Concerned with educating society and developing the critical consciousness people need to analyze injustice in their own communities

The Howard University Social Justice Consortium (SJC) is a cross-organizational, cross-institutional, interdisciplinary partnership that is concerned with educating society and developing the critical consciousness people need to analyze injustice in their own communities and develop innovative and collaborative action-oriented remedies. The SJC has three pathways to increase community knowledge on this topic, including supporting social justice research, art, and activism, but its most significant is its effort to democratize access to knowledge through its innovative Social Justice certificate.

The Social Justice certificate disrupts the idea of the academy by expanding notions of who can produce, have access to, and teach social justice knowledge. This certificate is not tied to a degree and will be offered to students inside and beyond Howard, including Title 1 high school students, teachers, community activists, continuing education students, retirees, and incarcerated populations. The certificate courses will not only deepen community social justice knowledge, but positions Humanities as the means to solve social problems. Education and empowerment across different sectors and demographics will increase the critical consciousness, participation in, and efficacy of social justice activism. We will demonstrate that broadening access to Humanities knowledge increases community engagement and the quality of the solutions people use to combat these ills in their own communities.

The SJC is comprised of faculty at Howard University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), who will be charged with several responsibilities. First, Consortium members will advise on curricular content and collaborate on social justice research. The Consortium will partner with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the National Education Equity Lab (NEEL) and JAMII (Swahili for Community), to facilitate the recruitment of their various target-groups to pursue the certificate. In essence, the Consortium is the “brain” of this project, and ASALH, NEEL, and JAMII are the engines. As the engines, these partner organizations will expand our reach beyond the halls of the academy by recruiting demographic groups that we could otherwise not reach. ASALH also adds value because it holds an annual conference and has agreed to host panels and workshops for our social justice scholars.