Prof: Colleges must train 'social justice warriors' to fight Trump

Higher education has “a special mission to educate the next generation of Social Justice Warriors,” according to a recent op-ed by two academics.

“With the Trump Administration proposing massive cuts to social programs...the Nation faces catastrophic consequences for its social sustainability,” assert Mount Ida College professor James Martin and James E. Samels, CEO of The Education Alliance, in an op-ed published Monday by University Business [emphasis in original].

Unambiguously titled “Social justice university: educating the next generation of social justice warriors,” the op-ed uses Southern Connecticut State University as a case study for the role that the authors believe higher education should play in promoting social activism among students.

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“Driven by doing good and doing well, higher education has a special mission to educate the next generation of Social Justice Warriors,” they assert. “These Warriors will be educated, empowered, and self-motivated to advocate for equal rights, opportunities, and privileges—welcoming everyone to citizenship, colleagueship, and civic compassion” [emphasis in original].

Praising Southern Connecticut as “an early adopter of the American social justice mission,” Martin and Samels note that the university now has a doctoral degree program in Social Work to complement its existing graduate and undergraduate programs, making it the 11th institution in the country to offer a Doctorate of Social Work.

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In addition, they point out that the university’s president, Joe Bertolino, “was one of the first college and university presidents to urge President Trump to take a forceful stance against harassment, hate crimes, and acts of violence,” and had previously said he wants people to think of Southern Connecticut “as the university dedicated to social justice.”

Neither Martin nor Samels responded to a request for comment, but SCSU spokesperson provided a statement explaining the school's approach to diversity.

"As a public university in an urban setting, we have students from all walks of life. And as part of our historic commitment to access and affordability, it’s important that we maintain a campus environment based on inclusiveness and understanding, giving every student the full opportunity to realize his/her goal of a college degree," Dilger told Campus Reform. "Off-campus, we lend our resources of knowledge and expertise to establish partnerships that help our neighbors address many of the issues that confront us all in contemporary society." 

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