Teach-Ins

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social justice.

The Social Justice Teach-In series was created in 2012 by the James Farmer Multicultural Center’s Director, Dr. Marion Sanford. When I came aboard in the fall 2017, Dr. Sanford paired me with one of the student leaders from the James Farmer Multicultural Center’s Multicultural Leadership Council, president of Brothers of a New Direction (BOND), Ahad Shahid. Together, we planned and implemented social justice programming on topics underneath the theme: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Our aim was to take phrases from the country’s founding documents and use it as a vehicle to educate UMW students, faculty, and members of the community, about the ways our history has shaped our present, for better and worse. During the 2017 fall semester, they planned two events: “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Round Table Discussion on White Supremacy, Nationalism, Patriotism, and Social Justice” and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: I’m Not a Racist, But…” At the beginning of the 2018 spring semester, they planned an event during UMW’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, where they showed the documentary Black in America Since MLK: And Still I Rise and held a discussion with attendees afterward. These teach-ins provided a space for UMW students to acquire information that they weren’t exposed to daily in their classes. Also, it helped to promote the Social Justice and Leadership Summit in March 2018.”

Chris Williams

Assistant Director, JFMC

2017 to 2018

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2018 to 2019

2019 TO 2020

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mass incarceration event

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More about the history of Teach-Ins

The Social Justice Teach-In series continued during the 2018 fall semester. Williams was paired with another one of the student leaders from the JFMC’s Multicultural Leadership Council, president of African Student Union, Milen Mehari. Together, they planned and implemented social justice programming on topics underneath the theme: This is America. The theme was chosen after the song “This is America” by Donald Glover. Their aim was to take a popular catch phrase to capture the interest of UMW’s student body, but also to use it as vehicle to educate students about current social justice issues, and how they’ve been issues for several decades. During the 2018 fall semester, they planned three events: “This is America: A Round Table Discussion on Nationalism, Protest, Social Justice, and Campus Climate”, “The Truth Behind Illegal and Legal Immigration,” and “The Importance of Political and Civic Action”. At the beginning of the 2019 spring semester, they planned an event entitled: “This is America: The Effects of Mass Incarceration & How We Contribute to It.” Again, these teach-ins provided a space for UMW students to acquire information that they weren’t exposed to on a daily basis in their classes. Additionally, it helped to promote the Social Justice and Leadership Summit in March 2019.

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