Areas of Focus
Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement, Adjudication, and Corrections), focusing on racial disparities in policing, arresting, convictions, sentencing, and incarceration
Educational Justice, including the impact of zero-tolerance policies in schools and the resulting criminalization of students, and the continuing disparities of school resources
Economic Justice, especially as it concerns social mobility and closing the wealth gap
Civic Engagement, including the political behaviors of historically excluded populations, and the need to encourage their participation in the democratic system
Gun Violence, including its impact on local communities, and the laws that liberalize the use of fire arms and increase the chance for deadly confrontations
Systemic Racism, excavating the roots of structural inequality with an emphasis on antiracism education and training
Health Justice, addressing the ways in which the interlocking realities of economic and health disparities have exacerbated the impact of the novel coronavirus on communities of color in the United States.
Environmental Justice, as it concerns practices of environmental racism, climate gentrification, and climate injustice.
- Establish an advisory board consisting of state and national policy leaders to guide the focus and agenda of the Institute
- Conduct empirical research, as well as legislative and policy analyses on issues related to the eight (8) identified areas of focus. Issue an annual report and/or research studies related to the identified areas of focus
- Produce publications, including thematic reports and position papers, containing research authored by the Institute’s director, research faculty, and prominent guest scholars
- Convene an annual symposium on Social Justice in South Florida to bring together regional social justice organizations for strategic engagement focused on current issues involving racial disparities, health disparities, educational inequality, and criminal justice
- Offer antiracism classes as a part of a continuing education program
- Provide trainings on social justice and racial bias for governmental agencies and corporations
- Create opportunities to study and dismantle systemic racism on a global scale
- Create a feeder program between regional graduate and law schools
- Create of scholarships for students
The purpose of the FMU Social Justice Institute [SJI] is to serve as a resource for understanding and facilitating tangible reforms in order to achieve a more just and fair society.
“As South Florida’s only historically Black University, FMU has a fundamental responsibility to be a leading voice working towards the elimination of injustices that have served as barriers to high-quality education, health, economic, and political success for Black Americans for more than 400 years. From our founding in Live Oak to our time in Jacksonville and Saint Augustine, FMU has been an active participant and leader in the fight to make our country a more inclusive and perfect union.” said FMU President, Dr. Jaffus Hardrick.
The concept for the FMU SJI originated with Dr. Tameka Bradley Hobbs, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, who is a historian and author of the award-winning book Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida. Hobbs has led social justice initiatives on the campus and the South Florida community.
“The launch of the FMU Social Justice Institute will allow FMU to coordinate and mobilize resources, both from the campus and from the community, in service of the greater good,” Hobbs says.
“In-depth analysis, collaboration, and concerted action are necessary to solve the problems associated with systemic racism. We are prepared to lead that work.”
About Florida Memorial University
Located in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida Memorial University is a private, historically Black institution that offers 27 undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs to a culturally diverse student body. Since its inception in 1879, the University has upheld a commitment to provide an academic education solid foundation built upon the pillars of leadership, character, and service. FMU is South Florida’s only Historically Black College or University (HBCU).
FMU is among the leading HBCUs in the nation leveraging partnerships with public and corporate partners to develop academic training and certification programs in emerging markets such as Aviation Management and Environmental Science, Cybersecurity, and Computer Information Technology. Its academic programs are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the National Association of Schools of Music, Council on Social Work Education, and its Teacher Education programs are approved by the Florida Department of Education. FMU also offers a robust study abroad program and award-winning Broadcast Communications and Public Relations programs.
The university is also part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Sun Conference and offers eight collegiate sports programs, including men/women’s basketball, men/women soccer, men/women’s track and field, baseball and volleyball.
More than 14% of the student population are international students representing Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa.