From One Dupont Circle: Amplify

Cindi Love

Cindi LoveFrom One Dupont Circle: Amplify

In the last edition of Developments, I talked about a new way to thinking about ACPA – College Student Educators International in the world—L.A.M.P. or Lead. Amplify. Mobilize. Partner.

I shared my thoughts about ACPA’s leadership and particularly about our capacity and strength as an organization for thought leadership in higher education–most visibly when issues are complex and seemingly intractable.   These are the places where ACPA – College Student Educators International works best.

Firmly rooted in social justice education and the cultivation of advocacy culture (Berquist & Pawlak, 2008), ACPA – College Student Educators International has a well-recognized legacy of helping higher education professionals find balance in opposition and meaning by creating more equitable campus environments (Manning & Munoz, 2011).

We believe students become fully engaged as they address critical community problems and communities gain valuable support
from committed individuals (Manning & Munoz, 2011).  This is what we teach and this is what we have been doing for more than 90 years.

Evidence of this legacy appears in many venues.  I am particularly proud that the Journal of College Student Development (JCSD) has been identified as the top tier journal in higher education publishing the highest percentage (20.95%) of articles on race (Mitchell, Hardley, Jordan, & Couch, 2014).  That’s leadership!

I also want to talk about the “A” in L.A.M.P.—amplify.  Part of our work in the world is to amplify the voices of students, scholars, practitioners, faculty and administrators—as thought leaders and as advocates.  In order to be most effective in this goal, we have launched ACPA Video On Demand, a 24/7 online digital platform for professional and career development provided by ACPA senior and emerging scholars, partners throughout higher education and our members.

Our inaugural series on ACPA Video on Demand is “Confronting the Reality of Racism in the Academy,” a journey into the community of Ferguson and Saint Louis University (SLU) in the post-non-indictment climate of the academy.

Dr. Kent Porterfield is the Vice-President of Student Development at SLU and the President of ACPA – College Student Educators International.  He and I joined campus professionals and community organizers for two days of filming their perspectives about the reality of racism in the academy.  I am grateful to the SLU and Ferguson community of social justice educators, advocates and activists and their willingness to witness to the struggle, to speak truth to power, and to share their experiences with all of us.

We speak of our role as social justice educators and it is important to talk about our role in advocacy as well.  It is an embedded part of ACPA – College Student Educators International and our members.  It is seen as a/the valid way to address shared problems and a tool to which we turn when confronting challenges.

Advocacy is one of the ways that we amplify the voices of people who are excluded or silenced.   I look forward to use of ACPA Video On Demand to lead—and to amplify the voices of our scholars and practitioners—to expand our reach around the world about the best practices for student learning and development, advocacy and activism.

References

Berquist, W. H. & Pawlak, K. (2008). Engaging the six cultures of the academy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Manning, K. & Munoz, F. M. (2011). Conclusion: Re-visioning the future of multicultural student services. In D. L. Stewart (Ed.), Multicultural student services on campus: Re-visioning community (pp. 282-300). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Mitchell, D., Jr., Hardley, J., Jordan, D., & Couch, M. (2014). Journals in the field of higher education: A racial analysis. Journal of Research Initiatives, 1(2), 1-10.

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