Civil Discourse & Social Change

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Civil Discourse & Social Change

Job Announcement

Civil Discourse and Social Change (CDSC) at CSUN is looking for a student intern to work for 5 hours/week at $15/hour to join our dynamic team in Fall 2022. We seek a student with a keen interest in social justice work who is a team player. Internship duties include, but are not limited to the following: 

Assisting in organizing CDSC programming throughout the year 
Attending biweekly team meetings 
Data collection and analysis for annual reports 
Designing and disseminating flyers for events, including on social media  
Helping maintain CDSC social media 
Providing technical assistance for general operations 
Completing and following up on paperwork required to reimburse speakers  
Assisting in organizing the annual CDSC Social Justice Conference in Spring 2023 

Please submit resume and a brief cover letter expressing your interest and qualifications in this position to Dr. Clement Lai,, and Dr. Khanum Shaikh, by 5 p.m. on September 8th 2022.  

CDSC stands in solidarity and grieves with our Black students, friends, colleagues, family and loved ones over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McCade and too many others. We are angry that we must state what should be obvious and clear: that Black Lives Matter. As members of a social justice initiative founded on principles of non-violence and social change, we decry the systems of oppression that upholds militarized white supremacy and normalize Black death. We recognize the interlinked fates of marginalized communities who have been made vulnerable to the multiple crises in health care, in employment, in housing, in environmental precarity, in colonialization, and in detention and deportation.  Thus, we call for an end to these forms of oppression and for solidarity in the ongoing struggle to remake a society based in radical love.

To fight against anti-Black violence CDSC is committed to education towards widespread social change and the dismantling of systemic oppression. In light of ongoing crises against Black lives we also call upon CSUN to commit to more funds to support Africana Studies and other Ethnic Studies departments who do the vital work of supporting CSUN’s students and faculty of color. Finally, we support the protestors and refuse the narratives that are emerging that seek to invalidate their fight for justice. Now more than ever we affirm our commitment to dismantling the logics of anti-Blackness that uphold our institutions, and to envisioning and building just communities and institutions.

 CDSC is thrilled to announce that we are the 2020-2021 recipient of a $100,000.00 grant from the CA Civil Liberties Public Education Program (funded by the California State Library)! 

The CA Civil Liberties program aims to increase public awareness about the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II but more broadly focuses on projects that examine the causes of civil rights violations and civil liberties injustices based on national origin, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. 

The topic of our funded project is: "World Remaking: Intergenerational Activism and Transformative Justice" and will explore 1) the contemporary intergenerational activism and art of Japanese Americans that uses the incarceration experience to mobilize across racial and ethnic lines and practice Third World solidarity; and 2) contemporary social justice and civil liberties issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities e.g. around detention and deportation, gentrification, and now hopefully vulnerability to the pandemic. Programming for next year will focus on storytelling, performance, and public dialogue between different generations of Asian Pacific Islander and other racialized communities that focus on political mobilization, collective healing, and transformative justice. 

CDSC is proud to support the struggle against the Executive Orders on the CSUN campus. We ask that you please watch the following student-made video for more information:

About CDSC

Civil Discourse and Social Change is a campus-wide initiative that combines education, community involvement and sustained activism on issues around social justice and social change. The initiative operates under the auspices of the Provost, offering dynamic programming designed to provide social justice education opportunities to students and faculty.

CDSC was co-founded by Dr. Marta López-Garza and Dr. Kathryn Sorrells in 2010 to address student concerns regarding access to education, their future aspirations, and broader issues of social justice. At the invitation of CDSC, Reverend James L. Lawson Jr., who is a prominent leader of the civil rights movement, serves as a visiting scholar  About CDSC continues

Reverend Lawson's Biography

Rev. Lawson lecturing arrested in NashvilleReverend James Lawson has been working with the CDSC initiative at CSUN since 2010.

James Lawson was born in Pennsylvania in 1928. His father and grandfather were Methodist ministers, and Lawson received his local preacher's license in 1947, the year he graduated from high school.

At his Methodist college in Ohio, he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), America's oldest pacifist organization. Through FOR, he was first exposed to the nonviolent teachings of Gandhi and fellow black minister Howard Thurman.

After spending time in prison for refusing the Korean War draft, he obtained his B.A. in 1952, and spent the next three years as a campus minister and teacher at Hislop College in Nagpur, India. While in India, Lawson eagerly read of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emerging nonviolent resistance movement back in the United States. Reverend Lawson's Biography continues