The Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI) establishes Brock as a Canadian and International leader in advanced transdisciplinary social justice scholarship, innovative knowledge mobilization strategies, and community-university partnerships.
Connections among academics, activists and community partners will produce knowledge that addresses urgent social problems and opens new pathways to social change – locally, nationally, and globally. Brock University’s Social Justice Research Institute generates social, cultural, and economic impacts for the betterment of society in the 21st century, in Niagara and beyond.
The Social Justice Research Institute brings together researchers and students from a wide variety of disciplines to produce socially relevant and community-based scholarship on social justice issues and create connections with community organizations. The institute will focus on five research clusters: global justice; jobs and justice; gender and justice; animals and justice; and epistemic justice.
The creation of transdisciplinary knowledge in social justice is driven by a collective recognition of local and global injustices, and a desire to understand and ameliorate these injustices. This work is provoked by problematics of the social world rather than research questions arising from disciplinary debates.
Transdisciplinary knowledge in social justice is produced when scholars, collaborating across disciplinary boundaries, respond to complex problematics in close dialog with activists and affected communities. Transdisciplinarity in social justice draws on discipline-based expertise but is neither defined nor confined by it. Indeed, it recognizes that all knowledge is partial and situated and the imperative of involving those affected by social problems in knowledge production about their resolution.
Through the synergies created by community, activist, and scholarly collaborations, SJRI generates new and distinct, critical, complex, and useful knowledges that enrich the disciplines while also transcending them. Our approach to transdisciplinarity also means embracing the most innovative methodologies, epistemologies, and research practices.
SJRI facilitates wide and resonant conversations, within universities and broader publics, about social justice problems and solutions through the production and dissemination of transdisciplinary knowledge in creative, visual, digital, and open-access ways. The social impacts of this initiative are clear and will be felt as academics, activists and social partners collaborate in addressing urgent social problems and open new pathways to social change in Niagara and beyond.