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Social Justice Institute

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

The Social Justice Institute presents meaningful events where students, scholars and community members gather together to tap into our individual and collective psyches and souls, hearts and minds, knowledge and networks of support, and dare to draw forth the words, analyses, strategies and actions that respect and uplift human dignity and life.  We are honored to provide distinctive educational opportunities  – and we invite you to join us and become partners in our work. 

A Different PoV: A Plea for Academic Rigor on North Korea

Research Lunch Series with Merose Hwang, Hiram University

  • Date and Time: Tuesday, March 20, 11:30 am-12:45 pm
  • Location: Crawford Hall, Room A13, 10900 Euclid Ave 

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, aka North Korea) is referred to as the most isolated country in the world. We assume this is an inaccessible country and yet we hold strong assumptions and feelings about this place. Teaching on this topic presents many challenges when ideas of North Korean threat and violence dominate the headlines and racial misogyny permeates the literature.

In this presentation, Professor Hwang challenges us to look beyond our enemy-lens to find a better way of understanding North Korea and to look at the DPRK from its own historiographical vantage point.  Examining North Korean pedagogical materials allows us to glean a new perspective, one in which a country endured a long history of imperial and colonial aggression and emerged as a truly post-colonial nation. By studying DPRK poems, interviews, documentaries, and films, we can gain nuanced understanding of the values and attitudes of people as individuals, social sub-groups, communities, as humans experiencing pleasures, local and global challenges, and the mundane of everyday life and see North Korea beyond a faceless horde under a diabolic dictator.  

The Research Lunch Series is free and open to the community.  Bring a lunch; drinks and dessert provided.  RSVPS requested to


No Más Bebés: Film & Conversation with Producer/Researcher Virginia Espino

Presented with the Flora Stone Mather Center for WomenOffice of Multicultural Affairs, President's Advisory Council on Minorities, Schubert Center for Child Studies, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, The Alianza Latina/Latino Alliance, SAVE (Sexual Assault and Violence Educators), and the Latino Medical Student Association

  • Date and Time: Wednesday, March 21, 6-8:30 pm
  • Location: Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd. 

An Event of the Cleveland Humanities Festival

They came to have their babies.  They went home sterilized.  So begins the incredibly moving tales of the women chronicled in No Más Bebés (No More Babies), a heartbreaking documentary film based on the research of Latinx historian Virginia Espino.  This is the story of Mexican immigrant mothers who sued Los Angeles county doctors, the state and the federal government after they were sterilized while giving birth in the 1970s.  Led by an intrepid young Chicana lawyer, the mothers faced public exposure and stood up to powerful institutions in the name of justice.  A discussion with Espino will follow the film.  Light refreshments provided.


The Babes Were Silent: Infant Mortality and Public Health

CONVERSATIONS! at the Dittrick Museum

  • Date and Time: Thursday, March 29, 6 pm
  • Location: Clark Hall, Room 206, 11130 Bellflower Road

Co-sponsored by the Dittrick and the CWRU Social Justice Institute, this event will be part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival. Join us for a short-lecture, panel discussion, and public round-table about  public health history, industrialization, housing, and the ways race and class combine to produce an ongoing crisis for our community.

Brandy Schillace, PhD, Senior research associate at the Dittrick Museum, will give a short TED-style talk on the rapid industrialization and immigration boom of the early 20th century in Cleveland. She will take a look at how a stressed water and sewage system, poor housing, and the exploitation of the poorest workers with the least social mobility led to outbreaks of cholera, rampant lead poisoning, and high rates of infant mortality in urban centers. The geography of these neighborhoods still matters, and Cleveland still faces high infant mortality rates. The historical presentation will end with a panel discussion about problems of race, class, and health today. The presentation will end with a public roundtable and Q and A.  


Looking Towards Home: An Urban Indian Experience

Presented with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Native Cleveland (an initiative of the Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics) and the Indigenous Alliance

  • Date and Time: Wednesday, April 4, 7-8:45 pm
  • Location: Crawford Hall, Room A9

In this documentary film, narrator Conroy Chono (Acoma Pueblo) explains how the 1950s Federal Relocation Programs enticed significant numbers of Native Americans to leave reservations for life in major cities, including Cleveland.  The film reveals the hardships and reslience of relocated Native people and subsequent generations, who maintain cultural identities and traditions far from tribal homelands. Panelists, including Joe Connolly (Chair, Lake Erie Chapter of American Indian Science and Engineering Society), will share their own experiences and discuss how community and cultural identity intersect with education, health care, institutional racism and economic justice.  Drinks and dessert will be served.


Women's Liberation at CWRU: Educating, Empowering and Creating Institutional Change from 1965-1972

An event of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women's Spotlight on Women's Research Series

  • Date and Time: Friday, April 6, 12:30-2 pm
  • Location: Center for Women, Tinkham Veale University Center

Student Gillian Prater-Lee will present research on the women’s liberation movement at Case Western Reserve University from 1965-1972, including activism surrounding sexual liberation, reproductive rights, the Vietnam War, and women in athletics. Panelists will discuss changes in women’s activism and representation at Case from 1965 to today.  Featured panelists include:   

  • Christine Ash, alumna and retired Vice President for Planning & Institutional Research
  • Tori Hamilton, CWRU Feminist Collective, undergraduate student
  • Colette Ngana,  reproductive rights activist, graduate student

 A light lunch will be served - reservations requested to


Who's Afraid of Edward Said?  The Palestinians, Antisemitism and the Culture of Silence

  • Date and Time: Tuesday, April 10, 7-9 pm
  • Location: Mandel Community Center Building, 11402 Bellflower Road.

Why is it so difficult to speak about the Palestinian people on the Case Western Reserve University campus? Ted Steinberg, Davee Professor of History, will give a lecture about his life as a Brooklyn-born Jew, while elaborating on Edward Said’s thoughts about the Palestinian question and its place in university life. Steinberg’s talk will challenge us to think about diversity, equality, and our common humanity in light of what he sees as one of the greatest oppressions in modern history.  Brian Amkraut, PhD, Executive Director, Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University, will follow with commentary on Steinberg's talk, before opening the discussion to audience members.


Lunch with SJI - Learn about the Social Justice Minor

  • Date and Time: Friday, April 13, 12:45-2 pm
  • Location: Crawford Hall, Room A9

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.  RSVP to


Race, Food and Justice: Examining the Urban Food Movement through a Social Justice Lens

Presented with Environmental Health Watch and Rid-All Green Partnership

  • Date and Time: April 19-20
  • Location: CWRU Campus 

Featuring keynote presenters Allyson Carpenter, Keymah Durden III, Dr. Monica White, and Malik Yakini

Registration is now open - sign up today!

Stay tuned for details about the conference events, speakers and workshops!


Social Justice Institute Fellows Present...

Research Lunch Series with Janet McGrath and Andrew Rollins, Frank Manzella and Megan Schmidt-Sane

  • Date and Time: Tuesday, April 17, 11:30 am-12:45 pm
  • Location: Crawford Hall, Room A13, 10900 Euclid Ave 

Anthropology-Engineering Collaborative: Designing Interdisciplinary Solutions to Global Health Problems

Janet McGrath (professor of anthropology) and Andrew Rollins (professor of biomedical engineering and medicine) will present the results of their collaboration that trains social science and engineering students at CWRU and Makerere University, Uganda in a collaborative design process involving community based participatory action research (PAR) andbiodesign to develop solutions to locally identified technology for health needs in Luwero district, Uganda.

(Dis)Embodied Experiences of Medical Tourism in Urban Brazil

Drawing on the results of a one-year ethnographic study on the medical tourism industry in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Frank Manzella (graduate student in anthropology) will focus on the social justice dimensions that encourage foreign patients to seek healthcare in another country.  Additionally, conflicts encountered by patients throughout the many phases of the medical tourism process will be described.

"We lost many of our friends": Economic scarcity, social resilience, and HIV vulnerability in Kampala, Uganda

The research of Megan Schmidt-Sane (graduate student in medical anthropology) employs a broader framing of risk in the patterning of HIV vulnerability and social resilience among men in Kampala, Uganda who live and work in communities deemed “high-risk” due to the presence of sex work. This study draws on core principles in social justice to confront the complexity and fragility that punctuates life at the margins.

The Research Lunch Series is free and open to the community.  Bring a lunch; drinks and dessert provided.  RSVPS requested to





About Our Events

The majority of our events are free of charge and open to the community.  We cannot do this important work without you – we hope that you will consider supporting us in these endeavors.  Gifts of any size will impact our work and support our signature programs.  Donations may be made online or sent to Social Justice Institute, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106-7243.

To RSVP or volunteer for any upcoming event, please call 216.368.7568 or email