Faculty Resource Network

An academic partnership devoted to faculty development. Now in our fourth decade, we remain committed to this partnership, and to fostering connection, collaboration, and collegiality among our members.

Advancing Social Justice from Classroom to Community

A National Symposium

Fall 2015


1. Plenary Panel
2. Presentations

How are today’s colleges and universities serving as a focal point for social justice issues in the 21st century? Broadly speaking, “social justice” encompasses the principles of equity, opportunity, and non-discrimination, all of which are pertinent to higher education. For example, how can faculty instructors promote an environment of mutual respect in classrooms that are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and national origin? What pedagogies are most effective at fostering inclusive engagement of all students? How can we integrate social justice expansively throughout the curriculum, including disciplines like the sciences, where it is not usually found? How can the entire campus community work together to eliminate sexual harassment and assault?

Access to quality higher education is another pressing social justice concern. For some students, the ability to attend college has become increasingly elusive because of rising costs. Do our schools provide educational opportunities for a broad diversity of students, including those who are underrepresented and economically disadvantaged? Or is our education system—as some critics claim—simply perpetuating the social and economic stratification that already exists in society?

Finally, new advances in networked technology have changed our students’ understanding of the “public sphere.” Social media can be used as a mechanism for positive social change, but they also create a new space for bullying, harassment, and expressions of prejudice. These negative online interactions present a thorny challenge because they occur outside the parameters of the classroom and the educational institution. How can faculty, administrators, and students work together to harness the positive aspects of social media and to foster online civility and respect? How can social media be used to further social justice both domestically and globally?

During this two-day symposium, through keynote presentations, plenary panels, and breakout sessions, we had the opportunity to examine what social justice means in today’s colleges and universities.

In this thirteenth issue of our online NETWORK: A Journal of Faculty Development, we present excerpts from a number of the presentations that were delivered during that symposium.

Plenary Panel

Consequential Impact of the Civil Rights Movement: Implications for Advancing Social Justice in the 21st Century

Introductory Remarks
Debra Szybinski, Faculty Resource Network, and Beverly Wade Hogan, Tougaloo College.

Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons,
University of Florida

Joyce A. Ladner,
SNCC Legacy Project

Charles E. Cobb, Jr.,
Duke University


Advancing Social Justice From Classroom to Community
Excerpts from a presentation by Kai Burkins, Johnson C. Smith University, and Dezette C. Johnson, Johnson C. Smith University.

African Traditional Thought and the Civil Rights Circle: Multi-Cultural Connections for Moving Justice from Classroom to Community
Excerpts from a presentation by Ruth Lucier, Bennett College.

BOLD in Detroit: A Campus-Community Partnership
Excerpts from a presentation by Brenda Bryant, Marygrove College, Jesse Cox, Marygrove College, Karen Dimanche Davis, Marygrove College, Jann Hoge, Marygrove College, Julie Laforet, Marygrove College.

Bringing the Classroom to the Community Through Service Learning
Excerpts from a presentation by Noemi Esther Morriberon, Fairfield University.

Collaborative Global Citizenship Initiatives Through Salzburg Global Seminar
Excerpts from a presentation by Gwendolyn M. Bookman, Bennett College for Women.

Connecting Civil Rights to the Universe
Excerpts from a presentation by Elizabeth R. OuYang, New York University and Columbia University.

Curriculum Design for Equity and Excellence
Excerpts from a presentation by Lisa Hibbard, Spelman College, Renee Leonard, Spelman College, and Aditi Pai, Spelman College.

Engaging College Faculty and Students in the Realities of Bullying and Sexual Assault at a Major Metropolitan University
Excerpts from a presentation by James Peter Lawler, Pace University, and John C. Molluzzo, Pace University.

Improve Learning Through Activities Outside of the Classroom
Excerpts from a presentation by Jill O’Sullivan, Farmingdale State College.

Lights, Camera, Justice! Reimagining Social Justice Through Screenwriting
Excerpts from a presentation by Alexandra Vega, University of Sacred Heart, Puerto Rico.

Promoting Social Justice Through Service Learning
Excerpts from a presentation by Orla Smyth LoPiccolo, Farmingdale State College, SUNY.

The Role of the Citizen Journalist as a Guardian of Social Justice
Excerpts from a presentation by Murdell Walker McFarlin, Clark Atlanta University.

Social Justice: A National Imperative
Excerpts from a presentation by Beverly L. Kahn, Farmingdale State College.

Social Justice Through Community Outreach: The STEM Diversity Roundtable and Summit
Excerpts from a presentation by Veronica Henry, Farmingdale State College.

A Training Ground for Women of Color in STEM: Spelman College Tackles the STEM Pipeline as a Social Justice Issue
Excerpts from a presentation by Mentewab Ayalew, Spelman College, Dolores V. Bradley, Spelman College, Kimberly M. Jackson, Spelman College, Yewande Olubummo, Spelman College, Jakita O. Thomas, Spelman College, and Joycelyn Wilson, Spelman College.

Universities’ Compliance with Title IX OCR Directives: Do the New Sexual Harassment/Sexual Offense Policies Advance Social Justice?
Excerpts from a presentation by Audrey Wolfson Latourette, Stockton University.

Using Technology in Teaching Social Justice in the Social Sciences
Excerpts from a presentation by Nicola Davis Bivens, Johnson C. Smith University, Anita Bledsoe-Gardner, Johnson C. Smith University, and Deborah Brown Quick, Johnson C. Smith University.

Voices of the Next Generation: Preparing Teacher Candidates to Become Advocates for Social Justice
Excerpts from a presentation by Rita Mitchell, Huston-Tillotson University.

W.E.B. Du Bois Faculty Student Research Experience: A Social Justice Initiative at Farmingdale State College
Excerpts from a presentation by Lynn B. Elfe, Farmingdale State College, and Angela Jones, Farmingdale State College.