Posted by The Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning on October 1, 2019

The Winter 2021 issue of the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (MJCSL) will be a special joint issue with the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), University of Michigan. As the publisher of MJCSL, the Ginsberg Center is partnering with NCID to highlight the challenges and successes involved as scholars have made efforts to center social justice in their community engagement. This special issue will be guest edited by Tabbye Chavous (University of Michigan) and Tania D. Mitchell (University of Minnesota).

A growing number of scholars have critiqued traditional models of service-learning and engaged scholarship for their failure to explicitly confront systems of inequality and their lack of attention to dismantling these structures of injustice (Butin, 2005; Hernandez, 2018; Marullo & Edwards, 2000; Mitchell, 2008; Tilley-Lubbs, 2009; Wade, 2000). This issue will highlight how scholars have centered social justice when designing and implementing service-learning opportunities or producing and applying engaged scholarship. The editors invite abstracts for submissions from educators and researchers from all fields and disciplines that:

  • Report research on the challenges, motivations, and experiences of practicing community engagement,
  • Explore the often-overlooked contributions to the field of community engaged-scholarship by educators, researchers, practitioners, community partners, and community members from historically marginalized backgrounds,
  • Evaluate methodologies for the practice and research of engagement based on their ability to achieve social justice,
  • Apply the lessons of critical theoretical and methodological lenses such as post-colonial theory, feminism, critical race theory, queer theory, disability studies, and ecocriticism, to advance community engagement pedagogies and practices.

We encourage submissions from emerging/early career scholars and scholars of color. While community engagement and service-learning are widely acknowledged to be powerful pedagogical tools, scholars and practitioners continue to find evidence of institutions of higher education devaluing community-engaged work during the tenure and/or promotion process. Despite this, vulnerable groups such as emerging scholars, non-tenured scholars, and scholars of color continue to undertake the institutional risk of practicing public scholarship and community engagement, often leading the charge of doing this work in their individual departments and universities. We hope to highlight the scholarship and stories of these individuals and their often-underappreciated, but no less valuable, contributions in order to work towards a more fair and just academy.

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