Journal Issue:
Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis: Volume 1, Issue 1

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Reimagining And Enacting Possibilities For Social Justice In The Academy
( 2012-10-01) Winters, Kelly ; Ropers-Huilman, Rebecca ; Shahjahan, Riyad ; Osei-Kofi, Nana ; Clegorne, Nicholas ; Hakkola, Leah ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

This article explores the myriad ways in which it is possible to imagine knowing and doing social justice in higher education contexts. In addition, the article explores the relationship between social justice and reader’s theater as a particular method for presenting autoethnographic data. In order to further understandings of knowing and doing social justice, the authors see a need for not only interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners, but also the creation of texts that can be inclusive of multiple voices, modes, and genres. We seek to understand how ways of knowing and doing social justice can be made possible in multimodal and polyvocal texts. This article seeks to engage the imaginative, creative, and playful minds of its readers with a discussion of how these aspects of human experience are critical to the creation of socially just praxis in the academy. Finally, we ask our readers to consider the extent to which social justice work in higher education is hindered by the conventions of field-specific academic writing and argumentation styles. In an effort to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of social justice, this article uses theatrical and literary frameworks to draw attention to the artificial boundaries among art, philosophy, and social science texts.

Gravity's Volume
( 2012-10-01) Flores, Paul ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

This poem is dedicated to Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone and to Luis Rodriguez. I wrote this poem in response to the frustration I was feeling while delving into policy questions and strategies with various community leaders and think tank wonks about how to reverse the disparities of young men and boys of color in California. I am an original member of the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, a coalition of community based organizations, researchers, foundations, and public systems engaging in a 10-year strategy to improve outcomes for boys and men of color, which was started by The California Endowment. I noticed and felt a number of things during the first two years of this work. There was a lot of deficit-focused talk and a lot of attention paid to the overwhelming negative elements affecting boys of color (African-American = Black, and Latino = Brown), including health disparities like disease and violent death, a 50% high school dropout rate, a lack of knowledge of cultural identity and history, etc. Though we were talking about breaking out of system silos (i.e. ways of evaluating and treating these youth from institutionalized perspectives – hospitals, schools, prisons, social services – without sharing information), I felt like we were not focusing on what Black and Brown communities have in common. It seemed to me that once we had identified our shared problems, we needed to identify our shared assets. However, many of the solutions were not focused on healing, or common strengths, or even culture as a solution. The focus was often on money and laws. I felt that I needed to write a poem that also addressed the demographic shift towards a brown America, where the questions of race and how these questions were applied to policy and political discourse should no longer be dominated by a Black-White dichotomy. Our reality forces us to move toward a discussion of a brown America. Brown mixes all the colors. We need to use our shared history as an asset, a means to heal, and a trusted guide into the future.

Welcome Letter From The Board - Inaugural Issue
( 2012-12-01) Torres-Gerald, Lisette ; Torres, Lisette ; Iowa State University Digital Repository
Social Justice Education In Higher Education: A Conversation With Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington
( 2012-10-01) Washington, Jamie ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

The following is an interview with Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, one of the founders of the Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI). Over the past 20 years, he has worked as a scholar, practitioner, activist, consultant, and administrator in higher education and social justice. In these various roles, Rev. Dr. Washington has continued to inspire, influence, and motivate individuals and entire organizations to embrace social justice as a way of being and to join him in the process to create structural and institutional change. The interview with Rev. Dr. Washington provides insight into his life as a social justice educator and his views on the field of social justice. He also offers valuable advice to those wanting to make positive and transformative institutional change.

Beginning With Me: Accounting For A Researcher Of Color’s Counterstories In Socially Just Qualitative Design
( 2012-10-01) Matias, Cheryl ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

To avoid simplification, a methodological process that contextualizes decisions made in qualitative design must exist. Employing Critical Race Theory’s counterstorytelling, I examine how qualitative research void of personal contextualization that informs design, renders simple designs. Since counterstorytelling reveals a nuanced understanding of racism, it becomes an applicable tool that informs racially just research design; thus, counterstorytelling results in complexification, a process rendering research designs more sophisticated. I propose that too much personal distance between researcher and research ultimately masks White hegemonic designs while marginalizing designs brought forth by the contextualization of researchers of color. This paper humbly offers a step-by-step process of how I, a researcher of color, operationalized my counterstories to inform my research design and how it impacted the data derived from the study at large.