Centers + Institutes

Social Justice Institute

The Social Justice Institute strives to create a just world. We examine the root causes of social injustice and develop innovative solutions by supporting creative research, scholarship, and pedagogy; social justice leaders on and off campus; and relationships within the university and into the community. We work to eradicate all systems of oppression by redistributing and expanding resources and opportunities while exalting human dignity.

We believe in:

  • action
  • community involvement
  • education
  • empathetic relationships
  • equity
  • human dignity
  • inclusiveness
  • intergenerational collaboration

The Social Justice Institute believes that university communities should be educators and leaders in advancing an inclusive and just society that raises awareness of social injustice; enhances moral courage; promotes critical thinking about power, privilege and equity; and encourages action and equitable solutions. 

Undergraduate students from across the university have the opportunity to pursue a minor in Social Justice that prepares them to address local, national and global inequities. An interdisciplinary and flexible approach allows students majoring in the humanities or in STEM fields to address a wide range of crucial issues. The curriculum emphasizes the history, theory and practice of social justice work.  It examines the distribution of power, resources and opportunities, and appropriate individual and collective remedies for social injustice.

Centers + Institutes by School

Social Justice Institute Co-Directors

Ayesha Bell Hardaway, JD
Associate Professor, School of Law; Director, Social Justice Law Center, School of Law; Co-Director, Social Justice Institute

Mark Chupp, PhD, MSW
Associate Professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (Mandel School); Chair, Concentration in Community Practice for Social Change, Mandel School; Founding Director, Community Innovation Network, Mandel School; Co-Director, Social Justice Institute

Leadership Team Faculty

Jessie Hill, JD
Judge Ben C. Green Professor of Law, School of Law; Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, School of Law

Shanina Knighton, PhD, RN, CIC
Assistant Professor, KL2 Scholar, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Dana Prince, PhD
Associate Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Blanton Tolbert, PhD
Rudolph and Susan Rense Professor, Department of Chemistry; Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, School of Medicine

Leadership Team Community Advisors

Lisa Kollins
Founder/Executive Director, The Superhero Project

Shemariah Arki, EdD
Founder + Program Director, Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy; Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, and Director, Center for Pan African Culture, Kent State University

Janice Eatman-Williams
Director, Wrap-Around Strategy and School-Based Outreach, FOCUS Group (Office of Student Affairs)