The second annual Critical Social Justice campaign will be held February 16th-20th, 2015! This year’s theme is “Creating Brave Spaces,” inspired by the essay “From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces” by Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens.
CSJ 2015 keynote speaker Franchesca Ramsey
Our keynote speaker will be comedian and social justice blogger Franchesca Ramsey (a.k.a. Chescaleigh), who’s perhaps best known for her viral parody video on racial microaggressions “Sh*t White Girls Say…To Black Girls.” Franchesca Ramsey’s keynote lecture “Your Powerful Online Voice: Social Media for Social Change” will be Tuesday, February 17th at 7:30pm in the UC Ballroom.
Several other programs will be held throughout the week which will support interdisciplinary learning and active engagement with social justice, including:
- CSJ 101 roundtable – Mon. 2/16, 12-1pm in Commons 329
- Invisible Privilege (Made Visible) activity & discussion – Tues. 2/17, 1-3pm on Main Street (event sponsored by: Mosaic Center)
- Women’s Center Occupies Main Street interactive exhibit & activities – Wed. 2/18, 11-2pm on Main Street (event sponsored by: Women’s Center)
- Social Justice Pedagogy: Tensions, Triggers & Teachable Moments faculty panel discussion – Wed. 2/18, 3-4pm in Sherman B-wing 220 (event sponsored by: Women’s Center)
- CSJ Reflection discussion – Thurs. 2/19, 3-4pm in the Mosaic Center
- Making Queer Spaces Safe Spaces roundtable – Thurs. 2/19, 7:30-9pm in the Women’s Center
- Feminist Art Gallery – Mon. 2/16 through Fri. 2/27 in the Commons Mezzanine Gallery
CSJ aims to support ongoing engagement with social justice across campus and we encourage all members of the UMBC community to get involved. If your department or organization is planning an event for that week that reflects the mission of CSJ, please fill out this form so we can contact you to find out more.
More details and events will be announced leading up to CSJ 2015, so like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and use the hashtag #CSJ2015 to keep up-to-date with the latest news!
Critical Social Justice is coordinated by the Women’s Center with Student Life’s Mosaic Center.
This post is written by Madison Miller. It was originally featured on the Women’s Center WordPress, which you can find here.
With much discussion in Women’s Center staff meetings about actively applying our work in the Center as student staff members to other areas of our lives, I have recently been thinking a lot about how my experiences and education in social justice and activism coincide with the various roles and responsibilities I hold outside of the Center. Currently in the process of working towards receiving teacher certification in elementary education, one of my most valued roles this academic year is my internship as a student teacher in a fourth grade classroom. Watching my students embrace new concepts and grow as individuals each week has not only brought an immense amount of pleasure and fulfillment into my life, but it has also caused me to think rather critically about how learning in the classroom translates outside to the “real world”. I’m not talking about how that math equation we learned last week can help us to calculate a tip on a restaurant bill, or how that new vocabulary word can be used to impress our relatives, but instead about how simple classroom dynamics can set a pretty important example for those of us who are long removed from our own elementary school classrooms.
Although we live in a society that preaches equality and fairness, perhaps one of the most important concepts I have learned in the classroom thus far is that equality and fairness are far from interchangeable terms. Continue reading
This guest post was written by Women’s Center student staff member Ty Philip.
In celebrating LGBTQ History Month, it’s important to remember those who don’t fit into the mainstream representation of the LGBTQ community. As the LGBTQ community has made gains in society, it is important to recognize that the face of the movement is increasingly white, cis, male, gay, upper class, able-bodied, and heteronormative. When arguments for marriage equality are made, our leaders look back to Stonewall as a way to validate their arguments. Stonewall, after all, sparked the beginning of the LGBTQ rights movement in America. So it’s only right for us to assume that because the face of the LGBTQ movement today is one that is predominantly white, cis, male, gay, upper class, able-bodied, and heteronormative, it has historically been the face of the movement. We know that this is not true.
When we think of LGBTQ rights and Stonewall, we don’t think of all of the trans women of color who have both presently and historically risked their safety and continuously had their lives threatened in order to try to claim a right to navigate in our society. What we think of is people like Harvey Milk whose politics are catered towards those of a privileged LGBTQ identity. We think of Neil Patrick Harris, who is a living representation of the effects and benefits of those privileges. We don’t think of people like Sylvia Rivera, who was present on the actual night of the Stonewall riots. We don’t think of Reina Gossett, either, a trans woman of color who is representative of the same kinds of intersectional oppression faced by Sylvia and all of the others present at Stonewall. It is important to remember that what is the face of the community is not representative of the community itself, that there is marginalization within the community that leaves certain narratives untold. Continue reading
UMBC celebrates LGBTQ History Month with this Critical Social Justice campaign speaker. The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21st at 7:30pm in the University Commons (UC) Ballroom.
A trans woman of color, hearing Reina Gossett’s lived experience is enough to captivate. Add to this her years of meaningful experience in activism and community organization, in film-making and research, in writing and social justice work, and Gossett’s growing recognition begins to make sense.
Reina offers a unique perspective on the experiences of LGBTQ/GNC (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming) people, especially those who are also people of color and those of low-income backgrounds.
Sharing this perspective, and with such varied and interdisciplinary experiences, Reina brings new light to social justice activism and challenges even the most critical of us to examine our practices and beliefs, pushing all to embody the change that so many feel our world so desperately needs.
Presented by Student Life’s Mosaic: Cultural & Diversity Center and The Women’s Center.
Check out the myUMBC event page or the Facebook event page, as well!