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Inaugural SJF Recognition Ceremony


On June 2, 2014, the Social Justice Fellows (SJF) were recognized at a ceremony at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Fellows received certificates of completion, as well as copies of Professor Mahmoud El-Kati's books, The Myth of Race/The Reality of Racism and Politically Considered.

Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr., Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphrey School, delivered an inspiring keynote address. He outlined ten steps for the Social Justice Fellows to take if they want to continue on the path to becoming social justice leaders. 

  1. Know your history
  2. Join and preserve civil rights organizations
  3. Challenge the existing civil rights organizations, from within
  4. Develop highly technical skills to aid our organizations
  5. Join and be active in African American peer organizations
  6. Make sure that all of your peer organizations are respectful of diverse views, expressions, and experiences
  7. Become a problem solver
  8. Be willing to think outside of the box
  9. Learn to work with those with whom you disagree
  10. Believe in yourself

Other speakers included:

  • Lissa Jones, Executive Director of the Minnesota African American Musuem, served as the mistress of ceremonies
  • Michael Thomas, MPS Chief of Schools
  • James Burroughs, Executive Director of the MPS Office of Equity & Diversity
  • Professor Mahmoud El-Kati, Professor Emeritus of history at Macalester College; and
  • Dr. Josie Johnson, the first African-American to serve as a regent on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and a participant in the 1963 March on Washington

You can read the complete text of Dr. Myers' speech at the link below:

PDF Text of Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr.'s Keynote Address   --  At the Inaugural Celebration of the Social Justice Fellows' Program, Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr. outlined ten steps for becoming a social justice leader.
Closing Ceremony