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From a November 2005 directive of the University of Wyoming President’s Advisory Council for Minority and Women’s Affairs (PACMWA), a small work group was created to make recommendation(s) regarding the use of UW's Social Justice Endowment fund.
The group operated under the three assumptions: first, they wanted to pursue an activity consistent with the wishes of an anonymous donor. The second was that the recommendation would be for between 5-10 years with an annual income of $50,000. Finally, the third assumption was that it should be directed towards an “academic” activity consistent with President Buchanan's wishes that greater, specifically academic, efforts for diversity be advanced.
The group met multiple times over a three-month period to consider ideas, provide information (from their local constituents as well as from information about other program efforts from other US universities), and advance recommendations. The recommendations that were considered included (but were not limited to) the following:
Center for social justice research in rural settings
Student Research Project
Visiting Faculty Program
Speaker Series, Conferences, Symposia
Research Award Program
Scholarship/Research Support Program
Diversity Related Course Support (to create and implement)
Administrative Appointment (for university-wide diversity and social justice)
PACMWA unanimously supported the idea of a Research Center with a social justice focus. In November, 2006, the PACMWA shared their idea with the President (Tom Buchanan) and Vice-President for Academic Affairs (Myron Allen). They agreed with the idea and in spring, 2007 it was formally approved. In April, 2007, a call for a Director was made.
Dr. Francisco Rios was appointed the Center’s first director in August 2007. He served from 2007- 2011. Dr. Kate Muir Welsh was appointed the center's second director in January 2012. While she is on sabbatical during the 2018-2019 academic year, the center will be directed by Dr. Eric Teman, faculty in the College of Education and Dr. Emily Monago, Chief Diversity Officer.
The Social Justice Research Center celebrated our 10-year anniversary on October 17th, 2017 with a full-day of social justice events, including:
AVARNA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workshop for UW administrators
AVARNA DEI Strategic Planning workshop for social justice organizers
SJRC Scholar’s Panel discussion on social justice research
Social Justice Awards Dinner with keynote speaker Dr. Francisco Rios, founding director of the SJRC
Visit our 10-year anniversary celebration page to explore images, video, and presentations from the event.