SIUE and SLU professors to research ways of addressing Ferguson within university setting

To continue discussing the university’s role within the community in relation to Ferguson, anthropology professor Aminata Cairo and St. Louis University School of Social Work professor Jami Curley will conduct research.

Anthropology professor Cairo and SLU social work professor Curley will conduct research about discussing Ferguson within the university setting

In August 2014, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer. There resulted subsequent civil unrest and protests across the country.

According to Cairo, the tragedy, developments, public outcry and protests are an opportunity to address difficult issues that have been silenced for a long time.

“How were our students, fellow colleagues and community members affected by what was going on so close to home? What roles did academic faculty from the social sciences in the Saint Louis region play in addressing the event and aftermath of Ferguson inside and outside of the classroom?” Cairo said. “What can we learn from our practices in playing a role of addressing difficult social issues, not just for our students but also for our community at large?”

Cairo and Curley will conduct surveys in the region in order to find out ways to discuss and address these issues within higher education institutions.

Curley said that as her work and as the mission at SLU is grounded in social justice, it seemed natural to be a part of the studies to see how the universities reacted to it and hopefully to build from that–to not stop the process of changing and working to make it a better situation.

Near the end of January, Cairo and Curley will distribute an electronic survey. At the end of February, they will follow up and invite those who want to discuss or talk about teaching strategies used, suggestions to be shared or questions to ask within classrooms.

Cairo said once the information or data is analyzed, they plan on making the information widely available.

“We believe that what we have been through in the Saint Louis region might hopefully hold some lessons for other university professors across the country,” Cairo said.

The core of their thoughts in the research project, according to Cairo, was that many of their colleagues are committed to serving their communities with their academic skills.

“I thought it would be valuable to investigate on a more thorough level what actually has been done, and to utilize this moment as a learning moment, not just for our students and community members, but for us as faculty as well,” Cairo said.

“We are working with college students who will hopefully contribute to their community,” Cairo said. “So we are preparing young people for their degrees in a way that can be far reaching.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: Anthropology

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site