Teaching for Social Justice & Democracy Speaker Series

Discover ways you can integrate current social issues into your course to better engage your students and help them to develop their social, emotional and expressive capacities. The Teaching For Social Justice & Democracy Series focuses on instructional strategies that Georgia State University faculty have used to successfully incorporate social justice themes into various subject areas and the resulting positive student outcomes.
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Fall 2023 Series

Teaching for Social Justice with Jacob Hackett and Ayinde Summers

When the Walls are Caving in, Can We Turn Backward to Move Forward? Movement Building in Community-Based Teacher Preparation

Friday, October 27 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Online
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In this insightful conversation, Jacob Hackett and Ayinde Summers will examine the immense potential in harnessing past experiences to propel instructors forward. They’ll take a deep dive into our local teacher preparation collaborative and how it’s impacting the development of teachers in Atlanta.

Jacob Hackett: Jacob Hackett is a clinical associate professor and coordinator of GSU’s Bachelor of Science in the Middle Level Education teacher preparation program. Dr. Hackett proudly taught for the Atlanta Public Schools district form 2006 – ’11, before earning his doctorate from the University of Washington, Seattle. A cornerstone to his teacher preparation philosophy is integrating strong, active, and progressive community partnerships. He has received several grants from both community foundations and the US Department of Education as a teacher and as a researcher to design and research authentic teaching experiences with his students and practicing teachers. Previous honors Hackett has earned include, include the Atlanta Public Schools Families Award for Excellence in Education; the prestigious University of Washington’s Huckabay Doctoral Fellowship; and Georgia State University College of Education and Human Development’s Distinguished Partner award, earned alongside Atlanta Public School’s Dr. MLK Jr. Middle School. Dr. Hackett supports teachers to explore historical discrimination to understand how these oppressive histories affect current institutional forms of inequity. Examples of this include school funding disparities, racial segregation (historic and current), and disproportional rates of representation and discipline based on race, gender, gifted and talented status or perceived disability status. This historical awareness is then used to generate teacher dispositions and teaching practices to mitigate those historical inequities and deepen critical student inquiry. His current research centers on the design and impact of a community and place-based teacher preparation program and practicing educator workshops focused on equity and critical consciousness.

Ayinde Summers: Ayinde brings a wide range of experience and passion to the roles he has played at Project South over the last 15 years. Ayinde is an accomplished outdoor leadership trainer, popular educator, historian and literacy specialist with experience working with children, youth and adults in nonprofit, education and business sectors.

Ayinde is a well known community leader in Atlanta and throughout Georgia with a commitment to linking his African traditions and practices to his community growth and development from the Gullah Geechee coast to neighborhoods of Atlanta.

Teaching for Social Justice with Tori Johnson

Teaching to the Margins

Friday, November 10 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Online
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Join guest speaker Tori Johnson in a discussion on Teaching to the Margins and learn about the ways you can provide education and support to students who are often overlooked or marginalized in traditional educational settings.

Presenter Bio: Cyntoria Johnson, J.D. is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology. Her legal practice areas include criminal law, family law and estate planning. She currently teaches in the Legal Track concentration, providing advanced skills-based instruction to students in preparation for careers in the law. In the last decade at GSU, she has developed and led study abroad programs to Brazil, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, and South Africa. Her passions are to remedy injustices in the criminal justice system and to prepare the next generation of legal practitioners – one case and one student at a time. The Atlanta-native is a GSU Panther who bleeds blue, earning both her M.S. and B.S. from Georgia State University.

Spring 2022 Series Recordings

Inspiring Students for Advocacy with Dr. Ruchi Bhatnagar

Watch the video of his talk below.

Fall 2021 Series Recordings

PRIDE, Pronouns, Productive Conversations and Safe Spaces with Dr. Ursula Thomas

Watch the video of his talk below.

Spring 2021 Series Recordings

A Framework for Social Justice and Civic Engagement in the Classroom

Congratulations to Dr. Owen Cantrell, 2021 co-recipient of CETLOE’s Teaching for Social Justice Award

Watch the video of his talk below.

Spring 2020 Series Recordings

The Politics of Mass Incarceration and the Zoukis Summer Institute

Congratulations to Dr. Toby Bolsen, 2020 recipient of CETLOE’s Teaching for Social Justice Award

Watch the video of his talk below.

Spring 2019 Series Recordings

Beyond Afrophobia with Dr. Joyce King and Dr. Valora Richardson

Empowering Students to Close the Social Justice Gap with Darcy Meals

Challenging  the Master Narrative: Teaching for Social Justice to Engage Students & Empower Future Leaders with Dr. Amani Marshall

Congratulations to Dr. Amani Marshall, recipient of CETLOE’s Teaching for Social Justice and Democracy Award.

Dr. Marshall, lecturer in Georgia State’s history department was recognized for his work redesigning his U.S. History survey course.

Dr. Marshall earned his bachelors degree from Florida A&M University and completed his doctorate at Indiana University. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State, he taught at a wide range of institutions, including Indiana University, University of Delaware, Mount Holyoke College, Agnes Scott College, and the Cambridge School of Weston, a progressive, independent high school in Massachusetts.

 A dedicated educator, Dr. Marshall is committed to using historical studies to empower future leaders. He is particularly adept at tackling difficult topics in U.S. history and teaches a course on the subject for history education majors at Georgia State. He has presented faculty workshops on teaching Black Lives Matter and has been quoted on the topic in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Watch the video of his talk below.


Fall 2018 Series Recordings

Teaching a Terrible Past with Doug Blackmon

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Creating Community Conscious Digital Leadership at Georgia State University with Joel Mack

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Georgia State University Prison Education Project: The Transformational Social Impact of Teaching Incarcerated Populations with Marissa McNamara and Dr. Andy Rogers

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Spring 2018 Series Recordings

Transgender Identities and Inclusivity in College Classrooms with Jordan Forrest Miller

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Engaging Scholarship in a Predatory Environment with Dr. Maryemma Graham

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Protest, Power and Possibilities: Agitation Literacies of Black Muslim Girls with Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

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Fall 2017 Series Recordings

Education as an Experience of Freedom: African centered pedagogy and social justice with Dr. Makungu M. Akinyela

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The Pedagogical Value of Diversity with Dr Tanya Washington

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More than Music: Using Hip Hop to Discuss Social Justice with Dr. Lakeyta Bonnette and Stic Man

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Spring 2017 Series Recordings

Pedagogy for Racial-Social-Justice with Dr. Joyce King and Dr. Brian Williams

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Between Malcolm X and 9/11: Islam and Politics in Today’s Political Climate withDr. Abbas Barzegar 

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Fall 2016 Series Recordings

Black Lives Matter as a Pedagogy of Empowerment with Dr. Amani Marshall

View the Recording > >

Student and Professor Positionality: Talking about Sensitive Racial Topics in a Racially Diverse Classroom with Dr. James Ainsworth

View the Recording > >

Teaching Black Resistance: Looking Back So We Can Move Forward with Dr. Akinyela Umoja, Chair and Professor of African – American Studies

View the Recording > >

Related Video

Learning in the Age of Social Media with Dr. Megan Boler

View the Recording > >

More Resources

In addition to her talk, Dr. Boler prepared these teaching resources and links related to “pedagogies of discomfort” and controversial issues/events. If you’re interested in helping students engage with issues related to race, class, gender, religion, or other justice-related issues, check out these resources.