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The social justice scholars group was formed in the Fall of 2011 based on an idea to approach diversity and bias-related issues on this campus from a broader perspective than policy, admissions, hiring (and retention), and curriculum changes. Those sorts of changes are essential, but many of the same faculty found themselves serving on committees to help shape and implement those changes because of the central role these issues play in their scholarly work.

 

As we try to make changes in the social and moral life of this campus, perhaps what we need, as an institution of research and learning, is an intellectual effort to match the important policy efforts to which faculty, staff, and students dedicate time. There are a significant number of people on campus with research and scholarship relating to diversity, prejudice, morality, social change, social justice, innovation, disparity in health, poverty, behavioral economics, etc. This covers English, Sociology, Psychology, Marketing, Anthropology, Management, WGSS (Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies), Finance, Economics, Africana studies, HMS (Health, Medicine, and Society), Cognitive Science, Theater, Religion, Biology, Counseling Psychology, Art, Education, Political Science and History. This touches all the colleges on Lehigh’s campus.

However, we have no “center” relating to these themes, and no forum for scholars to gather in an interdisciplinary fashion and have dialogue about their shared research interests and forge new collaborations. The Social Justice Scholars group was proposed as an entity in order to create this opportunity for interdisciplinary and cross-college opportunities for ideas relating to these important issues to be disseminated and discussed. The hope was that this will create an intellectual climate that not only engages faculty, but will allow students, staff, and community members to become more aware of the diverse body of academic work being done on this campus that relates to addressing social justice issues and to disparities linked to group memberships (religion, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.).

 

In the absence of something like a "Center for Diversity, Social Justice and Social Change" such a group is needed to help the institution achieve its goals of promoting diversity at multiple layers and in many different formats. It capitalizes on one of our existing strengths – the already established scholarly work of our world class scholars.

 

The goals of the group are to provide opportunities for scholarly discussion surrounding issues of social justice through seminars, lunches, and town hall type meetings, with the goal of hosting 4 -6 events a year.

 

 Affiliated Members

Subpages (1): Affiliated Members