Education

Money Flows Into ‘Social Justice’ Coffers At Case Western Reserve U

Reuters

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

There’s money in teaching social justice at Case Western Reserve University, The College Fix reports.

The Social Justice Institute at the university has cash advances for students and teachers who wish to promote, research and advocate for social justice causes.

The university claims its fixation with social justice is nothing new because of its history of “social activism” that began when it was founded by an abolitionist. But the social justice institute has only recently began paying people to promote its agenda.

There’s $2,500 for undergraduates and $3,500 for graduate students who want to research anything related to social justice. Professors who want to teach a class on social justice are eligible for $2,500 grants.

There’s even a sort of lifetime achievement award for professors who “demonstrate a long-term commitment to social justice.” They can apply for $10,000 to support whatever social justice research they can justify as being relevant subject matter that can “uniquely shape both the university’s efforts to combat inequality and other local, national and global issues,” says the fellowship page.

Just what kind of research can be included? “Social justice is defined as eradicating systems of power and oppression with the purpose of advancing fairness and equality through the redistribution of resources and opportunities and exalting human dignity and respect,” is how the application describes it.

The head administrator of the institute says the funding is entirely in keeping with the raison d’etre of her organization. Lisa Kollins told The College Fix that the fellowships are both competitive and received from all sectors of the university.

Some recent grants went to fund research on “Masculinities, Fatherhood, and Marginalized Urban Communities” and “The Lived Experiences of Professional Dancers of Color.” Mary Therese Escueta, a senior at Case Western researched the dancers with a $2,500 grant that she received last year.

Escueta told The College Fix that the “Social Justice Institute does awesome work. The programs they put on and support are really aimed at, in my opinion, addressing the roots of social inequality and thinking about solutions to many of these institutionalized

Kollins said the institute also ensures that a broad range of subject matter at the university includes ample references to social justice: “Everything from history, to sociology, to anthropology, to women and gender studies, classes in nursing, public health.”

The institute also tries to find a social justice angle in non-humanities classes by providing money to professors who are willing to change their class curriculum accordingly.

Only one professor has successfully done so. Engineering instructor Daniel Lacks was rewarded for his efforts to produce an engineering course that promotes social justice issues. He’s offered it in the 2015 and 2016 academic years, getting about 10 students each time.

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