We at the Social Justice Institute strive to be forward thinking in our inquiries as well as our actions. We wholeheartedly believe that to get an idea of where to go next, we must keep in mind where we have been. With that in mind, here are some of the events that SJI has sponsored and that continue to influence our thinking and guide our work.
To view photos and videos from past events, please visit our media page.
To see what is in store for the coming weeks and months, head to the upcoming events page.
Decolonizing Cleveland Charette
Co-sponsored by the Beamer-Schneider Lecture in Ethics and Civics
- Date and Time: Saturday, October 14, 10:30 am-2 pm
- Location: Clark Hall, Room 309, 11130 Bellflower Road
Indigenous movements such as the Dakota Access Pipeline often call for “decolonization” as a goal of social justice advocacy. What does decolonization mean? What are the different forms decolonization could take locally? The greater Cleveland area may assume its history to start with the formation of the U.S. and European colonization of North America. But the area is also home to a much longer history of diverse Indigenous peoples. In fact, this area has been known by many names. Moreover, more recently, Indigenous persons and communities make their home in the Cleveland area, bringing both traditions from this region and from many other regions in North America, and also beyond. In the last 200 years, additional groups, including African-Americans, have created homes, communities and cultures in the area. But the current infrastructure, maps, buildings, artwork, and other markers of the physical landscape in the Cleveland area do not appear to include or honor these connections to Indigenous peoples and other groups. In fact, in some respect, the physical landscape and urban/suburban ecology reflect U.S. desires to take the land from other groups and erase their histories and contemporary lives. What would it mean, then, to change this situation? This event, open to the Cleveland community and CWRU, will be an open discussion of whether decolonization has a place in the Cleveland area, what decolonization might look like, and how it might be achieved.
At this participatory event, Kyle Powys Whyte, several elders from the Cleveland indigenous community, and an SJI representative will lead us in an envisioning process to imagine what it would be to decolonize Cleveland. This process is meant as an introduction and as something incomplete — a kind of proposition, even a preposition.
Lunch with SJI - Learn about the Social Justice Minor
- Date and Time: Friday, October 27, 12:45-2 pm
- Location: Mather House, Room 100
Join SJI Academic Coordinator John Flores for an informal lunch and conversation about SJI and the social justice minor. Bring your questions or just come to connect with other like-minded students interested in justice and activism.
The Monument Quilt
To create a culture of support for survivors of rape and abuse
- Date and Time: Wednesday, October 11, 10 am-2 pm
- Location: Corner of Euclid Ave and Adelbert Rd (Rain location: Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd)
Organized by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, the Monument Quilt is an ongoing collection of stories from survivors of rape and abuse. Written, stitched and painted onto red fabric, the stories are displayed in city centers to create and demand public spaces to heal. The quilt resists the popular and narrow narrative of how sexual violence occurs by telling many stories, not one, and builds a new culture where survivors are publicly supported, rather than publicly shamed. After visiting cities across America, thousands of fabric suqares will blanket over one mile of the National Mall spelling "NOT ALONE."
This event is organized by SJI, Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, CWRU Green Dot, Greek Life, SMARRT (Students Meeting About Risk and Responsibility Training), Center for Civic Learning and Engagement, Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at the Mandel School for Applied Social Sciences, SAVE (Sexual Assault and Violence Educators), The Feminist Collective at CWRU, the CWRU LGBT Center, the Women & Gender Studies Program, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland, and ATNSC: Center for Healing and Creative Leadership.
Social Justice Institute Fellows Present...
Research Lunch Series with Matthew Rossman and Elizabeth Nalepa
- Date and Time: Tuesday, October 10, 11:30 am-12:45 pm
- Location: Crawford Hall, Room A13, 10900 Euclid Ave
Not the Sharpest Tools in the Shed - In Search of Smarter Homeowner Subsidies
Matthew Rossman, professor of law, will discuss his revealing research project about the profound disconnect between the federal tax code’s homeowner subsidies (often criticized for primarily benefiting higher income households) and other federal housing related policies. These other policies include combating disinvestment in distressed housing submarkets, decreasing residential segregation, and minimizing negative environmental externalities. This project also explores how homeowner subsidies might be made smarter, including through community level applications of advances in real estate data and analytics.
The Effect of Abortion Restrictions on Individual Outcomes
New regulations and restrictions placed on access to abortion in the United States are assumed to disproportionately impact women marginalized by their race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Using data that spans more than 30 years, Elizabeth Nalepa, sociology graduate student, will explore how health policy such as abortion regulation generates or worsens health inequalities.
The Research Lunch Series is free and open to the community. Bring a lunch; drinks and dessert provided. RSVPS requested to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Search of One Big Union: Folksongs and Social Movements in the U.S.
Co-sponsored by the CWRU Center for Popular Music Studies
- Date and Time: Thursday, October 5, 7-8:30 pm
- Location: Clark Hall, Room 206, 11130 Bellflower Road
Focusing on the role that folksongs play in the U.S. labor and other social movements, musician and sociologist Corey Dolgon brings both history and theory to life. This singing lecture includes songs from a multicultural perspective and examines the function of folk songs in the struggles for workers' rights, civil rights, women's rights, environmental protection and more contemporary movements as well. Free and open to the community. Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs requested to email@example.com.
Dress for Less
An Economic Justice Event co-sponsored with the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women
- Date and Time: Tuesday, October 3, 10 am-5 pm
- Location: Center for Women Living Room, Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd.
Dress for Success of Cleveland will be providing professional women's clothing at discount prices. All CWRU students, staff and faculty are invited to attend.
Authoritarianism and its Challenges to Democracy and College Campuses
A Social Justice Institute Teach-In
- Date and Time: Friday, September 29 - 12:45 pm
- Location: Clapp Hall, Room 108, 2080 Adelbert Road
White nationalists have been legitimated and emboldened by a presidential administration that took office by advancing racist, sexist, homophobic, ablest, and nationalist rhetoric. In August, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists took to the streets in Charlottesville armed with clubs, shields, pistols, and assault rifles, while President Trump expressed indifference. In a move toward political exclusion, Trump has recently called for a ban on transgender members of the military and threatened to remove more than 800,000 young immigrants given amnesty under DACA. Is this the formation of neo-fascism? What can be done to challenge this militant right movement? What is the role of university campuses?
Join us for a panel discussion to more deeply understand this historical moment, its call to action, and the role of the university.
Opening remarks: Dean Cyrus Taylor, College of Arts and Sciences
Panelists: John Flores, Associate Professor, History, Kenneth Ledford, Associate Professor and Chair, History, Ayesha Bell Hardaway, Assistant Professor, Law
Moderator: Tim Black, Interim Director, Social Justice Institute
They Can't Kill Us All: Law Enforcement, Race and Justice
- Date and Time: Friday, September 22 - 12 pm
- Location: City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Avenue, Second Floor
The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray inspired Washington Post reporter (and Shaker Heights High School graduate) Wesley Lowery to question the data around police shootings. His inquiry spurred The Post's investigative data-gathering project The Fatal Force which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. Lowery's experiences traveling across the country covering police shootings are chronicled in his book They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement. In it, he also describes the events that led to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and how black activists used social media to elevate their message.
SJI is proud to co-sponsor the lunch and conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Wesley Lowery on the ongoing struggle between law enforcement, race, and justice.
The Secret Joy of Accountability
Mixed-Race -Gender -Class -Age Collaborations in Life and Liberation Work
- Date and Time: Tuesday, September 19, 11:30 am-12:45 pm
- Location: Crawford Hall, Room A13, 10900 Euclid Ave
Veteran queer, sex-positive activists Ignacio Rivera and Jaime Grant will talk about their long history of collaboration across differences that are often fault lines in our culture and society. How do we create accountable partnerships and grow accountable communities across race and gender differences (especially) in the midst of so much white supremacist, sexist and transphobic violence? How do we address how racism, sexism, queer and transphobias, ageism, fatphobia and other systems of oppression inequitably distribute resources and opportunity? How do we take care of each other while fighting? How do we take care of ourselves? Bring a lunch; drinks & dessert provided.
History, Biography and Age: Levels of Inequality in the Life Course
Research Lunch Series with Dale Dannefer
- Date and Time: Tuesday, September 12, 11:30 am-12:45 pm
- Location: Crawford Hall, Room A13, 10900 Euclid Ave
In many late modern societies, increasing attention is being paid to the realities of inequality. Although those who focus on inequality have paid little attention to its relation to age, the set of temporally grounded processes associated with individual aging comprise a robust and reliable generator of social inequality. In this talk, Dannefer will review those processes and consider the reasons for their resilience and the possibilities of change.
- Measuring World Peace: Michelle Breslauer and the Global Peace Index, 6.14.17
- 2016-2017 Research Lunch Series
- 100 Days Into the Presidency: A Three-Part Community Conversation, 4.28.17
- Assessing and Treating Exposure to Violence and Trauma in Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth, with Fredrick Butcher, 4.25.17
- PowerUP! Student & Youth Leadership Conference, 3.25.17
- The Artist as Activist: Imani Roach and the Green Book, 3.21.17
- Controversial Coverage: Faith and the Fight to Insure Contraception, 3.9.17
- Pasta for CASA: Empathy & Action for Youth Impacted by Foster Care, 3.1.17
- How Native Americans Protect Traditional Knowledge from Misappropriation, with Dalindyebo Shabalala, 2.28.17
- U.N. World Social Justice Day: The Refugee Crisis in Syria, 2.20.17
- Activism Then & Now: Panel Discussion at the Maltz Museum, 2.15.17
- Stereotypes, Identities, Roles and Allies, 2.8.17
- Social Justice Fellows present..., with Diana Bilimoria, Morgan Bulger, Keimei Sugiyama and Cassi Pittman, 1.31.17
- The Occupation of the American Mind: Film & Discussion, 1.19.17
- Intersectional Feminism: Navigating the Intersections, Women of Color Series, 1.18.17
- Community Building and Activism through the Eyes of East Cleveland Women (Voicing & Action Project - Continuing Conversations, 12.10.16
- Post-Election Analysis: How This Happened & Where to Go from Here, SJI Teach-In, 12.6.16
- Is Extending Working Life the Best Response to Population Aging for All Workers?, SJI Policy Seminar, 11.29.16
- Placemaking and Race through the Stories of East Cleveland Women (Voicing & Action Project - Continuing Conversations), 11.22.16
- From Riot to Political Event: Cleveland's Hough Neighborhood of July 1966, with Paul Hanson, 11.8.16
- A People's Platform: An Introduction and Dialogue, 10.16.16
- With Justice For All in a Changing America: Morris Dees, 10.2.16
- SJI Open House, 9.16.16
- Sexual Assault Kits - Changing What We Know About Rape, with Rachel Lovell and Misty Luminais, 9.13.16
- History on Tap: What's Your Cause?, Cleveland Historical Society, 9.8.16
- Oriented: A Documentary Film and Discussion with Khader Abu Seif, 9.7.16
- Activism Adventure: Orientation 2016, 8.18-20.16
- National Lawyers Guild Training Sessions, 6.20.16 and 6.27.16
- The Fixers: Stories from Greater Cleveland, 6.16.16
- CWRU in the Community: Lunch and Learn with Dr. Rhonda Williams, 6.15.16
- The Women of East Cleveland: An International Perspective, with Visiting Fellow Risham Waseem, 5.26.16
- Debunking Cultural Bias: What Does an Intersectional Movement Look Like?, 4.28.16
- Race, Food and Justice: Analyzing the Urban Food Movement through a Social Justice Lens, 4.21.16-4.23.16
- Living Longer, Working Longer in the USA: A Gender Perspective, with Áine Ní Léime: Research Lunch Series, 4.19.16
- Schools Push Out and the Criminalization of Childhood, with Gabriella Celeste, 4.5.16.
- Power Up! Student & Youth Leadership Conference, 4.2.16.
- The MYCincinnati Ambassador Ensemble, 3.15.16.
- Bridging Worlds Together: Advancing Our Understanding of Social Justice through Cultural Awareness, 3.4.16.
- Blaming, Shaming and Explaining Teen Moms, with Mary Patrice Erdmans: Research Lunch Series, 3.1.16.
- Brown Gold: African-American Children's Literature as a Genre of Resistance, 2.18.16.
- Social Justice Teach In, 2.6.15.
- Disparities in Mental Health and Access to Care, with Sana Loue: Research Lunch Series, 2.2.16.
- Innovations in Social Justice Research: Research Lunch Series, 12.1.15.
- Think Tank 2015: Educating for Struggle: Empathy, Social Justice and Social Transformation, 11.12.15–11.14.15.
- The Aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis: Research Lunch Series, 10.7.15.
- PowerUP! Student & Youth Leadership Conference, 4.11.15.
- Coalition Building and Solidarity Needs - Social Justice Read-Ins and Teach-Ins, 3.18.15.
- Millenials and What it Means to Be a Radical Student- Social Justice Read-Ins and Teach-Ins, 3.4.15.
- UN World Social Justice Day (.JPG), 2.20.15.
- Police Brutality and the Black Community - Social Justice Read-Ins and Teach-Ins (.JPG), 2.18.15.
- Read-In of the DOJ Report, 1.22.15.
- SJI Brown Bag Luncheons, Fall 2014. (PDF)
- PowerUP! Student & Youth Leadership Conference, November 1th, 2014. (PDF)
- The New Black, October 17th, 2014. (PDF)
- With/Out Borders Conference, September 25 - 28th, 2014. (PDF)
- "The World is All Around Us", a lecture by documentary filmmaker Lee Mun Wah, 9.4.14.
- Race, Food & Justice Conference, Friday April 4 and Saturday April 5, 2014. (PDF)
- U.N. World Day of Social Justice - On Human Trafficking -- Friday, February 21st and Saturday, February 22nd, 2014. (PDF)
- Think Tank 2013: Educating for Struggle, 11.15.13–11.16.13.
- In(queer)ies — Rein in the Rhetoric: How Moral Panics over Sexuality Obscures Social Justice Issues, November 8th, 2013. (PDF)
- A discussion and reading with Thomas Glave, author of Among the Blood People, October 30th, 2013., 10.30.13 (PDF)
- Social Justice Institute Open House, September 24th, 2013., 9.24.13 (PDF)
- Voicing and Action Project: Power of Testimony, People in Action - East Cleveland, Saturday, July 27th, 2013, 7.27.13 (PDF)
- Discussion of Heather Andrea Williams' book Help Me to Find My People, April 27, 2013, 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., 4.27.13 (PDF)
- Race, Food and Justice Conference, 4.25.13-4.26.13.
- Kwame Appiah Lecture on The Honor Code: Making Moral Revolutions, March 18th, 2013., 3.18.13 (PDF)
- World Social Justice Day: The End of Poverty, February 20, 2013., 2.20.13 (PDF)
- Michelle Alexander Lecture on The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarcerations in the Age of Colorblindness, October 25, 2012., 10.25.12 (PDF) Watch all parts of the lecture on our Media page.
- Community Book Discussion Series: The New Jim Crow, 9.11.12-10.16.12
- Cleveland Voter Education Forum, September 25, 2012, 9.25.12 (PDF)
- East Cleveland Voter Education Forum, September 20, 2012, 9.20.12 (PDF)
- Student Leadership Conference, April 21, 2012, 4.21.12 (PDF) View the Slideshow Recap on our Media page.
- Slavery by Another Name: February 8, 2012, 2.8.12 (PDF)
- Social Justice Institute Open House, Thursday, November 3, 2011, 11.3.11 (PDF)
- Coalition of Immokolee Workers - Human Trafficking, October 20, 2011, 10.20.11 (PDF)
- An Evening with The Freedom Riders, 9.30.11.
- Bonded Souls and Binding Histories, South Asia Initiative lecture by Chinnaiah Jangam, 4.14.11.
- Worse Than War, featuring Daniel Goldhagen, by Facing History and Ourselves, 4.6.11.
- Will Allen, CEO, Growing Power & MacArthur Genius Grant Recipient Visits Cleveland, Ohio, 3.18.11–3.19.11.
- 2011 Jean Donovan International Social Justice Conference, 2.25.11–2.26.11. View the corresponding media for this lecture on our Media page.
- Social Justice, Race and Profiling: An Intergenerational Think Tank, 11.19.10–11.20.10.
- Social Justice and the Research University: A Faculty Forum (PDF) 3.17.11.
Visit the SJI YouTube Channel to see recorded conference lectures, plenary sessions and oral histories.
Selected event photos courtesy of Eric Benson Photography