Invitation to Join “Imagining a Socially Just Academia” Launch Conversation @SocialJustAcad

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of “Imagining A Socially Just Academia” (@socialjustacad), a new project within Equity Unbound (@unboundeq).  

This open, networked, long-term project will be a series of listening sessions, conversations, and workshops aimed at dismantling oppression and promoting decolonial and antiracist practices in academic institutions, research practice, curricula and teaching practices. This project idea arose as a continuation of an Equity Unbound event held on June 30, 2020 entitled “Inclusive Citation, Inclusive Academy?” where participants expressed a need to continue the conversation and build a community around these important issues.

Academia is often a hostile space in both implicit and explicit ways for IBPOC (indigenous, black and people of color) academics, staff and students alike, as well as those from lower-income and colonized countries (whether in the past or present, impacted by coloniality). Epistemic and social injustices are persistent/pervasive despite concern and previous efforts to address these challenges.  This collaborative and collective work will consider the challenges faced both in our local and institutional contexts as well as a broader global context. We seek a pathway for decolonial, intersectional and anti-racist practices in knowledge-making and community engagement within and beyond ‘the academy’, while recognizing that previous institutional efforts at promotion “inclusion”, “equity” and “diversity” have been problematic, and that even the term “academy” has elitist connotations we must question and dismantle.

This invitation is open. Anyone with a role or an interest in “dismantling oppression and promoting decolonial and antiracist practices in academic institutions, research practice, curricula and teaching practices” is welcome. If you care about these issues and would like to listen, participate and/or take action, whether you have experience or not, whether your role currently permits you or not, you are welcome. This invitation is open for early career, senior and retired academics, university support staff, students (graduate and undergraduate), parents, NGOs and anyone with a stake in higher education or even education as a whole. You are welcome. Feel free to invite your colleagues and students.

We cordially invite you and your colleagues to join our network. We hope you will be able to participate in our first launch conversation (via Zoom).  In this livestreamed and recorded event we will discuss what concerns we might all be grappling with as we set off on this work together.  In addition, we will work together to identify some specific topics that we would like to see addressed regarding higher education practices. This event is scheduled to be 1.5 hours long – you are welcome to join us for however long you can. If you cannot make it, please fill in the form to indicate you would like to be part of the network/community, even if you cannot join the event itself, so we can keep you posted with upcoming activities.

“Imagining a Socially Just Academia” Launch Conversation

Friday October 9, 2020 at 1pm UTC

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***Please fill out this form to register, to receive the link for our virtual (Zoom) conversation on October 9th and/or to receive future information on the developing work.

Recording of the event is here:

The Facilitators of the Project & This Session (alphabetical order of last name) are:

This project is funded by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and is supported by the following institutions: Equity Unbound; the American University in Cairo (Egypt); Kean University (USA & China), Ohio State University (USA), Oklahoma State University (USA), Penn State University (USA), University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of Toronto (Canada). 

Header image: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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