Race and Social Justice in Higher Education

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
**SPECIAL ISSUE** Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education
contact email: 

“Unlivable Spaces”:

Race and Social Justice in Higher Education during the #BlackLivesMatter Era


Guest Editors:


Heather C. Moore, Ph.D.                                                                                                Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D.

Allegheny College                                                                                              Vanderbilt University


Over the past six years, American colleges and universities have experienced many racially charged incidents that marginalized the histories and voices of faculty, administrators, and students of color.  For instance, in 2010, two University of Missouri students “scattered cotton balls around the campus Black Culture Center” (Pearson, 2015). This act combined with a lackluster response from key members of the school’s administration led student activists to launch “Concerned Student 1950,” a group of student organizers who centralized the perspectives and needs of students of color at the University of Missouri. In addition, these events led Mizzou graduate student, Jonathan Butler, to stage a hunger strike until key members of the administration resigned from their high profile positions. When questioned about his student activist identity and his strike by The Washington Post, Butler argued that Mizzou was “an unlivable space” and implied that he was not treated as a “human” being (Miller, 2015). These events exposed the ‘dark’ history and the need for continued discourse around race, identity, and privilege in post-secondary education.

This special issue will serve as a space where students, scholars, and practitioners can create plans of action and discuss the specific ways they seek justice for historically marginalized communities in higher education.  The articles in this issue will extend discourse on education as part of the widely discussed #BlackLivesMatter movement. As Black collegians, in particular, are pushed to the margins, and their cultural experiences are actively co-opted by privileged students, what should be considered a social justice project in higher education?

Potential Topics

Like all articles in Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education, this special issue is grounded in “radical contextualization” that draws meaningful connections between “education and the socio-cultural context.”  The authors of this special issue welcome scholarship that interrogates justice from a variety of vantage points.  Potential topics and concepts may include:


•           Examples of Organizing Efforts that Transform Colleges and Universities into “Livable Spaces”

•           Description of Safe Spaces for Students of Difference in the #BlackLivesMatter Era

•           #BlackLivesMatter chapters or similar organizations on college campuses

•           Intersectionality and Multifaceted Identities on College Campuses (Faculty/Organizer, Student/Activist,     Administrator/Unofficial Counselor)

•           Activism in Student-Led Organizations

•           Utilizing Community Organizing Models inside College Classrooms

•           Undergraduate Students as Community Activists

•           Teaching Activism in the Academy

Submission and Timeline - Submit your full-length manuscript by November 1, 2016. All correspondence, inquiries, and manuscripts should be emailed to Heather C. Moore (drheathermoore@gmail.com) and the editors of Taboo (tabooeditors@gmail.com). The subject line of your email should read “Unlivable Spaces Special Issue Submission.”  All manuscripts must be 15-20 pages in total length and follow APA 6th Edition. 

February 1, 2017 - Authors will receive notification about manuscripts acceptance with feedback from reviewers

April 1, 2017 - Revised manuscripts will be returned to editors

June/July 1, 2017 - Final review of manuscripts by editors

August/September 1, 2017- Editors finalize special issue for submission to the journal