shepherds of change, 2013-2014

Culled from various walks of life, the individuals who handle the day-to-day business of the CWRU Social Justice Institute work hard to ensure the cause of social justice is in the thoughts of people in the University Circle community. Learn more about our core team members below:

Dr. Rhonda
Institute Founder and Director:
Rhonda Y. Williams, Ph.D.

Social Justice Institute founder and director Rhonda Y. Williams, Ph.D. is also the Project Director for the Institute's Voicing and Action Project. An associate professor of history and the founder and director of the postdoctoral fellowship in African American studies at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Dr. Rhonda is a nationally and internationally recognized author, lecturer, and scholar-activist.

The award-winning author of The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women's Struggles against Urban Inequality, Williams has been honored by History News Network as a Top Young Historian and is listed in the 2009 edition of Who's Who in Black Cleveland.

She is currently finishing a book on the history of black power politics in the 20th century for Routledge University Press and is engaged in ongoing research for a book project on the dope wars and street-level hustling. To learn more about Dr. Rhonda, click here. To learn more about the Voicing and Action Project, click here.

ShelleyInstitute Administrator:
Shelley White

An employee of Case Western Reserve University since 2001, Shelley White joined the Social Justice Institute. staff as its Administrator in February 2011. She also serves as a community researcher for the Voicing and Action Project.
As former Project Manager for the Snicker Fritz Community Time Capsule in East Cleveland, Shelley White has seen firsthand the richness of the history of East Cleveland and University Circle area, as well as the many stories the residents possess. For this reason, she chooses to be involved with the Social Justice Institute.

Misty Luminais
Research Associate/Project Coordinator:
Misty Luminais, Ph.D.

Misty Luminais, Ph.D., is a Research Associate and the Project Coordinator for the Voicing and Action Project. She joined the Institute staff in December 2012. As a cultural anthropologist, her areas of expertise include urban studies, gender, sexuality, public health, and ethnography. Her initial experiences with social justice were mitigated through feminism, but she quickly realized, in the words of Emma Lazarus, "Until we are all free, we are none of us free." The struggle against systematic injustice requires an appreciation for people's experiences in these systems while simultaneously questioning how power is structured, to whose benefit and whose detriment. She appreciates that the process of social justice culminates not with simple academic understanding of injustice, but rather with active engagement towards lessening oppression. She recently published an article, "Stating Desire: Sexuality, the State, and Social Control" in the new reader Selves, Symbols, and Sexualities An Interactionist Anthology.

Allison George
Program Assistant:
Allison George

Allison George assists the Social Justice Institute with its programs, events, and projects. She has worked with the Institute's student/youth leadership conference, PowerUp!, and the Voicing Action Project. She has a BA in sociology from CWRU and a BM in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Kayode OmoyosiWeb Designer:
Oluwakayode (Kayode) Omoyosi

Kayode Omoyosi is the Social Justice Institute's Web Designer. He assists the SJI through the generation, revision, and timely updating of content on the website. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a Master's in Engineering and Management (MEM). He is interested in working with the Social Justice Institute because it helps him find answers to the causes of class disparity, racial inequality, and gender-based issues.

Tim Burroughs Volunteer Intern:
Tim Burroughs

Tim Burroughs has decided to do his practicum volunteer work at the Social Justice Institute because he believes in the program and the people running it. He sees it as a positive thing and something that is necessary. The Voicing & Action Project is the type of positive program long overdue for the city of East Cleveland.

get involved!

To learn more about social justice initiatives at Case Western Reserve and how you can be involved, contact the Social Justice Institute at 216.368.2515,, or leave feedback.

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