Faculty and staff across higher education are re-imagining service-learning and community engagement work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing racial justice efforts in the last couple of years. The inequalities we are seeing make clear the need to center social justice in these efforts. 

The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (MJCSL) in collaboration with the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan published a timely special issue on Centering Social Justice in the Scholarship of Community Engagement, highlighting the opportunities and challenges of higher education civic and community engagement and ways for scholars and practitioners to move towards more just and equitable community outcomes. 

This special conversation will feature journal special issue guest editors:

  • Dr. Tania Mitchell, Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development
  • Dr. Tabbye Chavous, Director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity; Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan

Moderated by Dr. Cecilia Morales, managing editor of MJCSL, this special conversation will offer insights and experience in using community engagement as a practice for achieving social justice, within higher education and beyond our institutions’ walls. They will also offer advice for scholars seeking to define and advance social justice principles in their research and practice, as well as recommendations for how institutions can transform policy and practices such as hiring, promotion, tenure, and reward systems to advance the work of centering social justice in community engagement. 

Participants will also have an opportunity to join topical breakout sessions with special issue authors that will explore:

  • Designing and Measuring Student Learning Outcomes for Social Justice
  • The Value of Interdisciplinary Methodologies for Achieving Social Justice
  • Centering Community Partners in Knowledge Production

Explore MJCSL's Special Issue Volume 27, Issue 1

Centering Social Justice in Community Engagement

Attitude Change and Action in a Course Aiming for the Social Justice Turn by Lauren B. Cattaneo, Jenna M. Calton, Rachel Shor, Syeda I. Younus, Kris T. Gebhard, Stephanie Hargrove, Nour Elshabassi, Batool Al-Shaar

Developing Critical Consciousness: The Gains and Missed Opportunities for Latinx College Students in a Sport-Based Critical Service-Learning Course by Milagros Castillo-Montoya, Garret Zastoupil, Ajhanai Newton

Sparking a Commitment to Social Justice in Asian American Studies by Jennifer A. Yee, Kasandra Tong, Mitchell Tao, Quyen Le, Vy Le, Phong Doan, and Anthony Villanueva

Critical Information Literacy and Critical Service Learning by Andrea E. Brewster, Nicole A. Branch, and Jennifer E. Nutefall

Race, Power, and Place: Lakota Lessons from Pine Ridge Reservation by Christey Carwile

Perspectives of Community Partner Organizations in the Development of Ethical Service-Learning Guidelines by Meghan Doran, Colin Rhinesmith, and Sarah Arena