From systematic racism to climate change, institutions in contemporary American society are increasingly expected to wake up to and take a stance on major social and political issues that challenge our societal well-being. Yet such communicative efforts are not always met with unanimous positive reactions. The public, or some social groups, may question the underlying motivation for such efforts, seeing them as nothing more than political performance (Anderson & McClain, 2020). Certain narratives may backfire, too, especially when the effort is described as intending to benefit the bottom line rather than supporting social justice (Carlos & Lewis, 2018; Kim, 2014). Finally, despite the unprecedented wave of public support for BLM in summer 2020, many people were hesitant to rejoice over the “victory” because promises may never become progresses, especially considering that the past sixty years have witnessed a decrease, rather than an increase, in racial equity despite all the talking (e.g., a greater racial wealth gap; Miller, 2011, Shapiro, Meschede & Osoro, 2013). Stating an organization’s intention to contribute to a better, more equitable society is a must, but a deep understanding on how organizations should communicate such intentions, and how their words influence the public’s perception is still lacking. In response to the need for more rigorous and systematic research on how organizations communicate their intention to engage in social justice and how the public responds, this symposium has curated five interrelated empirical papers on this timely topic. Embracing a mixed method approach, these papers have combined the strength of archival analysis with experimental methods to showcase various aspects of an organizations’ decisions around rhetoric and communication style, how these decisions are perceived, and why certain strategies are perceived more favorably than others.