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WSU Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Social Justice

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About the event

The Washington State University Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Social Justice (WSU SJCON) is an annual event sponsored by the College of Education, the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the departments of English and Sociology.

Social justice is perhaps most often associated with fostering fairness and equity in society. The term, however, is wide-reaching and applicable to a significant number of fields. Doing social justice work within the academic context can help instructors, students, and community members develop a proclivity for social change and an awareness of the ways injustices manifest in our daily lives. However, we acknowledge the importance of moving beyond noticing or theorizing social problems; social justice requires action.

Our theme for this year’s event is Coalitions and Coalitional Possibilities. We understand coalitions to be sites of communication and collaboration that acknowledge, respect, and recognize differences in experience, community, and identity, while actively seeking strategies for authentic partnership and mutual support. As Karma Chavez reminds us, “coalition” as a term, “always implies an inter-meshed understanding of identity, subjectivity, power, and politics” (7). A coalition, therefore, is rooted in the diverse places, identities and relationships that shape us and highlights the need to act together as a unified force, at the root problems of inequity and oppression. Such work cannot remain theoretical, but must connect to lived experiences and the land, which connect us all. And seeking new potential for community engagement and identifying strategies of mutual care, requires us to learn from a place of reciprocity, a central concept of Indigenous feminism.


kathryn Manis