Staff as Students of Social Justice

Bridging our work and lived experiences

Image credit:
Keegan Houser

Overview

The Staff as Students of Social Justice (SSSJ) Program is an opportunity for campus staff to learn first-hand from leading scholars about the intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender, dig into subjects of personal interest, and build connections with faculty, students, and fellow staff colleagues.

Why SSSJ?

At UC Berkeley dozens of staff groups have been organizing EID activities with the help of the Division of Equity and Inclusion and the first Director of Diversity and Equity in People & Culture. There is a palpable hunger for conversation and education, as evidenced by the growing number of reading lists, websites, webinars, and programs that have been organized and shared. 

In addition to staff-led informal efforts, we are fortunate to have an incredible wealth of anti-racist scholars among our faculty—leaders in public health, education, sociology, ethnic studies, political science, law, history, environmental science, anthropology, comparative literature, and more. Conveniently, many teach American Cultures courses, which provides an exciting opportunity to bridge the university’s academic and work environments in a way that is mutually beneficial, meaningful, effective, and inexpensive.

Spring 2023 Program

This semester, we are excited  to announce a new public lecture series, “Aspirations of Material Anti-Racism: What’s Next?” This series will connect Berkeley faculty working on campus with contemporaries in academia and beyond in a set of conversations to lift and provoke the criticality of university-based anti-racism projects. Series speakers will be in conversation around the radical possibilities of racial justice making against the ever-evolving nature of the carceral state; housing and housing justice movements; racial capitalism;  collectivity, community, and mutual aid; and the central lineage of Black freedom struggles and contemporary abolitionist organizing, topics that previous SSSJ participants have already engaged in through rich dialogue and collective learning.

Expectations

  • Attend online lectures/meetings for the core Staff as Students in Social Justice course.

  • Supplemental readings will be available and encouraged—especially for the guest scholars who will be presenting to SSSJ participants.

  • Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of completion signed by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, which will be added to your HR file.

How to Apply

  • Applications for the program must be submitted via online formWe recommend applying as early as possible.
  • You do not need written approval from your supervisor/manager but we do encourage you to speak to them so that they are aware and supportive that you are investing in anti-racist learning through the SSSJ Program. If participation in the program will impact your work duties, please discuss with your supervisor/manager.

  • Space is limited. If interest exceeds demand, we will prioritize minoritized/underrepresented staff, campus staff with seniority, non-managers, and the waitlist from previous terms. We will also use a lottery if necessary. Staff who are not selected this round will have wait list priority for the next semester.

For questions or more information about the Staff as Students of Social Justice Program, please contact sssj@berkeley.edu.

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