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Social Justice at the Convention Committee (March 2021)

SJAC Mission Statement:

The Social Justice at the Convention (SJAC) Committee is committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion, equity, fairness, access, and equal representation in all aspects of our profession and in all the communities that we inhabit. We promote and advance these principles through education and activism at our annual convention: opposing racism and other forms of systemic oppression, providing forums for those whose voices have been silenced or marginalized, and promoting cultural change that will guarantee equal opportunities for all, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexuality, or national origin.

Email SJAC Co-Chair Michael Pemberton with questions.

Feel free to share with colleagues and friends!
Twitter: #SJAC2020
Upcoming Social Justice Events at CCCC 2020. Please add these to your calendar!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Bus tour of Milwaukee to discuss its segregated history, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Be sure to sign up early because space is limited:

Tour #1: Northside of MKE

Harambee Poetry Slam at The Retreat (2215 N. MLK Dr., about 1.5 miles from the Wisconsin Center)
Doors and sign up list open at 7:00 p.m.; Slam begins at 7:30
Participants must have three original poems, three minutes or less, and be at least 18 years old. Winning poet wins $100!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Beyond Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Fighting for Social Justice in Milwaukee, 10:30-11:45 a.m., Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Regency Ballroom

In this interactive session, representatives from Milwaukee nonprofit organizations will address some of the complex issues underlying Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, including housing and neighborhood revitalization, race and representation, and fostering critical and equitable civic dialogue. Throughout this session, attendees work with these representatives to consider how local organizing connects to classroom assignments pertaining to Desmond’s book. The session is aimed at attendees who have used or will use Desmond’s text in university common-reading programs as well as all attendees committed to community-engaged teaching and learning.

Panelists:  Donte McFadden, Co-Programmer, Black Lens at the Milwaukee Film Festival
Katherine Wilson, Executive Director, Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion
Keith Stanley, Executive Director, Near West Side Partners

SJAC Committee Meeting—Open Meeting, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Pere Marquette, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

If you’re interested in learning more about the SJAC and possibly becoming a member, please feel free to attend our open committee meeting. Subcommittees will report on and discuss this year’s events and activities, and we’ll begin some preliminary planning for next year’s convention in Spokane. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Cross-Caucus Panel, 8:00–9:15 a.m., Ballroom D in the Wisconsin Center
Marginalizing and Exclusionary Commonplaces in Academia, Rhet/Comp, CCCC: How We Survive and Thrive

This year, we are proud to have the most inclusive cross-caucus roundtable since its origins in 2015 with nine groups represented: The American Indian Caucus, Asian/Asian American Caucus, Black Caucus, Disability Studies SIG, Feminist Caucus, Jewish Caucus, Latinx Caucus, Queer Caucus, and Transnational Standing Group.

In this roundtable session, scholars, students, and teachers from various CCCC Caucuses and SIGs will shed light on how the statuses quo in academia, in our own Rhet/Comp disciplinary community, and at specific sites such as CCCC continue to be harmful to marginalized academics. Each speaker will first provide a mix of personal narrative and data/statistics of a commonplace that marginalizes or excludes. We will then also share the strategies that we have employed in order to not just survive but be able to thrive in the face of these barriers. Finally, we will open the floor and leave ample time for participants who wish to respond or share their own experiences for constructive discussion with the speakers and other attendees.

Poetry Slam, 1:00–3:00 p.m., Wisconsin Center Atrium (more details coming soon!)

Cross-Caucus Social Event, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Wisconsin Center 101B

The cross-caucus event will be a dessert gathering at the Wisconsin Center on Friday evening–the CCCC’s food truck event will be held nearby, so stop over after dinner!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Bus tour of Milwaukee to discuss its segregated history, 11:30-1:00 p.m.:

Tour #2: Southside of MKE

Please take a minute and also stop by these SJAC points of support for attendees:
  1. SJAC table in the convention hall:
    The SJAC will have a table in the convention hall where committee members can answer questions and provide information about the committee as well as its sponsored events at the convention.
  2. Micro-Mentoring Booths at the Action Hub:
    We will have a table in the Action Hub that offers the opportunity both to “drop in” at the table to chat with teacher-scholars at various institution types and stages of their careers or to sign up on a paper sheet available at the table. Our goal is to give mentees an opportunity to open a conversation that is crucial for feeling a sense of belonging in the academy but that may not naturally occur in the short time period of the convention.
  3. Tai Chi/QiGong/Contemplative Space:
    Need to de-stress for a while during the convention? The SJAC will be hosting a number of QiGong, yoga, and tai chi sessions where you can take a break, stretch, relax, and think quietly for a while.  Find us in the Convention Center atrium at the following days and times. No need to reserve a space – just drop in for a few minutes or for the whole session. Take a load off. Reinvigorate your mind and spirit between panels. Bring a mat if you have one or pull up some open floor space. We hope to see you there!

    Wed. 3/25 7 p.m. 1 hr. Qigong/Tai Chi
    Thurs. 3/26 11 a.m. 30 min. Qigong/Tai Chi
    Thurs. 3/26 3 p.m. 30 min. Hatha Yoga
    Thurs. 3/26 7:30 p.m. 1 hr. Qigong/Tai Chi
    Fri. 3/27 7:30 a.m. 1 hr. Qigong/Tai Chi
    Fri. 3/27 10:30 a.m. 30 min. Qigong/Tai Chi
    Fri. 3/27 3 p.m. 30 min. Qigong/Tai Chi
    Sat. 3/28 9:30 a.m. 30 min. Vinyasa Yoga
    Sat. 3/28 11 a.m. 30 min. Qigong/Tai Chi
  4. Pick up a C’s the Day booklet (available at the table for Council of Play and Games Studies in the convention hall), the official conference game of CCCC 2020:
    This year, the game is focused on supporting underrepresented scholars and scholarship, and the booklet will highlight SJAC panels as well as other events and networking opportunities that circulate around justice and equity (and also free food and drinks!)
  5. SJAC 2020 Book Drive:
    Conference attendees have an exciting opportunity to give back the Milwaukee community by donating books to Literacy Services of Wisconsin, a non-profit that provides literacy and English language learning courses for adults. Literacy Services are especially interested in receiving textbooks and business books. They also collect only new and gently used books, movies, video games, music and audio-books. Donations of all-ages and reading material are also accepted. Bins will be available at the registration desk throughout the week. Feel free to stop by and drop off your donation any time.
    Not able to bring books with you on the trip to Milwaukee? There are three other ways to donate: The local bookstore, Woodland Pattern, will have a booth on-site where you can purchase books and donate them to Literacy Services. You may also ship books directly to Literacy Services. If you choose Amazon, in the spirit of supporting local merchants, we encourage you to seek local bookstores that use the Amazon Marketplace. Finally, you can also donate a one-time money gift online here.
Committee Members

Michael Pemberton, Co-Chair
Maria Novotny, Co-Chair (Local Arrangements Chair)
Sonia Arellano
Michael Baumann
Antonio Byrd
Nina Feng
Iklim Goksel
Mara Lee Grayson
David Green
Lee Gullickson
Al Harahap
Holly Hassel
Brian Hendrickson
Liz Lane
Maria Prikhodko
Justin Rademaekers
Kristen Ruccio
Dagmar Scharold
Mat Sillito
Don Unger

Committee Charge
  1. Work with the program chair to understand their vision for the program and collaboratively outline a scope for the SJAC’s efforts at the convention within this vision.
  2. Within the program chair’s vision, collaborate with the local committee chair to develop social justice and local engagement activities that complement the convention theme, either via activities co-located or co-proximal to the convention, activities built into the convention program, and/or some other alternative.
  3. Regularly report the SJAC Committee’s work to the membership over the course of each year, inviting CCCC member volunteers and promoting attendee participation in activities at the convention.
  4. Promote a “culture of accessibility” at the convention through member education and by organizing sustainable methods of increasing member access and engagement, onsite and online, during the convention and post-convention.
  5. Assess each year’s activities and, within a month following the close of convention, develop a report with recommendations for the following year’s program chair and the EC.

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