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Art and Social Justice: An Interdisciplinary Framework for Community-Based Teaching and Research
Abstract

Abstract:

One of the most compelling aspects of civic engagement is the co-creation of knowledge that emerges when faculty, students, and community partners engage with one another to effect social change. This article describes the genesis, progress, and challenges of an interdisciplinary service-learning course, Art and Social Justice, launched in fall 2008 with seed funding from a unique Civically Engaged Scholarship Initiative. A key aspect of Art and Social Justice is the integration of fine arts and social work knowledge in collaborative community partnerships. Fine arts faculty and students introduce their counterparts in social work to community-based art education, while social work participants share knowledge of community-based research, asset-based community development, and accompanying social justice issues. The social justice framework provides a consistent lens that supports students with making sense of content from diverse disciplines, allowing them to critically examine how issues of power and privilege are systemic, complex, and ever-present.