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Social Justice Series: Building Community

SJLS logoStetson University’s Social Justice Lecture Series will present guest speaker Dr. Susan Rankin, founding member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Stetson Room, second floor of the Carlton Union Building, 131 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand. The public is invited, free of charge. With a career dedicated and committed to social justice, Rankin will speak on “Out of the Shadows: Building Inclusive Communities.” 

Former Senior Research Associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education and Associate Professor of Education in the College Student Affairs Program at The Pennsylvania State University, Rankin earned her B.S. from Montclair State University in 1978, a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from The Pennsylvania State University (1981), and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration in 1994, also from Penn State. Rankin served for 17 years as the Head Coach for Women’s Softball and Lecturer in Kinesiology at Penn State. She has presented and published widely on the impact of sexism, racism and heterosexism in the academy and in intercollegiate athletics. Her current research focuses on the assessment of institutional climate and providing program planners and policy makers with recommended strategies to improve the campus climate for under-served communities.

She has collaborated with over 70 institutions/organizations in implementing assessments and developing strategic plans regarding social justice issues. The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals is a network of professionals doing advocacy work for LGBT people on college campuses committed to securing and defending full civil rights for LGBT individuals.

Rankin is the recipient of the ACPA 2008 Voice of Inclusion Medallion. The award recognizes individuals who embody the student affairs values of social justice.

The Stetson University Social Justice Lecture Series is grounded in the university’s values and serves as a platform for ongoing curricular and experiential learning opportunities that relate directly to social justice issues. Its mission is to engage its communities in an intensive exploration of social justice by inviting accomplished leaders to Stetson University to enrich and motivate the community’s understanding of those issues and, in doing so, increase the university’s significance as a teaching and learning environment that emphasizes personal and social responsibility.

Founded in 2013, the series featured Peter Edelman, faculty director of the Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, as its inaugural guest speaker. Throughout his five-decade career, Edelman has become one of the country’s leading anti-poverty advocates.

In addition to the keynote address, the public is also invited to attend Dr. Rajni Shankar-Brown’s education class, “Social Foundations of Education” with Rankin as guest speaker, Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 10-11 a.m., in Rinker Auditorium inside Lynn Business Center, 345 N. Woodland Blvd.

For more information, please contact Joshua Rust, associate professor, Philosophy, (386) 822-7581, jrust@stetson.edu.

In addition to Professor Rust and Law Professor Robert Bickel, members of the Social Justice Lecture Series committee include Yolany Gonell, director of diversity and inclusion; student Alicja Duda; and Amy Gipson, director of strategic communications and assistant to the president.