Praxis Center is an online blog and website where short rigorous essays of current relevance are produced each week for teaching and social justice activism. Pertinent auxiliary materials are available on our Resource and Art Pages.
Praxis is the synergy of theory and practice. Let’s get busy!
Lisa Brock | Senior Editor
Dr. Lisa Brock (she/her/hers) is the academic director and acting executive director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Her articles on Africa and the African Diaspora have appeared in dozens of academic journals and as book chapters. Her text, Between Race and Empire: African-Americans and Cubans Before the Cuban Revolution, was co-edited with University of Havana Professor Digna Castaneda. Her latest acdemic works include guest editing an edition of Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, on Black Cuban Revolutionaries Today, and a book project on Black Life and Resistance in late 18th-early 19th century Charleston and Havana. Lisa is a board member and faculty in residence of the Center for Art, Design and Social Research.
Lisa has been an activist all her life, from fighting for girl’s rights and black rights in her native Cincinnati, Ohio area and against police violence and judicial misconduct in Washington D.C, to becoming a leader in the anti-apartheid movement in Chicago, Illinois. She lived in Mozambique as a Fulbright Scholar in the 1980s and successfully merged her academic interest with Southern African social justice struggles. In the mid 2000s, she worked with others to found the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection (archives) at Columbia College Chicago. She herself successfully led study abroad programs in South Africa and Cuba and worked with student activists at Kalamazoo College to create a Critical Ethnic Studies department and an Intercultural Center for marginalized students. The ACSJL hosts important local and global leaders and convenenings and continues to model the work necessary to create more just and inclusive liberal arts education and campus cultures.
Lisa has maintained strong ties with many of her former students and continues peer-to-peer and cross-generational mentoring. As an historian and activist, Lisa is an internationalist who views history as a way to enter contemporary discussions about race, class, gender, and global oppressioins, and has for over thirty years been an active public intellectual. Lisa attended Oberlin College and earned her B.A. from Howard University. She earned her Ph.D. in African history from Northwestern University.
Tirrea Billings | Managing Editor
Tirrea Billings (she/her/hers) is the communications manager of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Tirrea joined the Center in August 2019 after 3 years of being a freelancer in the media and film industry and running her video production company, Reflct Media Group, where she approaches filmmaking through a social justice lens to share narratives and voices that are underrepresented in mainstream media.
Tirrea has produced video work for various mission-driven and social justice-oriented organizations, such as the Arcus Center, Society for History and Racial Equity, Strategic Community Partners, Rootead, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Sojourner Truth Institute of Battle Creek and Joique Bell Charity, Inc. Tirrea is driven by her passion to tell stories and committed to ensuring that marginalized communities have a space to share their lived experiences, making certain that underrepresented voices also have a seat at the table and a chance to be heard.
Tirrea holds a B.A. in film/video/media studies from Western Michigan University. She is currently working on her M.A. in communication and is a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Communication at Western where her research focus areas are intercultural communication, communicating identity in terms of race/ethnicity and diversity/representation in the media. In her free time, Tirrea enjoys traveling, exploring used bookstores, volunteering with youth-focused organizations and yoga.
Tamara Morrison | Praxis Associate
Tamara Morrison (she/her/hers) is from Detroit, MI, and is currently a third-year student at Kalamazoo College. She is an English major, but has taken advantage of the liberal arts college experience by taking classes in a variety of different departments and participating in a 6-month study abroad program in Kenya. She is excited by the topics of Black art as healing, womanism, hip-hop, and enjoys Toni Morrison novels.
Julia Plomer | Art Editor
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership