The fifth annual Critical Social Justice explored opportunities for building individual and collective resistance and resilience. Events throughout the week, the theme of Rise, challenged us to think about how we can do better, do more, and persist in doing it when it comes to working towards positive social change and activism. Take a look back at some of highlights from throughout the week and catch up on anything you missed!
Leading up to the week, we were SUPER PUMPED for Critical Social Justice to get started – and so was the rest of UMBC!
You can see many of the other “I rise for…”
We kicked of CSJ on Monday with Chalking for Change on Academic Row before CSJ 101.
While people were writing what they rise for outside, CSJ 101 was taking place directly inside where students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to learn about Resistance and Resilience in social change and activism.
Those who attending brainstormed what they resisted for and how they can practice resilience.
Tuesday brought our keynote speaker, Dr. Adrienne Keene of the Cherokee nation to UMBC!
Her first stop was the Women’s Center for an intimate lunch and discussion with students and staff.
After lunch, Dr. Keene presented a workshop entitled, Responding to Campus Racism, that covered her work with racism and cultural appropriation. Using a case study of a themed party that relied on harmful stereotypes of Native Americans, Dr. Keene encouraged students to think about how they would respond to the incident from an individual and institutional perspective. Through brainstorming, students learned from each other about campus resources and departments that could be helpful in responding to the issue, in addition to working on ways to prevent an incident like this happening in the future at UMBC.
Later that night Dr. Keene gave her keynote presentation entitled, “Native Appropriations, Indigenous Social Media, and Responding to Racism,” to a standing-room only crowd in the UC Ballroom.
To conclude her presentation and with Halloween quickly approaching, Dr. Keene gave us all some homework to help reduce cultural appropriation through the call to “don’t dress as (or let your friends dress as) an “Indian” for Halloween.”
On Wednesday, faculty and staff participated in a panel and discussion called “Rising Tensions and Teachable Moments” that explores the ways in which faculty and staff could talk about hard issues both in and outside the classroom with not only students but their colleagues.
Later that evening, the Mosaic Center hosted “Rising in Times of International Tragedies: The Impact of Oppressive Symbols,” which was a panel of faculty and staff centering European, Jewish and African-American voices discussing their shared, intersectional perspectives connected to historically oppressive symbols.
Although the threat of rain meant the Monument Quilt Display was cancelled on Thursday, the Women’s Center still hosted two workshops surrounding sexual violence and support for survivors. During the quilt making workshop, participants spent time talking about the #metoo movement and how the online activism and story telling surrounding the hashtag showed up for them in their own lives.
Friday concluded CSJ with the Baltimore Walking Tour led, for the third year in a row, by Dr. Kate Drabinski from Gender + Women’s Studies.
Thanks again to all our partners and everyone who attended CSJ last week – You all made the fifth year of Critical Social Justice: Rise possible! We’re excited for next year, but let’s be sure to keep the momentum going. Critical Social Justice isn’t just a week but a year long commitment!
So to keep that momentum going:
- Follow the Women’s Center and Mosaic Center via myUMBC and our social media accounts to stay up-to-date about all of our social justice programming throughout the year. The Women’s Center is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- A great round-up of diversity and inclusion resources can also be found at UMBC’s Diversity and Inclusion website and the Race, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice myUMBC page.
- Tell us what you think! Participate in the CSJ: Rise survey. Your feedback is important to us.