Rutgers Hires ‘Social Justice Scholars’ To ‘Use The Law As An Instrument’ For Social Justice


Ian Miles Cheong Contributor

Rutgers Law School is the latest of several prominent colleges to adopt social justice into their curriculum. The law school has announced the hiring of three “social justice scholars” to enable students “work for social justice throughout their careers.”

Campus Reform reported on Wednesday that the three scholars will educate students on using the law as an “instrument to advance social justice,” which its chancellor Nancy Cantor and co-dean Ronald K. Chen fully advocates for.

According to the press release on August 8, the three new professors include Rachel Godsil, an “expert in race, poverty, and housing”; Sahar Aziz, an “expert in national security, civil rights law and the Middle East”; and Rose Cuison Villazor, who “specializes in immigration and citizenship and property law.”

All three women are set to join the campus faculty in the fall of 2018.

The hires were selected out of a pool of 90 candidates, selected by a committee that sought to find law experts specializing in “social justice and a demonstrable record of impact in the field.”

As Campus Reform points out, the school website calls on all students to “develop the skills and inclination to work for social justice throughout their careers, whether in a public interest setting or through pro bono work,” which the three new hires will help advance.

In the press release, Godsil describes her work as focusing on “how institutions and people with egalitarian values—who want to ensure fairness across race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other identity categories—struggle to translate those values into behaviors and outcomes.”

Speaking to Campus Reform, Cantor told the publication that social justice activism was necessary “to bring our country together” amid the current political landscape.

She stated her belief that it was “higher education’s responsibility to train and educate a diverse cadre of civic leaders and advocates.”

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.