Using a Social Justice Continuum to Better Support Faculty of Color in Higher Education Settings

Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


Institutions of higher education (IHEs) have a varied history of advocating for equity within the hallowed halls of the academy as well as in the ways they interact with and impact communities, locally and globally. In particular, faculty of color often experience microaggressions stemming from implicit biases on a daily bias. In addition, institutional barriers, which are often unacknowledged, can impede their success and accomplishment of promotion and/or tenure. Even when successful, the chronic stress faculty of color deal with while working in hostile space is detrimental to their health and overall work-life balance. A framework known as the social justice continuum model (SJCM) is proposed as a continuum from meritocracy to a commitment stance that permeates the institution in all aspects of work. While the SJCM can be useful, it is only part of the equation of achieving and maintaining a state of social justice. The work, often hard, must happen by both the individuals within the organization and the institution itself. The growth effectiveness model (GEM) we advance is a process of change management for assisting an institution in the quest of achieving and sustaining a commitment to social justice. The primary focus of this chapter is on how IHEs, in particular predominantly White institutions, can evolve into spaces that are committed to social justice and supportive environments for faculty of color and, by extension, staff, students, and leadership. In this chapter, we present the SJC and GEM models to help individuals and organizations operate from a stance of social justice.


Social justice Faculty of color Higher education Change management Equity 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Advanced Studies in Education, School of EducationJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Counseling and Educational Studies, School of EducationJohns Hopkins University BaltimoreUSA

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