Robust Imaginaries
Informed Practice

Welcome to the Praxis Center, an online resource center for scholars, activists and artists hosted by the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. From action research and radical scholarship to engaged teaching and grassroots activism to community and cultural organizing, and revelatory art practice, we make visible imperative social justice work being done today.

Praxis is
the synergy between
theory and practice,
knowledge and relevance,
ideas, images, and the real.

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Morgan Mahdavi
Program Coordinator
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership

Learning Resistance and Building Solidarity: Black Lives Matter North of the 49th

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights

“Ally is a complicated word; sometimes accomplice is better. Accomplices put their body on the line.”
– Dr. JP Catungal, Critical Gender and Sexualities Studies

As I joined the growing number of people standing vigil with Black Lives Matter Vancouver on Sunday July 10th, I immediately recognized Constance Barnes, a charismatic mover and shaker in the worlds of culture, green space and electoral politics of Vancouver. The last time I had seen her was four years ago. We hugged, then standing back she shook her head, “fuckin’ really? I mean, fuckin’ really? This is why my mother and father left the States 60 years ago. And here we are, again?” Continue reading →

Why We Dream About a World Without Police

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

By William C. Anderson, Contributing Editor, Race, Class, and Immigration

The last few years have been rough. President Obama’s last term in the White House has given many of us some of the most polarizing times we have ever experienced. It goes without saying that many have felt hopeless after being promised a change. Political disillusionment has clouded the air in a country struggling to find its true identity. In the midst of all this, unrelenting police violence has been in the spotlight driven by organized resistance to police brutality and renewed media interest. Police violence hasn’t necessarily gotten worse, but it’s being talked about more. This national conversation is absolutely necessary and should not let up. It’s important to utilize the tools we have – like our words – to rebel. Using words as resistance, Truthout recently published their first anthology, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? edited by Maya Schenwar, Joe Macare and Alana Yu-lan. Continue reading →

“I Was Served Lemons but I Made Lemonade”: Notes from a Teenage Fan

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

by Stephanie Shonekan, Art and Pop Culture, Contributing Editor

I am willing to wager that my 16-year-old daughter, Ojurere, is Beyoncé’s biggest fan. She has been a devoted fan since the Destiny’s Child days. When Beyoncé coughed at a concert a few weeks ago, Ojurere was delighted. She explained that this very small act of spontaneity added to Beyoncé’s profile as a superstar who was willing to be vulnerable. “It makes her human, Mom,” Ojurere explained when I chuckled. Ojurere is used to my reaction to her “beyhive” behavior, so she plays it up a bit, but underneath our mutual amusement, there is a serious thread of which we are both aware.  Continue reading →

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