ASA 2019: Finding Our Voice: Catalyzing Racial Justice Activism in the Academy and the Streets

Please join us for Sociologists for Justice’s Annual Meeting at the American Sociological Association Conference in Philadelphia on August 10, 2019 at 10:30 am 12:10 p.m. This year’s meeting will feature a panel of scholar-activists including:

  • Dr. Johnny Williams, Associate Professor, Trinity College of Connecticut
  • Dr. Rose Brewer, Professor, Afro-American and African Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Britany Gatewood, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Howard University
  • Dr. Judy Lubin, President, Center for Urban and Racial Equity (moderator)

    Although system reforms have been won to address class exploitation and racial and gender oppression, these gains are being rolled back as the U.S. experiences the effects of the crisis of global capitalism and intensifying state repression and white supremacy. The police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown five years ago in Ferguson, Missouri and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter Movement has prompted Americans across race and class lines to ponder their role in dismantling racism and other forms of systemic oppression. Across social science disciplines, scholars—especially academics from marginalized communities—are wrestling with the significance of the current political moment and how to engage the world in ways that produce transformative change. Sociology’s distinct focus on making clear the ways in which racial oppression operates presents a unique challenge and call to action to the discipline in the context of persistent racial inequality, new movements for racial justice and a renewed interest in public sociology. Given these considerations, what is the role of the discipline in supporting and engaging in racial justice activism? How can the discipline find its collective voice and foster scholar-activism grounded in unity between the academy and the street? During this session organized by Sociologists for Justice, panelists will discuss how sociologists are linking theory and praxis by connecting their research, teaching, and public/community engagement activities to movements that advance racial equity. Two sociologists will discuss challenges in doing “movement work” both inside and out the academy. An organization TBD will discuss how the organization works with scholars to advance social justice campaigns. Audience members will then join in a discussion with panelists that explores barriers, including what counts as tenurable activities, that prevent sociologists from fully engaging social movements.


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