Spring 2017 Raines Colloquium: "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Interrupting Systems of Oppression in Higher Education"
This presentation will explore how to interrupt harmful dynamics of oppression, create more inclusive and liberatory spaces, and center our collective need for self-care and sustainable praxis.
The current local, national, and global context is centralizing identity in many ways. There is an increased focus and awareness on how race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, and more are having an impact on how people live and operate. Colleges and universities have become volatile environments where student affairs educators and advocates are unduly burdened with the responsibility of educating, frequently placed between the institution and students, feelings of isolation and social justice battle fatigue have become increasingly widespread. Often times, a competitive and “one-up” culture has developed in social justice work where doing more is never enough and people of Color especially are expected to give all of themselves for the cause. Finding a way to explore the complex positionality of being a student affairs practitioner and social justice advocate within the confines of an institution of higher education is essential. This presentation will explore how to interrupt harmful dynamics of oppression, create more inclusive and liberatory spaces, and center our collective need for self-care and sustainable praxis.
Robert Brown serves as the Director of Social Justice Education at Northwestern University. Previously, Rob worked in Residence Life and Multicultural Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis and University of Wisconsin – Madison. Rob presents on social justice education, racial justice, inclusive pedagogy, supporting students of Color, assessment and evaluation, college men and masculinities, and civic engagement.
Rob is an alumnus of the Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI), a past faculty and intern with SJTI, Lead Facilitator with LeaderShape, and has held leadership roles in NASPA and ACPA. Rob holds a BS in Finance and Community Service Studies from DePaul University and a MA in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University.