Social Justice Institute Leadership

The scholarship and professional experience of the Co-Directors and Leadership Team of the Social Justice Institute represent a range of expertise—from research methodologies and pedagogical approaches to community connections—that, during collaborative work, lead to enlightened understanding of societal inequities.

The institute's holistic, systems-based approach both advances disciplinary work and elevates the conversation by unveiling and connecting broader, underlying issues.


  • headshot of Mark Chupp

    Mark Chupp, PhD


    Phone: 216.368.5157

  • Ayesha Bell Hardaway

    Ayesha Bell Hardaway, JD


    Phone: 216-368-6360

Leadership Team

The scholarship and professional experience of our Leadership Team represent a range of expertise—from research methodologies and pedagogical approaches to community connections—that, during collaborative work, lead to enlightened understanding of societal inequities.


Shemariah Arki, EdD 
Founder + Program Director, Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy
Assistant Professor, Africana Studies
Director, Center for Pan African Culture, Kent State University

"It is my honor to serve in the legacy of Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams, SJI founder, as we continue to serve and amplify the voices of the lived experience of those who are the most marginalized, at CWRU, the University Circle community and Northeast Ohio."


Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, PhD
Professor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University
Senior Research Fellow, Earth System Governance Project, Universiteit Utrecht

"I value SJI because what it stands for is essential to the conscience of this university."


Dana Prince, PhD 
Assistant Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

"I came [to CWRU] looking for the radicals; I found them within the Social Justice Institute."


Janice Eatman-Williams
Director, Wrap-Around Strategy and School-Based Outreach, FOCUS Group (Office of Student Affairs)

"The Social Justice Institute affords an opportunity to our campus and community to sit at the feet of those who created the history and the movement."


Makela Hayford
Student, School of Law
Former Undergraduate Student and Social Justice Minor

"The Social Justice Minor provided me the social justice education I desperately needed and taught me how to think critically, warding off historical, social, and political mistruths that come from everywhere - including this very university! SJI's guest speakers always compelled me to actively pursue justice in myself, my school, my community, and the world. Lastly, SJI served as a gathering space, where I made some lifelong, radical friends along the way."


Jessie Hill, JD
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, School of Law
Judge Ben C. Green Professor of Law, School of Law

"One thing I particularly value about SJI is the opportunity to work collaboratively not just with faculty colleagues from across the university, but also with staff colleagues, graduate students, and undergraduate students."

Headshot of Shanina Knighton

Shanina Knighton, PhD, RN, CIC
CTSC KL2 Scholar
Faculty, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Faculty, Department of Biomedical Engineering

"I value the Social Justice Institute as it embodies the core principles and mutual mission with my colleagues from different disciplines to shape a society that is equitable, fair, and just. I have been connected to SJI in multiple ways from supporting programs that I have done to attending amazing programs and training that have helped me to strengthen my work and push for human rights."


Lisa Kollins
Founder/Executive Director, The Superhero Project

"The Social Justice Institute bridges the divide between campus and community in many important ways.  By being a fearless champion for equity, the Institute, its leadership and research, and its public programs are a valuable resource for Cleveland."


Blanton Tolbert, PhD
Rudolph and Susan Rense Professor, Department of Chemistry
Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, School of Medicine

"The presence of SJI at CWRU and its mission to promote social justice are important to me."


Shaii White
Application and Enrollment Coordinator for Graduate Admissions, Weatherhead School of Management

"I value SJI because it reminds me of WHY we fight for TRUTH and WHY we fight against INJUSTICE!"


The Social Justice Institute is supported by a dedicated administrative staff that shares in the vision for a more just world.