The Social Justice Transdisciplinary Core addresses structural inequalities and racism and their collective impact on economic mobility, educational achievement and overall well-being. Richmond, similar to many urban centers across the nation, struggles with long-standing issues of race, inequality and justice.
Making significant and meaningful changes in equality around food security, education, well‐being and economic status in Richmond
This core employs a collaborative framework to enhance the university’s capacity to engage in a mutual exchange of knowledge with Richmond communities to fully incorporate racial and economic justice perspectives in education, service-learning and professional development; community-driven research and scholarship that advances knowledge about how to resolve emergent and extant issues related to racial and economic justice; and service that facilitates intergroup dialogue and action leading to transformative change in individuals, communities, organizations and institutions.
Core leadership team
- Henry H. Brownstein, Ph.D.
- Professor, director of the Center for Public Policy and associate dean for research, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
He will participate in recruiting faculty and fellows, designing projects, writing proposals and working on projects, as well as identify and recruit faculty from the Wilder School to participate. He brings expertise on violence, drug policy and qualitative research.
- Duron Chavis
- Director of community engagement, Renew Richmond, and program director, Harding Street Urban Agriculture Center, Virginia State University
He serves as the initial primary community partner in this core and serves on the core leadership team. He brings extensive experience as an advocate on a wide range of issues, including food justice, culture and social entrepreneurship. He will work with other core members and additional community partners to develop innovative models for community-university collaboration around issues of food insecurity as a platform for advancing racial and economic justice.
- José Dulá, Ph.D.
- Professor and director of research, Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics, School of Business
He represents the School of Business in this core and serves on the leadership team. He serves as a liaison with other School of Business faculty and offers expertise around matters pertaining to entrepreneurship and socially conscious enterprises.
- Betsy Farmer, Ph.D.
- Professor and associate dean for research, School of Social Work
She serves as chair of this core’s leadership team and search committee. She brings expertise on conducting research with youth, families, community organizations and policymakers to improve practice, service access and coordination, and outcomes.
- Daryl Fraser, LCSW
- Assistant professor in teaching, School of Social Work
He works with the core to increase student involvement in innovative transdisciplinary internships and other educational opportunities. He brings expertise in working with individuals and families around mental health, substance abuse, child welfare and HIV.
- Deborah Speece, Ph.D.
- Professor of counseling and special education and associate dean for research and faculty development, School of Education
She represents the School of Education in this core and serves on the leadership team. Her responsibilities include integrating the strengths of her faculty with those of social work, public policy and business to create new university-community partnerships designed to help children achieve their potential.
- Alex Wagaman, Ph.D.
- Assistant professor, School of Social Work
She provides expertise in participatory action research and community-driven work as a framework for designing and conducting research that addresses topics and questions that are most relevant to community members’ lives and experiences. She brings extensive experience in community organizing and implementing innovative approaches to community-university partnerships.
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