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Learning/Teaching for Justice Conference

LTJC 2021:

In celebration of Thurgood Marshall College’s 50th Anniversary, the Dimensions of Culture Program hosted a conference in Spring Quarter 2021 that explored learning and teaching for justice in higher education. We ultimately asked: what does just learning and teaching look like in and beyond the classroom? 

In centering this question of learning for justice especially beyond the classroom, the organizing committee was proud to announce poet and author Saeed Jones as the conference’s keynote speaker. Saeed Jones is the author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives, winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, and the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. Saeed Jones’s writings help us consider how learning for justice emerges from our complex and intersecting lived experiences.

To see a living archive of LTJC 2021 as well as recordings, please visit here.


To view our Commemorative Booklet, please visit here. 

Our Vision

We intended for this conference to be active, interactive, and inclusive—a space for educators to be students, and for students to educate, recognizing that “teaching” is not done just by academics for students in lecture halls but occurs in residential halls/apartments, academic advising sessions, student organizations, campus centers, and other formal and informal learning communities across the university, and that educators do, and must, learn from their students.

The conference prioritized practical and interactive sessions that shared strategies and practices for cultivating equity, inclusion, and anti-racism throughout higher education, from the perspective of students, educators, and administrators across the disciplines. To create these transformational encounters, we selected active learning sessions—not professors reading papers from the lectern or panelists talking past each other, but rather sessions that engaged with an audience and drew out varied perspectives. 

To that end, conference sessions included student voices—either as presentation participants or through student panels. 

In convening the Learning/Teaching for Justice conference, we were proud to host over thirty interactive sessions that engaged with but were not limited to the following themes and questions:

  • Anti-racism in higher education -- How are racist policies, practices, and representations identified, confronted, and resisted on college campuses? At UC San Diego specifically, how do students experience anti-racist educational practices and how do they feel they benefit from those practices?
  • Justice across difference -- What are practical strategies to take into account how the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, citizenship status, English language fluency, geographic location, and religion complicate working with peers towards common goals of learning about and enacting social change?
  • Breaking borders between disciplines -- What is the role of multiple disciplines in looking inward and in working together to confront injustice?
  • Reckoning with institutionalization -- Is change from within the institution possible?
  • Communal care -- How do we care for ourselves and our peers while confronting systems of oppression? How do students create systems of care for each other?
  • Anti-hierarchical collaborations -- How do we resist the power hierarchies and dynamics between student and professor, administration and staff, campus and community, etc.?
  • Reflection and action amidst COVID-19 -- How is political consciousness cultivated and expressed during the pandemic? What are the connections between teaching and learning for justice and the conditions of the global pandemic?

2021 Conference Committee Members:

  • Dr. Leslie Carver
  • Dr. Amanda Solomon Amorao
  • Dr. Emily Johnston
  • Dr. Megan Strom
  • Sue Hawkinson
  • Dr. Amber Vlasnik
  • Fnann Keflezighi
  • Matthew Nelson
  • Dr. Antony Lyon


This program is supported in part by a co-sponsorship from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Any views or opinions expressed in this program are solely those of the speaker(s) and/or organizer(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Office of the Vice Chancellor.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs is proud to co-sponsor this Thurgood Marshall College Program.

We would like to thank The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education and The Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education for their support for this Conference.


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