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.
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The Social Justice at the Convention committee is making great progress with its plans for the 2021 CCCC convention, and we’re working on several events that will have significant online components, so no matter what form the conference eventually takes, we can provide access to all attendees. Here are just a few of the social justice initiatives we currently have in the works (schedules and specific details to be added when they are available):
A panel of social justice activists representing a variety of organizations in the Spokane area, each of whom will discuss their group’s mission, the local context, and the special challenges they face—politically and administratively—that affect their work. We are currently in contact with several organizations that advocate for local American Indian populations, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other underrepresented/oppressed groups and hope to have the panel assembled soon.
A poetry slam with two featured Spokane activist poets and an opportunity for CCCC attendees who wish to present their own poetic work to do so. Our current plan is to develop a HyFlex model, held entirely in a virtual space, with a combination of streaming in-person, remote participation access, and asynchronous video/multimodal poetry submissions by CCCC attendees. This poetry slam will highlight the intersections among social activism, performance, the creative arts, and the spoken/written word. The local poets, through their work, will share their experiences and activist work with conference attendees, and attendees will also be invited to present their poetry and join the virtual creative/activist community.
A book drive to support the education and development of incarcerated persons who, in Spokane as in most other American cities, are disproportionately comprised of people of color.
A series of virtual yoga/tai chi sessions to promote wellness among convention attendees, many of whom are coping with high levels of stress due to systemic racism, misogyny, homophobia, economic uncertainties, a global pandemic, and an oppressive political environment.
We have more SJAC events and initiatives under development, so check this page often and follow us at #SJAC2021 for updates and announcements!
Antonio Byrd, Co-Chair
Keith Sprewer, Co-Chair (Local Arrangements Chair)
Mara Lee Grayson
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.