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ASA 2016 Meeting Recap and Next Steps

Nearly 100 sociologists attended the Sociologists for Justice meeting on August 20, 2016 in Seattle, WA. Many thanks to all who attended and shared their reflections on the movement for Black lives and suggestions on how we can move forward together as a collective committed to ending police violence against Black and Brown people.

Despite the 9:45 pm PST start time, we had a lively and inspiring meeting that ended with several actionable ideas for the group. From the discussion, five priority areas emerged that attendees would like to see Sociologists for Justice take action to support the Black Lives Matter movement and advance racial justice.


How Sociology Can Support Black Lives Matter
A summary of recommendations from attendees of our 2016 meeting is featured in this month’s Footnotes.

The section below summarizes the five priority areas including examples of actions that can be taken under each area. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of actions. We invite your suggestions and participation on a working group to help shape the agenda and actions for each priority area. Our goal is for each working group to identify and implement at least one key action by August 2017.

getinvolvedTo sign-up to help implement the listed actions or to suggest other actions that you would like to help implement, please click on the link for the relevant priority area. If you are interested in more than one priority area, you will need to click on the link for each form to register your interest in joining the working group. So that planning can begin for each priority area, we ask that all who are interested to sign-up for a working group by Thursday, January 12, 2016.

We look forward to your continued engagement with Sociologists for Justice.

Judy Lubin, Eric Anthony Grollman, Rashawn Ray

Sign Up for Working Groups:

Working Group 1: Institutionalizing racial justice activism within the American Sociological Association
Sample Actions:

  • Advocate for an ASA task force on police violence
  • Develop a statement or resolution on how ASA can institutionalize racial justice activism and create an environment for scholar-activism (e.g., expand activities that are rewarded for tenure and promotion)


Working Group 2: Facilitating racial justice conversations on campus
Sample Actions:

  • Organize a national day of campus-based events (with Sociologists for Justice site serving as a hub of information on events)
  • Provide suggestions for speakers, events, teaching materials, etc. that instructors may use on campus


Working Group 3: Facilitating racial justice conversations on campus
Sample Activities:

  • Organize a national day of campus-based events (with Sociologists for Justice site serving as a hub of information on events)
  • Provide suggestions for speakers, events, teaching materials, etc. that instructors may use on their own campus


Working Group 4: Promoting sociological data and policy solutions
Sample Activities:

  • Develop 1-2 page fact sheets or issue briefs summarizing sociological research and/or policy solutions to address police violence
  • Develop Sociologists for Justice policy agenda to address police violence
  • Participate in advocacy efforts (e.g., calls/letters to policymakers)


Working Group 5: Engaging in dialogue and building partnerships with activists
Sample Actions:

  • Organize Sociologists for Justice dialogue (in-person or online event) with activists to identify ways that sociologists can be helpful to BLM


As always, we welcome submissions of articles and commentaries for the blog on the Sociologists for Justice website. Submissions can be submitted to Judy Lubin at drj[at]sociologistsforjustice.org


When Will It End? The Deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Underscore Need for Sustained Action

The police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile this month have sparked nationwide protests as the nation once again struggles to confront the reality of racialized police violence against blacks in the U.S. We continue to support the Black Lives Matter Movement and calls for police accountability, community oversight and training of police officers in line with the science on implicit bias. We understand, however, that until Americans are willing to honestly address the ways that racism is embedded in our society and institutions, disproportionate killings of blacks and other people of color by law enforcement will continue.

Although the road ahead is long, maintaining the status quo is not an option. It is not enough for us to ask, “when will it end?” It is not enough for us to be outraged when the next viral video of a police shooting emerges. Sustained and collective action is required to dismantle the policies, systems and practices that support police brutality and other forms of oppression. Sociologists for Justice aims to create a space for action and engagement among a community of scholars and advocates committed to racial justice. As we work toward building this community, you can ┬áconnect with us here and on Facebook to stay abreast of our activities and to join us in our efforts.

Please also save the date for a discussion and brainstorming session on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the upcoming American Sociological Association meeting in Seattle, WA. The forum will be held at 9:45 pm immediately following the racial justice plenary.

ASA Meeting in Chicago

Please join Sociologists for Justice for an informal meet and greet during the annual American Sociological Association meeting in Chicago. We will discuss public sociology, the findings from our 2014 survey, Ferguson one year later, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Event Details

Date: Monday, August 24, 2015

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Location: See ASA Program Book for Event Location
(event is listed under “Other Meetings – Sociology and Racial Justice”)

Ferguson In Context TweetChat – Monday 10/13

Please join us on Monday, October 13, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET for Ferguson In Context, a tweetchat. The discussion will focus on the social and historical context of Ferguson, police abuse, and strategies for social change. To join the chat, use the #socforjustice hashtag. The session will be moderated by Judy Lubin, PhD, American University (@judylubin), Rory Kramer, PhD, Villanova Univerity (@rorykramer) and Aaron Roussell, PhD, Washington State University().