University hosts profs for national 'Social Justice' summit

Western Illinois University-Quad Cities is set to host its first-ever “social justice summit” for educators “seeking to expand their social justice competency and capacity.”

According to the university website, the June 1 “Social Justice in Higher Education” summit will serve as “a gathering of higher education professionals seeking to expand their social justice competency and capacity through guided conversations with experienced student affairs practitioners and guest speakers resulting in practical approaches for both personal and professional skill building.”

[RELATED: College offers social justice Master’s for ‘scholar-activists’]

In a separate statement announcing the event, the school explained that the summit will be sponsored by the GradCenter, the WIU College Student Personnel (CSP) program, and the Expanding Cultural Diversity Project.

CSP Program Manager Jill Bisbee touted the event as “a great opportunity for higher education practitioners who are seeking to expand their social justice repertoire, with an emphasis on practical approaches for personal and professional skill building.” 

Attendees will be able to participate in small group discussions, listen to multiple speakers and facilitators, and attend a Keynote Session featuring talks by “two social justice scholars who will discuss strategies, programs, and styles to advance social justice in the field.”

The keynote speakers will be Dr. J. Q. Adams, a former WIU professor who “has spent his entire academic career studying and teaching about multicultural education and diversity,” and Dr. Rachel Wagner, an assistant professor at Clemson University who the school describes as a “leading social justice educator and consultant.”

[RELATED: Stanford hiring admin to ‘advance social justice’ on campus]

Following a half-hour “kickoff” session, summit attendees will spend more than an hour at a breakout session facilitated by Dr. Tracy Davis, where they will “engage in small group development, self-development, and self-awareness to gain competencies for social justice engagement.”

According to WIU, Davis became the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development in 2011, a role that conforms to his research interests in social justice education, sexual assault prevention, identity development, men’s development, and moral voice/orientation.”

After a break for lunch, which will also feature the two keynote speeches, participants will head to an hour-long session billed as “an in-depth discussion on daily social justice practices for campus professionals,” where they can choose to focus on one of three topics.

Registration for the conference costs just $20 per person, which covers all conference sessions and materials, coffee and snacks, and lunch.

Spokespersons for WIU did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @The_MasonMcKie