 – Sunday, April 14, 2019
Creating our Future
Providence, RI was founded in 1636 by renegade preacher Roger Williams to escape religious persecution in Massachusetts. Providence was so named to express William’s appreciation of God’s protection. A more secular translation of Providence is “the foresight or care exercised by a person in the management of affairs or resources.” Providence is now proud to call itself “The Creative Capital.” To honor the founding principles of Providence and the creative identity of Providence, it is appropriate our conference theme be “Creating Our Future.” The 110th Annual ECA Conference will be built around the idea of “Creating Our Future” through the management of resources emanating from our research and scholarly activities to transforms lives, communities, and organizations.
In the 1970s, Providence began a creative process in which it removed bridges covering the Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket Rivers, which converge to become the Providence River and the head of Narragansett Bay. Uncovering these rivers led to the creation of a new Providence where the rivers were lined with cobblestone walkways, park benches, trees and flowering plants and a series of Venetian bridges connecting downtown Providence to the city’s East Side. The City’s revitalization process resulted in its centerpiece, the Water Place Park that includes an amphitheater and WaterFire experience. Providence is also proud of the influence of the many academic institutions on the city’s intellectual life, the city’s “cool” vibe and its much-lauded restaurant scene.
My vision for our conference is to follow our host city’s lead by striving to be “The Creative Capital of the Communication Discipline.” We will build a future in which we use our resources to influence our immediate environments to create better education, to create an understanding of relationships and how to make relationships successful, to create organizational communication that is efficient and profit or service driven, and to create health care communication to increase patient quality of life and provider job satisfaction. My vision is to take our rightful place among fields that have earned the type of credibility we are striving to develop in external audiences, while maintaining our traditions of excellent scholarship, teaching and service.
With “Creating Our Future” in mind, I invite members to engage in work that applies the results of our research and scholarly activities to solve problems or address challenges in communities, organizations, relationships and local environments. I invite our members to ask “what resources do I create and how can those resources create new possibilities for others?”