The Michael D. Eisner College of Education began creating a College-wide definition of Social Justice in Summer 2022. A group of volunteers read, discussed, and proposed two definitions for Social Justice. These proposals were introduced to the students, staff, faculty, and administrators of the College with opportunities to discuss and provide written feedback.
The discussion and written feedback led to the creation of a third proposal. During the Spring 2023 semester, all College members -- students, staff, faculty, and administrators -- were invited to vote for the Social Justice definition to guide our work for the near future. We understand that the definition will be updated over time, but for now, we proudly present below the definition of Social Justice for our College.
Special thanks to Jack Bagwell, Sandra Chong, Jordan Eickman, Amy Hanreddy, Alex Hollett, Virginia Kennedy, Jaclyn Kietzman, Wilda Laija-Rodriguez, Shyrea Minton, David Moguel, Wendy Murawski, Mira Pak, and Shari Tarver Behring.
As faculty, staff, and students, we are committed to social justice. In the MDECOE, we believe that social justice is a form of activism rooted in the principles of equity and inclusion. As a part of this process, we analyze how power, privilege, and oppression impact our social, political, and cultural identities. We seek to ensure that resources are distributed equitably and all members of our community feel welcome.
Social justice involves all of us and invites us to develop our own agency and sense of responsibility toward others as we challenge inequities through study, struggle, and solidarity. Social justice is a collective, ongoing journey toward liberation.
We know social justice is happening when…
- We are informed by community members, prioritize collaboration, and create safe opportunities for staff, faculty, and students to share their experiences and ideas.
- We learn from the histories, scholarship, activism, and lifeways of those on the margins and make space for minoritized communities to speak for themselves.
- We take active roles to dismantle racial, linguistic, religious, economic, environmental, gender, sexual, and ability-based oppressions and challenge initiatives that may cause harm to students, staff, faculty, and community partners.
- We commit ourselves to creating justice-oriented solutions to complex problems and anticipating how oppressions intersect to create new forms of harm.
- We carefully consider and revise our curricula, instruction, recruitment strategies, research priorities, fiscal policies, and other initiatives to align with justice-oriented efforts in our departments, the MDECOE, and CSUN.
- We promote life, safety, autonomy, and sustainable relationships (with others and the earth) through shared struggle and solidarity.
- We distribute resources and labor expectations equitably and sustainably.
- We welcome compassion, conflict, and collaboration as necessary components for personal and collective growth.
- We dedicate ourselves to learning and growing as terms and vocabulary change, new organizing strategies are developed, and possible futures are envisioned and enacted.
- We remember that it is not perfection but the striving, together, that makes our work meaningful.