Scholars for Social Justice
Scholars for Social Justice (SSJ) seeks to mobilize the knowledge, skills, and resources of scholars to battle the repressive attacks on marginalized communities, advancing instead an agenda of equity, justice and liberation. Issues impacting immigrants, women of color, people of color, LGBT, Muslims, women, disabled, indigenous and poor and working-class communities and all their intersections are a central priority for the organization. Moreover, SSJ is especially attuned to using the experiences of these same communities to reimagine the academy, expanding who it serves, who has access to it and who shapes its mission.
More about SSJ
SSJ has two areas of focus: (1) building a network of academics and other scholars committed to pursuing a progressive agenda on university campuses and beyond; and (2) leveraging the research, pedagogy, and resources of scholars in service of social justice movements.
This agenda emerges from the view that the theory and practice of racial and social justice can and must inform each other. There is amazing scholarship on a variety of racial and social justice topics coming from progressive scholars based in multiple settings in and outside of the academy. Simultaneously, there are growing movements for social and racial justice in the U.S. and transnationally, including but not limited to: prison and policing abolition, climate change, education as a human right, immigrant rights, reproductive justice, LGBTQIA rights, the Fight for 15 and many more. One problem, however, is there is little communication between these two worlds. SSJ wants to build bridges between social justice scholar activists and social justice organizers.
Over the next year, the organization is focused on bringing an abolition and reparation framework to more university and college campuses by expanding SSJ’s members and building connections across existing campaigns. Since the uprisings of summer 2020, calls for defunding and abolishing the police have moved on to campuses, forcing a discussion about how we might reimagine the meaning of public and campus safety. From the systemwide campaign at the University of California demanding #CopsoffCampus to the Tufts Action Group, organizing under the banner of Another Tufts is Possible, a growing chorus of students, faculty and staff are calling for divestment of carceral institutions and investment in institutions that promote generative investment in the wellbeing of previously harmed and marginalized communities.
Through SSJ we have an opportunity to identify best practices for campus campaigns, foster strategy sharing, engage in national coalition-building, and build political education to proliferate abolition and reparation campaigns on campuses around the country. Donations to SSJ will support our ability to staff this project and fund convenings, research and other related needs.