Critical Social Justice: Ignite – October 22nd through 26th, 2018

A single light can’t illuminate a city or a nation, but it can ignite a movement that changes the world. This fall, Critical Social Justice: Ignite will explore how a burning commitment to create a better future can inspire activism among individuals and communities.

This is the UMBC Women’s Center’s 6th Critical Social Justice (CSJ) initiative. CSJ has always been an opportunity to bring our campus community together to spark innovative ideas, inspire creative inquiry, and begin new collaborations. This year, in addition to exploring what unites us, we want to create space to look at what separates us and how we can bridge those expanses.

CSJ Ignite - Social Media Image - small

We hope to continue to grow the inclusivity of CSJ by helping more people feel welcome and comfortable engaging in challenging conversations about equity and justice, across all racial and ethnic identities, genders, sexualities, political ideologies, academic fields, and life experiences. From dancers to coders, from seasoned activists to those looking for ways to begin impacting change around their passions, CSJ can be for all of us.

Throughout CSJ week, October 22-26, 2018, participants will explore how to harness partnership to achieve things that may be out of our reach as individuals. How can we use our strengths, and learn from our challenges, to become the community we want to be — one that truly exemplifies inclusive excellence?

Deanna Zandt - Headshot - Vu Gandin Le
Deanna Zandt; photo by Vu Gandin Le

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Critical Social Justice: Ignite keynote speaker will be Deanna Zandt, a media and technology expert who collaborates with leaders in social change work to create clear and persuasive strategies. In addition to her work in media strategy, Zandt is an expert on women in technology, hosts a podcast on mental health and emotional wellness, and writes and illustrates graphic stories and comics.

In addition to her work in the world of technology, Deanna is a voice in the #MeToo movement. When her story was publicly aired on This American Life’s “Five Women” episode, Deanna and her complex story became another face of #MeToo. She has since spoken out about the #MeToo movement’s initiative to both bring sexual assault perpetrators to justice and to empower survivors to tell their stories and/or heal. Read some of her thoughts on life post-This American Life here.
In bringing Deanna, we’re excited to learn more about how technology can move social justice forward, and what our roles may be in that effort.
If you’re interested in learning more about Deanna, you can visit her website, check out her Podcast, “The League of Awkward Unicorns,” or watch one or two of her featured talks at National Conference for College Women Student Leaders or TEDxBerlin has done. You can also check out her book Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking.

Follow the CSJ blog and Women’s Center Facebook and Twitter (#csjignite) for updates on scheduled events and other news. The full calendar of events for the week can be found here.  If you’re organizing a related event that week that might be included on the CSJ calendar, or for more information, please email

Critical Social Justice is made possible through partnerships across UMBC, this year including special collaborations with Residential Life and the Center for Women in Technology. Please see our co-sponsor page for more information. 


Helpful Links:

The full calendar of CSJ: Ingite events

The What You Need to Know about CSJ Ignite series

Be sure to sign up for the CSJ Walking Tour by 10/24! RSVP here.

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