Teaching Social Justice in Dangerous Times: Practices of hope

Stéphanie Wahab


Over the course of 20 years of learning and teaching social justice, I have learned that without practices of hope, both in and out of the classroom, my students and I get easily frustrated, impatient, we feel powerless to affect change. We /I’ve learned this same lesson as the daughter of a Palestinian refugee living in the diaspora, I’ve learned this as an immigrant, a queer cis-woman, as someone with access to multiple forms of privilege engaged in anti-violence movements for decades. I’ve arrived at these practices of hope by muddling and stumbling (I’ve got the teaching evaluations to prove it) through learning how to teach social justice content to social work students, while being complicit and implicated myself in systems of oppression as a social worker, service provider, as an academic and beneficiary of systems of oppression. I owe my lessons to systems of formal and informal accountability to students, colleagues, and a range of communities where the feedback and correction I’ve received has often been uncomfortable and difficult.

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Social Work & Policy Studies: Social Justice, Practice and Theory

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