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Jason Jackson Infuses Social Justice in Leadership Studies Curriculum



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by dr. Saby Labor in Audio, Blog, Resources
August 9, 2017 0 comments

In episode 03 of the Resilient Campus Podcast, Jason Jackson shares his experiences and insights as a queer man of color and the influence of his own femininity as a professional in college and university environments. Within his role developing curriculum in the Leadership Studies minor, he is able to infuse social justice content and identity-based work into faculty training. Jason shares strategies for self-care, staying in the work, and finding joy, laughter, and humor to sustain our personal and professional wellbeing. He shares a beautiful piece of writing from James Baldwin’s book, “The Fire Next Time” and a podcast that frames the work Jason is able to do in college environments.

Show Notes:

  • Jason shares how his gender expression influences his role as a college teacher and professional supporting college students 03:05
  • What does it mean to be in professional roles and tackle issues of professionalism for folks of color? 08:34
  • The story of Jason dropping the “f-bomb” on campus 09:41
  • Jason is doing amazing things in the Leadership Studies Minor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities 11:31
  • Intentional emergence pedagogy tackles emerging social, political, and interpersonal issues in the classroom 12:15
  • Jason discusses how he centers social justice and identity work within curriculum and teaching 13:16
  • Strategies for embedding social justice concerns and building collaborative partnerships when working with faculty 15:56
  • How do student affairs professionals get into college teaching roles? 19:15
  • How did Jason arrive to the work that he’s doing today? 21:35
  • Jason facilitates dialogue and education on issues of safe sex and LGBTQ support in the K-12 environment 23:09
  • Jason gets the call from the University of Minnesota from the GLBTA Programs Office to join their team 24:58
  • Jason talks about his reasons for getting a master’s degree to increase credibility in this field as a black queer person 25:30
  • Jason recommends a podcast and a book that bring humor and guide his work 30:10
  • What have been the biggest lessons Jason has learned in his professional life? 35:30
  • Shares a strategy for self-care in his daily work environment 36:05
  • What advice Jason would give to college professionals doing equity and inclusion work? 38:48
  • Jason reiterates Ani DiFranco’s lyric, “You’ve gotta to live light enough to see the humor and live long enough to see some change.” 40:30
  • Inspirational quote from Janet Mock “I’ve learned that none of us should reach for normal. Normal is so basic.” 43:08

Significant quotes:

  • “I was really starting to critique and carve out my own path now for what it means to be a professional and I don’t have to buy in to the respectability politics of that world. What a beautiful world to be in now to practice and interrogate those ideas. ” 09:16
  • “When I’m writing curriculum, I’m always asking myself the question of ‘Who am I serving?’, ‘Who am I protecting?’, and ‘Who am I letting off the hook?’. How can I bring instructors up to a level where they need to be in a world that is changing very rapidly, that is extremely political, and is very, very tense times.” 14:33
  • “That’s the beauty and the tragedy of student affairs professionals wanting to get more involved in teaching…you have to do some of the grunt work of doing adjunct work and not getting paid a ton of money to do it, but that experience is essential.” 20:01
  • “If you know you have a calling to do this work, to change the world, or just to change a student, or to change perspectives, stay in it.” 28:46

Links Mentioned:

  • Find out more information about adjunct teaching opportunities in the Leadership Studies minor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities visit www.lead.umn.edu
  • Jason finds laughter by listening to the podcast, “The Read” 
  • Jason recommends the prelude to James Baldwin’s book, “The Fire Next Time” as a significant influence in his work as a social justice educator
  • Connect with Jason on LinkedIn

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