Critical Social Justice: 101 Foundations of Home Recap

The spirit of the fourth annual Critical Social Justice aims to create space and learning opportunities to consider the ways we can challenge, explore, and redefine the concept of Home based upon our individual and collective histories as well as our intersecting identities.

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  1. Each year, we kick-off CSJ with a "101" of that year's theme. This year, Dr. Kate Drabinski (Gender + Women’s Studies), Dr. Kimberly Moffitt (American Studies), and Dr. Thania Muñoz Davaslioglu (Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication) expanded on our definition of home at our Critical Social Justice 101: Foundations of Home panel. In the short span of an hour, our three guests provided unique and personal interpretations of what home means and looks like in regards to Baltimore, US politics, and immigration.
  2. This year all three of our panelists provided insight into their expert definitions of home. Dr. Kate Drabinski did a fantastic job of drawing connections between last year's theme of Baltimore and this year's theme of home. While speaking to her experience as a Baltimorean, she also shared how home can be a place of safety and well-being. She then challenged that notion by outlining the many ways in which we can have difficult relationships with our homes. She sent us off with some homework (typical of a professor!) - to be critical of how our physical space is indicative of who is welcome.
  3. Next up was Dr. Kimberly Moffitt. She expanded on what home looks like in America. She says that home should not present the ultimatum of "love it, or leave."
  4. Dr. Moffitt had a very particular point to share about how the United States is or is not a home for some of us. She says, "Home should be the one place that I let to let my hair down literally. As we think of America as our political home, we are in an interesting place right now...there are a lot of us who aren't feeling very good about home right now. Some of us feel like we don't belong."
  5. Dr. Thania Muñoz Davaslioglu was the last to speak. She shared her personal experience of having to redefine home as an immigrant. Dr. Muñoz Davaslioglu also talked about the internal negotiation of staying authentic and true to her roots.
  6. "I have a been collecting homes for a while because I am an immigrant to this country. " -Dr. Muñoz Davaslioglu
  7. At the end of the event, there was a message of growth. As we work together to be critical of our definition of home, Dr. Moffitt reminded us of the "beauty of being human". Our panelists only covered a sliver of the intersections and definitions of home. Our hope for you is that you'll continue to be critical of the what home looks like for you and the UMBC community.
  8. Thank you for coming to our kick-off CSJ event. We hope you'll join us for the remainder of the Critical Social Justice events. Hope to see you there! To find out more about Critical Social Justice and our theme of Home, visit our blog, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.
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