2022-2023 Social Justice Fellows

To encourage innovation and scholarship, the institute has established a Social Justice Fellowship Program that, through grants, funds faculty and student activities that advance social justice work, from humanistic inquiry to action research.

Previous grants have supported proposals that focus on issues that are both local and global. From youth development to elderly care; from political systems to individual recovery efforts, these projects have represented the same diversity as their recipients. The Social Justice Institute is proud to announce the current fellows:

Hailey Chu

The Association Between the Model Minority Myth and Authenticity on Asian American Advocacy and Mental Health

Hailey Chu, PhD student, Clinical Psychology

This project seeks to examine effects that minority stress and cultural values have on social justice engagement. For instance, whether participants think it is acceptable for someone who is Black to engage in social justice versus if they think it is acceptable for someone Asian to engage. Moreover, the project will assess the degree to which someone believes the model minority myth (or has been exposed to it) and the degree to which the person feels justified in engaging in advocacy or social justice for Asians. Additionally, the project will assess cultural values and minority stress as it relates to risk for anxiety and depression in youth.

Alisha Giri

Comparing livelihood capitals and outcomes across migrant and non-migrant networks in Nepal

Alisha Giri, PhD student, Medical Anthropology

The proposed research uses an anthropological approach and draws inspiration from existing scholarship in migration, network studies, and culture to examine the impact of return migration on success and livelihood capitals in the home society. The research will take place in the rural municipality of Myagde, in the Tanahun District of Nepal. This district was one of the top ten origin districts of migrant workers in 2018/2019 (Nepal Labour Migration Report 2020). Many traditionally agricultural families here have shifted their livelihood strategies from subsistence agriculture to remittances in response to the pressures of modernization. The aim of the project is to identify the relationship between livelihood and social networks by collecting information on five livelihood capitals (financial, natural, human, social, physical) that individuals have acquired through their respective networks, and their perceptions of success, through a life-history calendar, semi- structured interviews, and social network analysis in Nepal.

Erica Johnson

The Cycle of Traumatic Stress: Exploring the Impact of Early Life Trauma in the Workplace and the Role of Supervisor Support

Erica Johnson, PhD student, Organizational Behavior

The study aims are to bring awareness of the psychosocial and environmental harm done to Black employees, families, and communities due to inadequate workplace support, to underscore the prevalence of work and non-work trauma and its lifelong effects within the Black collective, and to further de-stigmatize mental health challenges within this population. Community partnerships can be forged with organizations to provide education to employers on the long-term impact of trauma as well as best practice interventions. Additionally, in partnership with this dissertation study, the YWCA of Greater Cleveland is developing a trauma-informed human resources initiative to address and act on the disproportionate trauma experienced by Black employees. The cultivation of a holistic organizational trauma-informed talent management strategy may not only enhance workplace functioning of current employees but may also help to generate an employment pipeline for Black youth. Through this lens, enhancing supportive workplace relationships with Black employees may increase employment stability, financial security, and family functioning. Thus, study findings can help build interventions to prevent the cycle of trauma prevalent within the Black community.

Duncan Mayer

Essays on Community Organization Dynamics

Duncan Mayer, PhD student, Sociology

The goal of this three-paper project is to understand regional and local nonprofit sectors, including key transformations (growth and decline), their relationship to market structure and social forces, as well as the distribution of benefits from nonprofits. While the project will assist policy makers in understanding nonprofit density, supporting regional nonprofit sectors, the project proposes two papers are of immediate relevance to the mission of the social justice institute. The papers described below raise critical questions about the distribution of nonprofits and the communities that receive their benefits.

Paper 1: Nonprofit sector response to neighborhood conditions; a study of organizational founding in Cuyahoga County Ohio.

Paper 2: A study of revealed preference for nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga County Ohio

Reema Sen

Unpacking Legal Consciousness of Citizenship

Reema Sen, PhD student, Sociology

The proposed doctoral study seeks to answer three research questions: (1) What are impacts of legal precarity on Asian Indian immigrants in the US? (2) Is the pathway to citizenship racialized and gendered? (3) How do Asian immigrants understand and navigate the path from temporary to permanent citizenship? This study will examine legal restrictions that impede access to resources such as jobs and social security.