Social Justice Leaders in Our Midst

Dr. Limarys Caraballo

Dr. Limarys Caraballo
Assistant Professor of English Education Queens College

The Complexities of Social Justice: Providing a Voice for Students of Color

By Livia Gama Fagundes, Molloy College
Dr. Caraballo refers to herself as "a person of color, daughter of immigrants, and an English language learner" (Caraballo, 2014). She was born in Puerto Rico to Cuban immigrant parents who did not speak English and from a very young age, her parents instilled upon her the importance of education. Dr. Caraballo was sheltered by a close community of immigrants and it wasn't until she left for college that she became aware of what it meant to be a person of color in mainstream U.S. (Caraballo, 2014). Dr. Caraballo began her career as an English teacher in a very diverse school in California and that was when she became aware of the gender and color blindness rhetoric that she had internalized (Caraballo, 2014). Through her journey, Dr. Caraballo often grappled with conflicting views between culture and academic aspiration as a woman of color. Through personal negotiations, she recognized that her work in academia should always reflect her position as a woman of color. Full paper (PDF)...

Dr. Shari Camhi

Dr. Shari Camhi
Superintendent of Schools Baldwin UFSD

Dr. Shari Camhi: Leading the Way to Equitable Education in a Diverse Learning Community

By Emily Bascelli, Molloy College
Innovation, inclusivity, and involvement is active and visible throughout the Baldwin community as a result of Dr. Camhi's education initiatives. Utilizing her background on integrated technology, Dr. Camhi outlined a goal for the district's communication technology "to more widely publicize and market all that is happening in the Baldwin schools and position Baldwin as a recognized model for teaching and learning" ("New Communications and Educational Initiatives," 2016, p. 1). Full paper (PDF)...

Syntychia Kendrick-Samuel

Syntychia Kendrick-Samuel
Public Librarian II Uniondale Public Library

A Voice Committed to Equity and Social Justice in the Public Library

By Salamah Adjoua-Mullen, Molloy College
Drew Dudley, a leadership educator and speaker, defined leadership as moments in which one person can affect another individual's understanding of how powerful an agent for change they can be in the world. A social justice leader is a natural extension of this definition. This type of leader is a powerful agent for change who values diversity and equity within society, thus, can affect another person's understanding of multiculturalism and justice. Theoharis & Scanlan (2015) explained that leaders cannot just pick and choose which inequities they will address and which they will ignore. The first steps taken by an individual in a leadership position is important but acknowledging that privilege and oppression exists is a beginning. Another step a social justice leader can take is building relationships that recognize differences. Building relationships can break down oppressive barriers in organized systems. The following profile highlights one woman's attempt to make changes within the system she works in, the public library. Full paper (PDF)...

Dr. Shawn Ladda

Dr. Shawn Ladda
Professor of Kinesiology
Manhattan College

Anything Boys Can Do, Girls Can Do Better: Dr. Shawn Ladda's Journey to Female Equity

by Caitlin Sweetapple, Molloy College
Dr. Shawn Ladda is no stranger to female oppression. She was marginalized at an early age for being a female athlete. Her first familiarity included being kicked off her youth baseball team for striking out a boy. Following that incident, she experienced receiving hateful comments from parents for being better than the boys in soccer. Her experiences are not diverse from many women in America. According to Adams (2017), feminists have used sport and physical activity to stress that sexism exists and to show disparity between men and women. Shawn's experiences have shaped her mission of social justice and equity for females in sport and physical activity and in the greater society. Full paper (PDF)...

Dr. Brenda Williams Harewood and Eric Jacobson

Dr. Brenda Williams Harewood
Uniondale School District
Uniondale, New York

Eric Jacobson
The Progressive School
Merrick, New York

Social Justice Leaders and Neighbors

by Shalinie Sarju, Molloy College
Dr. Brenda Williams Harewood and Eric Jacobson, two social justice leaders are neighbors in the racially and socioeconomically segregated education system on Long Island, New York. Dr. Harewood serves in the predominantly African American and Hispanic, lower socioeconomic Uniondale School District, and Mr. Jacobson leads in a private school in the predominantly Caucasian, upper-middle class Merrick. While they are neighbors a mere mile apart, the student populations are separated by the chasmic divides of race and socioeconomic class. These steadfast principals, however, have shown that social justice leadership may be successfully implemented in any neighborhood. Full paper (PDF)...

Dr. Cheryl Champ: A Social Justice Leader with a Vision by Mariola Krol, Molloy College

Cheryl Champ
Sewanhaka Central High School
Floral Park, New York

Dr. Cheryl Champ: A Social Justice Leader with a Vision

by Mariola Krol, Molloy College 
In today's climate of divisive rhetoric, there is a need for social justice that values building a bridge across differences through dialogue and action. Social action begins with a vision to  transform society and actively contribute to the development of awareness, knowledge, and tools for creating and sustaining change over a long period of time (Zuniga, 2013). Dr. Cheryl Champ is one of those visionaries, working to outline conceptual frameworks for diversity and social justice in education. Full paper (PDF)...

Amy Buchanan: A Representative of Change By Nathaniel Marner, Molloy College

Amy Buchanan
Dutch Broadway Elementary School
Elmont, New York

Amy Buchanan: A Representative of Change

by Nathaniel Marner, Molloy College
According to Bell (2013), "the goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs" (p. 21). It takes a special person to stand and fight for what's right on a daily basis. McCray and Beachum (2014) stated that "Building bridges with the community is a prerequisite for school success" (p.74). Similarly, Amy Buchanan the former principal of the Alden Terrace Elementary School and the current principal of the Dutch Broadway Elementary School, has done this throughout her tenure as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Full paper (PDF)...

Moving Communities Forward: Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre by Jennifer Somma-Coughlin, Molloy College

Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre
Assembly District 11
Lindenhurst, New York

Moving Communities Forward: Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre

by Jennifer Somma-Coughlin, Molloy College
Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre never set out to have a career in politics or to serve the diverse communities of Long Island.  Yet, she has faced multiple obstacles to emerge as a dynamic Assemblywoman and an innovative social justice leader. Full paper (PDF)...

William G. Ferguson

William G. Ferguson,
St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy
Ozone Park, New York

On a Daily Mission for Equity and Social Justice: William G. Ferguson

by Margaret Paladino, Molloy College
There is an issue with social justice and equity within our schools. According to Bell (2013), "The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs" (p. 21). One such social justice leader whose philosophy is "Equal education and resources for all students," is William G. Ferguson, principal of St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy in Ozone Park, New York (personal communication, October 6, 2015). Full paper (PDF)...

An Agent of Change: Dr. Nita Evans and Her Journey as a Social Justice Leader by Amy Eckelmann, Molloy College

Dr. Nita Evans
Rockville Centre School District
Rockville Centre, New York

An Agent of Change: Dr. Nita Evans and Her Journey as a Social Justice Leader

by Amy Eckelmann, Molloy College
"Social justice is both a process and a goal (2007, p. 21)," encourages Lee Ann Bell, coeditor of the compilation of essays for social justice entitled Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. Sociologist, educational consultant, women's online higher education program developer, and mother, Dr. Nita Evans, embodies how social justice is a process, through which a goal may be achieved. Throughout her incredible journey as an agent of change, Evans has lifted herself from a cycle of oppression that so many young black women become stuck in; she has balanced her personal life to create a career to help motivate other agents of change, and she has personally benefited multiple struggling agencies in need of closing the gaps of privilege. In addition, Evans is a developer of initiatives in multiple fields, benefiting children as young as five, and women over thirty-five. Full paper (PDF)...