The Center for Social Justice is an initiative of the Women's and Gender Studies Program to promote gender justice, equality, and human rights through local and global engagement.

Presidential Dream Course with Dr. Lupe Davidson and Dr. Kirsten T. Edwards

Women's and Gender Studies Director and Center for Social Justice Co-Director Dr. Lupe Davidson and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Dr. Kirsten T. Edwards will be co-teaching a Presidential Dream Course entitled "Bodies That (Don't) Matter" this fall:

Trayvon Martin, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Renisha McBride…for some these names signify disturbances in our national psyche…they are outliers and disruptions…their deaths do not represent what is fundamentally a fair justice system. To others, these names signify a society founded on anti-black racism…where Trayvon, Aiyana, Michael, Eric, Renisha, Zella (and others) paid the ultimate penalty for their blackness, their gayness, their femaleness—death. In an effort to understand opposing positions on the deaths of Black, Brown, cis and trans bodies, this course will contextualize these (and other) deaths along with the recent rise in student of color activism on campuses across the US in terms of “mattering.” Drawing on the disciplines of gender studies, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, educational studies, and rhetoric, we will address such questions as:

• What does it mean to matter?
• How can we determine who matters and who doesn’t?
• Are there some bodies that matter more than others?
• Are there levels of mattering?
• What are the dangers associated with not mattering?
• What if any is the connection of mattering or not mattering to larger philosophical discussions about recognition and agency?

Our goal is to place these deaths within a historical and theoretical framework. After this class students should be able to critically evaluate the recent and future deaths of Black, Brown, cis, and trans people through a socio-cultural-philosophical lens. They will also be provided with critical tools to critique the way that bodies are treated (mistreated) within society.

There will be a series of public events hosted as part of the course.

Monday, September 19th at 6:00pm - Gould Hall, Room 155

"Bodies of Color, Bodies of Sorrow: Resistant Mourning, Becoming-with, and Coalitional Politics" 

A public lecture with Dr. Mariana Ortega.

Mariana Ortega is a Professor of Philosophy at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. Her research focuses on questions of self and sociality, the question of identity, and visual representation of race, gender, and sexuality.

Tuesday, October 4th at 6:00pm - Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium

"Nigger is Not My Name"

A public lecture with Dr. George Yancy.

George Yancy is a Professor of Philosophy at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His research focuses on the areas of critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies, and philosophy of the black experience.

Tuesday, October 25th at 6:00pm - Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium

"Intersectionality, Black Lives Matter, and Participatory Democracy"

A public lecture with Dr. Patricia Hill Collins.

Patricia Hill Collins is a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Charles Phelps Taft Emeritus Professor of Sociology within the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her research focuses on feminism and gender in the African American community.

Tuesday, November 15th at 5:00pm - Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium

"#BlackLivesMatter, Material Bodies, and Racial Justice"

A panel discussion with Sarah Adams-Cornell, Native American Rights Activist; Dr. T. Elon Dancy II, Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Academic Inclusion; Grace Franklin, Co-Founder of OKC Artists for Justice; Dr. Karlos Hill, Associate Professor of African and African American Studies; Dr. Joshua Nelson, Associate Professor of English; Dr. Gabriela Rios, Assistant Professor of English.

What is Social Justice?