NASPA Right Now - August: An increased focus on social justice

Dear Colleagues:

We join you in eager anticipation of the beginning of another academic year, and everything that comes with it: the opportunity to welcome a new class of students, the excitement of a presidential election year, and continuing student concerns and activism around issues of social justice. We support you in the important, and often heartbreaking, task of working with students for whom social and racial justice stretches far beyond their campus lives and for whom campus can be both a place of respite and frustration. 

This past year, NASPA sponsored a series of thoughtful professional development opportunities for the student affairs community centered on social and racial justice. Our Social Justice Initiatives include a variety of programming on this topic, some of which are freely available on our website. All NASPA Live Briefings can be used as personal and team development even if you missed the live event. The full list of professional development programs is available here  and will be updated regularly as we release new programs.  A few highlights below:

A few highlighted programs are below:

These live briefings were attended by more than 1,500 professionals, but represent only part of NASPA’s ongoing commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice. The Commission on Equity and Inclusion, consisting of representation from each of NASPA’s identity-based knowledge communities and other constituent groups, is working to update NASPA’s statement on equity and inclusion and will work with NASPA’s executive leadership to design and administer an association-wide climate survey for NASPA members this fall. Additionally, earlier this year, the NASPA Board of Directors approved a new Association non-discrimination policy for selection of conference sites, as well as adopted a new practice protocol policy that commits to recognizing the indigenous peoples’ lands on which we hold conferences and meetings.

We hope that you have the opportunity to work with us as we move together toward a more equitable and inclusive Association, and toward building a profession that shares these values. Issues of social justice and racial justice will continue to present challenges for each of us as we move into this new academic year, and we hope that you will both practice self-care and take care of one another as we also strive to attend to our students who are navigating these complex issues. We are soliciting topics for additional live briefings this fall, and we encourage you to reach out to Dr. Jill Dunlap, Director for Equity, Inclusion and Violence Prevention at [email protected] with any ideas you have for speakers for these sessions.

Finally, as we prepare our campuses and ourselves for the coming year, we hope you will join us for our next live briefing, centered on self-care:

Leading from Joy, Not Pain
Dr. Mamta Accapadi
Friday, August 12 – 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. ET

As always, thank you for the important work that you do.

Kevin Kruger
NASPA President, Ph.D.