Learning from Former Student Leaders in Social Justice Activism

By Darren E. Lund and Kari Grain.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This presentation reports on a funded study featuring in-depth duoethnographic interviews with 12 former student activists. The research analyzes the impact of engaging in social justice activism from the perspective of actual student leaders, long overlooked as informants in this area. The researchers have sought to better understand the many ways taking a leadership role in fostering the acceptance of diversity can impact individuals. The study offers valuable insights to researchers, educators, and school activists alike on a number of topics, including the growing awareness of critical issues in race and racialization, including the role of white privilege, and the transformative potential of student activism.

Keywords: Students, Social Justice, School Activism, Collaborative Research, Diversity Education

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.13-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 166.064KB).

Dr. Darren E. Lund

Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Darren Lund is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary, where his research examines social justice activism. Darren was a high school teacher in Alberta for 16 years, and in his rookie year, formed an award-winning student activist program, Students and Teachers Opposing Prejudice (STOP). Darren is currently the “Welcoming Communities” Domain Leader with the Prairie Metropolis Centre. Darren's Diversity Toolkit www.ucalgary.ca/dtoolkit has been recognized as a valued online resource. He has published numerous articles, books, and book chapters, and his book "The Great White North? Exploring Whiteness, Privilege, and Identity in Education" has won two national awards. Darren has received a number of honours, including being named a Reader’s Digest National Leader in Education, and one of Red Deer’s Top Educators of the Century.

Kari Grain

Program Manager, After School Life Skills Program, Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Kari Grain is currently After School Life Skills Program Manager with the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, and serves on the provincial board of directors for the Alberta Association for Multicultural Education. Kari has been Regional Coordinator for the Discover Diversity Schools Program with the Canadian Centre for Diversity. Her MA thesis, entitled “Transformative Learning of White North American Educators in Rwanda: Participant Perspectives on Sojourning and Racialized Identity,” won the 2010 CIESC Michel Laferrière Award for the top national thesis in comparative and international education. Her research program has been supported by a Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Scholarship, a Dr. Richard Hirabayashi Memorial Award, an Alberta Graduate Student Scholarship, and the Honourable Ron Ghitter Award for Human Rights.