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K-State Today

April 5, 2012

Engaging educators: Speaker to address social justice initiatives for students

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

A social justice expert will use his upcoming lecture at Kansas State University to provide motivation for promoting social justice on campus.

The College of Education's Chester E. Peters Lecture Series speaker will be Tracy Davis, professor and coordinator of the college student personnel program at Western Illinois University. His lecture, "Cultivating Response Ability for Social Justice in Student Affairs," will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building. It is free and the public is invited.

The College of Education student planning committee chose Davis as this year's speaker because of his expertise in social justice. He is the founding director of Western Illinois University's Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men's Development and he teaches courses in group dynamics, student development theory, gender identity development and student characteristics and college environments.

"Social justice is about reducing the disparities between who we say we are and what our actions represent us to be, between what we say we are going to do and what we are actually doing," Davis said.

Davis would like people to leave the lecture with a clear understanding of how to promote social justice on campus.

"There are barriers to promoting social justice on campus, and I hope to both illuminate some of these as well as offer some strategies to combat such obstacles," he said.

Davis' research interests involve social justice education, sexual assault prevention, identity development, men's development and moral orientation. He is the author of many journal articles and two books -- "Masculinities in Higher Education: Theoretical and Practical Considerations" and "Developing Social Justice Allies."

In 2002, Davis received the Standing Committee for Men Outstanding Research Award from the American College Personnel Association and was the 2003 recipient of the Commission on Student Development Assessment's Outstanding Assessment Article award.

The Chester E. Peters lecture series is named after the Kansas native and the university's vice president of student affairs from 1967 to 1985. The lecture series recognizes Peters' contributions to students and the student personnel profession. It is sponsored by the dean of the College of Education and is planned and implemented by the department of special education, counseling, and student affairs.