Syracuse University opens 5 million social justice center

Syracuse University opens 5 million social justice center

Syracuse University in New York plans to open a $5 million Social Justice Center within its School of Education on Friday, thanks to an alumni donation.

The Lender Center for Social Justice “aspires to foster proactive, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to issues related to justice, equity & inclusion, according to a university news release, and will provide symposia, student and faculty fellowships, and research aid.  

The social justice center will be directed by faculty members Marcelle Haddix and Kendall Phillips. Haddix, Syracuse’s School of Education chair of Reading and Language Arts and dean’s associate professor, is an active participant in social justice movements like Black Lives Matter.

She has participated in numerous social justice panels, including a Black Lives Matter in Academia webinar, and delivered the keynote address at a Social Justice Teach-In where Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood also made presentations. 

[RELATED: School offers refuge to victims of ‘social justice crises’]

Phillips, the other faculty co-director and communication and rhetorical studies professor, recently taught a course on President Trump’s “celebrity presidency”. He has told the HuffPo that unlike former president Ronald Reagan, President Donald Trump does not even pretend to play a presidential role. 

“We envision the Center serving as a place for innovative and proactive approaches to social problems and concerns,” Phillips told Campus Reform. “We want to inspire new ways of thinking about old problems and to create a place where people can rise above old ways of thinking, partisan politics, and disciplinary blinders and, instead, work across different points of view to develop new approaches.”

“I suppose some folks might be concerned that we will be promoting a single point of view or serving a particular set of political values,” he continued, “but, that is exactly the opposite of what we want to accomplish. Real innovation will require real dialogue across multiple points of view. We hope to create just such a dialogue.”

The Lender Center for Social Justice’s launch will feature opening remarks, a keynote address, and panel discus

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