The Social Justice Collaborative at Berks works to further the principled exploration and engagement of critical social issues through programming, curricula, and college involvement. With an honest, evidence-driven understanding of history, oppression, and structural inequality, The Collaborative champions the ideals of equality and justice. Above all, we commit to a future in which all members of our college community and society have been empowered to reach their full potential.
We recognize the long history of ongoing freedom struggles and understand our role in ameliorating such struggles. Yet rather than attempting to speak for others, we will work to open up social and political space for silenced voices. We try to recognize our roles in the maintenance of power structures that serve to silence and thus will also work to support pathways to just and equitable results, including support for transformational institutional changes.
Racism is dehumanizing to everyone it touches. We recognize that racism is inextricable from all of our lives, and we commit to dismantling the fundamental structures and ideas that aid and abet it.
We value the lived experiences and backgrounds of others by recognizing one another’s humanity with compassion, love, and honesty. Although we value empathy, we will not condone bigotry, discrimination, or any foreclosure of meaningful and constructive fellowship.
The human story is built upon unequal power relationships and social vulnerabilities, namely through race, gender, sexuality, class, faith, environment, physical and mental ability, national origin, linguistic preference, age, and geography. As such, we recognize the interconnectedness of these categories, how they work together, and the importance of taking these intersections seriously on the path to social justice.
We recognize that members will not always agree, but will work to engage in discussions and debates with honesty, civility, and ethical argumentation. We understand that we are stronger together and will work to build stronger connections between our members, as well as between the group and other members of our college community.
We value the meaningful, diverse contributions and ideas of others as we work in alignment with our mission.
We will regularly self-evaluate our work on campus (and welcome the feedback of administrators and other faculty, staff, and students) to ensure we are holding to the values established above. We hold this value to ensure that our group is grounded in honesty, intellectualism, and reasonable positions.
Holistic View of Language
We understand that the prevalence of English monolingual ideologies has perpetuated a system of inequity that disproportionately affects people of color from differing backgrounds. As such, we view language/s from a holistic point of view, centering the premise that making sense of the world multilingually and multimodally is normal, valuable, should be encouraged, respected, and defended.
Who we are
Members of the the Collaborative are faculty and staff who have specific expertise in social justice work through scholarship, teaching, training, mediation, and other service. Membership is open to all faculty and staff who are interested. Interested faculty and staff will be invited to participate in workshops, events, and meetings to help familiarize them with the goals and mission of the group. We encourage those without an academic background or training in this work to engage in webinar trainings available at places such as Princeton University and The University of Pennsylvania. The SJCBC is unique but modeled on other well-established programs around the country (e.g. https://www.recastingrace.com/rec).