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This article describes and reflects on a collaborative, in-class activity that asks students in a business writing course to analyze the intersection of language, values, and social justice through a rhetorical analysis of corporate mission statements. The activity looks at how mission statements, as a genre, work to construct an ethos of civic engagement targeting a specific audience. Students reflect on values embedded in mission statements and compare these values with corporate action. Students then work in groups to create their own mission statements that direct their research and teamwork for their other, collaborative course projects. I offer this activity focused on mission statements as a concrete way to discuss social justice, values, and civic engagement in a business writing course; specifically, students explore how language impacts social justice and structural (in)equality.
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