Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Social Transformation (JEDI4ST)

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Social Transformation (JEDI4ST) founded in the Fall of 2020, is the interdisciplinary research center at SLCC, which is housed in the Chief Diversity Office. Its mission is liberatory social transformation with the goal of ending oppression, inequity, exclusion, and injustice. Social transformation is a change in all aspects of society including the people, institutions, systems, industries, and communities rather than the narrow scope of social change movements that focuses on one or two aspects of society. Our approach is grounded in Paulo Freire’s concept of praxis within critical pedagogy: we interweave theory and practice.  

The JEDI4ST Program has two streams: 

  1. Scholarship (theory), which includes research projects & publications (e.g., books, articles, and journals), and educational forums (e.g., lectures, debates, conferences, and panels) 
  2. Community collaborations (practice), which supports community initiatives and activist organizations that promote justice, equity, and inclusion for disadvantaged and oppressed populations.

Activist Projects

JEDI4ST is committed to advancing the theory-and-practice of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) by hosting annual conferences. The following are intersectional JEDI conferences that we are hosting and sponsoring. JEDI4ST is always welcoming people to present at and help with organizing the conferences. 


January International Lowrider Studies Conference
February Transformative Justice and Abolition Criminology Conference
March Smashing Patriarchy and Colonialism Conference
April Social Justice, Peace, and Conflict Studies Conference
May May Day Economic Justice and Environmental Justice Conference
June LGBT+ Conference
July Ecoability Conference
August Salt Lake Black August
September International Hip Hop Activism Conference
October International No Borders Food Justice is Racial Justice Conference
November Native American and Indigenous Peoples Conference
December International Punk Studies Conference
The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Hub (JEDI Hub) founded in the fall of 2020 is located in room 1-157 on the first floor near the main entrance of South City Campus. JEDI Hub is a place to organize events, research, programs, projects, scholarship, policies, curriculum, courses, and activism for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. All are welcome to organize in this place as well as lounge and/or do their studies. JEDI Hub has the following - phones, desks, color printer, computers, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker to support the needs of visitors.
The Clifton G. Sanders Racial Justice and Black Liberation Library was founded in the fall of 2020 in the heighten unrest of injustice toward Black people in the U.S. This library is filled with texts on the Black experience, social justice, racial justice, Black culture and history, and Black liberation. All are welcome to check books out of the library. This library holds the work of Clifton G. Sanders as well. Clifton G. Sanders, a brilliant award-winning Black jazz saxophonist and scholar received his doctorate from University of Utah and his bachelors from Hamline University. Sanders has served Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) as provost for academic affairs since 2015. He is chief academic officer at SLCC, overseeing instruction and training for more than 61,000 students annually.  Previously, he served in several roles at SLCC, including assistant professor of chemistry, division chair for natural sciences and communication, and dean of science, mathematics and engineering.  He has more than 25 years teaching, administrative and leadership experience in higher education. He led the development of several STEM programs and is a collaborator on several local, regional and national initiatives on education, diversity and inclusivity, and workforce development. His scientific work resulted in six patents in biomaterials technology.  He is a University of Utah Chemistry Department Distinguished Alumnus, and he coauthored a 2009 paper on music and democracy published in Radical Philosophy Review. 
Liberatory Stories and Voices from Community Colleges, an international peer-reviewed book series published by Peter Lang Publishing and co-edited by Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II and Dr. Lea Lani Kinikini, is a grass-roots community-focused radical transformative critical decolonizing anti-authoritarian book series on the political delineations of transforming education for liberation in communities occupying Indigenous territories and stolen land on Turtle Island (North America). This book series, supported by JEDI4ST, the interdisciplinary researcher center at Salt Lake Community College, will provide space and place for marginalized communities, students, staff, public intellectuals, activist-scholars, and frustrated administrators laboring in community colleges to critically resist and amplify their counter-stories which demand that in the rollout of the neoliberal corporate factory academic-industrial complex agenda, that public education must be affordable, inclusive, equitable, inclusive, just, transformative, and open to all. This book series foregrounds writer’s agency with authentic story-telling, autoethnography, collective biography and life writing narratives and is a place for disseminating participatory action and social justice activist research. It seeks critical teaching and critical writing that resists Eurocentric pedagogies and methodologies such as denotative reports, standardized metrics and rubrics, corporate, neoliberal, capitalist, standardized, colonial, factory education that colonizes the mind. Instead, the series  privileges radical liberatory praxis and makes space for outstanding embodied action research tied to teaching, transformative participatory projects created with not ‘on’ marginalized communities that centers the margin. Many of the students and faculty are at community colleges not merely because it is affordable, but moreover because community colleges defend political spaces for and with the oppressed: whether first generation (code for “working class”), the racially, territorially and marginalized ʻothers’ that are pandemically silenced by repression and oppression. This series holds space and place that the community college is the last hope of democracy from which knowledge from and for the margins emerge as powerful countercurrents and disruptive discourses that liberate. This book series holds space and place for these voices who brave the world with knowledge in one hand and resistance in the other to liberate all.
The Salt Lake Peace and Justice Coalition supports and champions social movements in the Salt Lake and four corners region. In order for social movements to grow and thrive, they must be able to access essential resources that the coalition will provide: space to host events free of charge, a network to connect with other social justice organizations, and a shared calendar to promote events to the public. The Coalition will assist with their organizing efforts by coordinating and promoting their activities, maintaining a list of organizations with contact information and resources to facilitate networking, and provide a venue to host events and meetings. 
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) founded September of 2020 at Salt Lake Community College is pushing the intersectional and interdisciplinary liberatory critical approach in higher education internationally. JEDI is a theory-to-practice critical pedagogy grounded movement on how to first confront, second resist, and finally dismantle oppression in higher education. The goal of JEDI is social transformation, which is different than social change. Social transformation is stating that the whole society must change, i.e., people, organizations, systems, institutions, states, and industries. Social change is only asking for at least one entity in society to change. Many institutions have offices, departments and programs dedicated to diversity or diversity and equity, or equity, or diversity and inclusion, or inclusion and equity, or diversity, inclusion, and equity. There are some degree programs in social justice education, social justice, and justice studies, but rarely do all four meet together. If social transformation is to be possible the four (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) must work together in an interdependent relationship. One must first come into a place and recognize diversity; to say you do not see race or gender is a problem. Next, we must be inclusive, i.e., welcoming of that diversity in all places. Thirdly, we must address the inequity within the diversity so all are give everything that each individual is needing. Finally, we must listen and provide space for lived oppressed experiences to be told to address the injustice within the diversity. Finally, after all of these steps are taken , which might take a life time, liberation for self-determination of those oppressed can be possible to achieve social transformation. Liberation is not a state of being, but a process, and that process we argue is JEDI. 
JEDI Certificate Training can offered in four different levels: 
1. Introduction of JEDI – 1 hour 
2. Basic – 3 hours 
3. Intermediate-Training – 8 hours 
4. Advanced – 20 Hours 
5. Training for Trainers – 20 Hours 
The facilitated training, open to the public, is an engaging experiential and expressive education based learning environment.

Utah Reintegration Project (URP) founded on December 4, 2019 the day Chairman Fred Hampton of the Chicago Black Panther Party was murdered in his bed while sleeping, is a grass-roots decolonizing anti-authoritarian inclusive community led, collectively organized, initiative, housed in the Chief Diversity Office and the Department of Criminal Justice at Salt Lake Community College, promoting transformative justice, alternatives to incarceration, equity, liberation of all people, and social justice. Reintegration is a welcoming inclusive active engaging process compared to reentry, which is not community-based and welcoming. URP influenced by the Black Panther Party Ten Principles has four essential initiatives that assist those getting out of incarceration - (1) housing, (2) employment, (3) academic education, (4) and activism.

The four wrap-around initiatives for URP include: (1) housing, which includes locating possible clean, safe, affordable housing near public transportation and assisting them in setting up utilities and food, and developing impersonal skills; (2) employment, which includes developing interview skills, job training, and scheduling; (3) academic education, which is informing and welcoming them into college opportunities at Salt Lake Community by introducing them to an academic advisor and financial aid coordinator; and finally, (4) discussing with former and current incarcerated people what policies, rules, laws, and systems need to change to minimize recidivism, create alternatives to and end punitive justice, and better the current conditions of those actively incarcerated.

Peace & Justice Garden
South City Campus, SLCC
First Phase Opening – April 22, 2021 


Chief Diversity Office (CDO), Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion for Social Transformation (JEDI4ST), Faculty Senate [Equity Minded Practitioners (EMP), Faculty Development, Advancement, and Research (FDAR)], Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (ODMA), Facilities and Grounds, Staff & Faculty Associations, and Ethnic Minority Employee Coalition

Purpose & Rationale

“The Peace and Justice Garden will be a place for community -- dialogue, education, healing, organizing, joy, and activism.”

2020 has brought justice and peace to the forefront locally, nationally, and globally. In particular, the George Floyd murder and civil protests over racial and class divisions, combined with deepening socioeconomic and racial inequities caused by a global pandemic. The moment of 2021 calls for a special inclusion response by Salt Lake Community College. 

Strategy 12, Becoming an Equity Minded College, has an objective of establishing inclusion for the growing mobilization to link peace and justice to equity, diversity, inclusion (JEDI) in an existing sculpture garden space that lends itself to the unique purpose of fostering a multitude of events such as, but not limited to vigils, yoga, meditation, courses, protests, teach-ins, lectures, debates, workshops, conferences, open mics, poetry slams, meetings, and music concerts. 

Schedule of Development

There are five phases of the Peace and Justice Garden:

Phase One

Eight sided Peace Poles = $180.00 x 6 (plus Braille Plate on each pole) $15.00  x  6 = $1,170.00

Entry Plaques = $100.00 x 3 - $300.00 

Phase Two 

President’s Quote by John Lewis Red Rock = $1,300.00

Phase Three 

Wind Sculptures = $1,500.00 x 3 = $4,500.00

Red Rock Land Acknowledgement = $1,300.00 

Phase Four 

Grasses = $100.00

Plants = $500.00

Xeriscape = $500.00

Phase Five 

Mural on large brick wall = $2,000.00

Tiles and installed = $1,000.00

Research Projects

This research and scholarly project hosts monthly Lowrider shows and lowrider panels to discuss lowrider culture in relation to racial justice, economic justice, ethnic studies, critical race theory, decolonization, Chicano/a/x culture, and Chola/o/x culture. These events are family and community friend and supported. This project also organizes publications such as journal articles and books. 

1st Annual International Lowrider Studies Conference 

This research and scholarly project includes co-hosting monthly the Hip Hop, Justice, and Law Lecture Series as well as organizing publications such as journal articles to books on Hip Hop studies. This project also hosts annual Black August, an annual global holiday to celebrate August as Black Liberation Month. 

6th Annual International Hip Hop Activism Conference 

1st Annual Salt Lake Black August 

The Institute for Critical Animal Studies North American Chapter hosts its annual conference at Salt Lake Community College. Critical animal studies rooted in animal liberation is an intersectional transformative holistic theory-to-action activist led based movement and field of study to unapologetically examine, explain, be in solidarity with, and be part of actions, theories, groups and movements for total liberation and to dismantle all systems of domination and oppression, in hopes for a just, equitable, inclusive, and peaceful world.  

20th Annual North American Conference for Critical Animal Studies 

This project provides a forum and publication opportunities for people to talk about how ecological destruction intersects with human identity and how discrimination against the dis-abled body and minds goes hand-in-hand with discrimination against non-human animals.
Radical, Critical, and Abolition Theory and Philosophy is a research project in the premier JEDI4ST center, which is located in the Chief Diversity Office at SLCC. The Radical, Critical, and Abolition Theory and Philosophy project is interdisciplinary and grounded in a radical disrupting, investigating, and troubling of social problems. This project promotes a theory to activism for social transformation and total liberation mission. The socio-political and economic theories that are most commonly examined and analyzed in this project, are communism, capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, absolutism, communalism, socialism, social contract theory, utilitarianism, anarchism, social ecology, deep ecology, democracy, indigenous worldviews, fascism, and utopia. This project hosts educational events and publishes books and journal articles. 
Art has always been a vital aspect for activating resistance to oppression. Art builds equity in revealing how systemic forms of oppression violently erases, misrepresents, silences and oppresses diverse worlds, peoples, cultures, knowledges, and values. Art, whether it is embodied dance, theater, tangible sculpture, painting, jewelry, cooking, fashion, graffiti, retrofitted lowrider cars, spoken word, song, chant, poetry or music, provides voice, power, and brings us closer to total liberation. Art is an essential ingredient in social transformation movements for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). Resistance movements and their art, whether the tattooing of the Black Power fist on arms of Black activists, banners that activists hold at the protests, flyers that are handed out to recruit people to their organization, murals dedicated to those murdered by oppressive institutions, public symbols of personal identities like sidewalk crossings in LGBTQI+ colors, or landscapes that hold space and place for spiritual importance, are essential. This project will host conferences, panels, workshops, teach-ins, dances, open-mics, films, and art installations and exhibits.
This project studies and works with movements promoting peace, justice and conflict transformation. This is an international initiative promoting collaborations with NGOs, students, activists, universities/colleges, and community leaders in other countries. Beyond grass-roots projects this project will host educational forums and produce publications. In the realm of justice studies we will focus on many forms of justice such as, but not limited to, environmental justice, food justice, healing justice, restorative justice, transformative justice, community justice, criminal justice, punitive justice, retributive justice, and utilitarian justice. Within conflict studies we will discuss conflict analysis, mediation, arbitration, community circles, truth and conciliation, accountability, redemption, conflict transformation, conflict resolution and conflict management. When discussing peace studies, a broad and global interdisciplinary field, we will specifically focus on peacebuilding, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peace activism, and peace education. 
Queer Resistance and Decolonizing Intersectional Feminism Philosophy is a research project in the premier JEDI4ST center, which is located in the Chief Diversity Office at SLCC. This project, which organizes educational events, activism, and scholarship is influenced by the work of decolonial intersectional feminism, Black feminism, transnational feminism, disability feminism, anarchist feminism, Marxist feminism, queer theory, LGBTQ+ activism, two spirited communities, indigenous feminism, and riot grrls. This project acknowledges and makes aware to others the historical, political, socially, economic, and cultural contexts in which the long histories of structural violence and discrimination intersect along and across race, gender, citizenship, age, faith, sexuality, ability, culture, ethnicity, and class. This project also analyzes and examines power dynamics while challenging and dismantling them through rethinking binaries and hierarchies. This project embraces pluralism and the complexities of identity and experience. Finally, this project makes all dynamics and facets of labor visible to validate, respect, value, and appreciate. 
Sustainability, BicycleStudies, and Environmental Justice is a research project in the premier JEDI4ST center, which is located in the Chief Diversity Office at SLCC. Located in the middle of one of the most complex ecosystems in the United States, Salt Lake Community College engages in dialogues about how to protect the vulnerable and valuable ecosystem that we depend on to live. This project also discusses how to resist ecological destruction for profit and human societal development, which fosters racism and classism, through community organizing and activism. This project promotes life style changes from building bicycle paths to urban gardens away from materialism and towards justice and equity in what we breathe, what we eat, where we live, what we use as transportation, and how we consume. 
The Decolonizing Listening & Story-Telling is a research project in the premier JEDI4ST center, which is located in the Chief Diversity Office at SLCC. This project develops and shares knowledge within our communities. Through decolonial and transformative approaches we center listening and story-telling on multiple and under-listened to life narratives and voices in-order to dismantle oppressive structures and disrupt legacies of intersectional violence for liberating oppressed and hidden knowledges and increasing civility and peaceful transformation. Not all listening is the same and it is all different than hearing. All stories are different, as all experiences are different. As stories are rooted in different cultures, identities, and experiences, one must know how to listen and experience stories so we can unpack them for the goal of respecting, appreciating, including, and liberating civility and build peaceful sustaining and transformative connections. This project hosts workshops, teach-ins, lectures, community circles, dialogues, conversations, publications, and media productions.  
Punk studies is the appreciation, participation, valuing, and acknowledging of the historical and present-day practices of the diverse, complex, and global culture of punk. Punk culture started in the early 1970s in New York City and London. The culture’s ideology is grounded in a loud, non-apologetic, raw, over-the-top style that is expressed in music, fashion, politics, and attitude. The politics of punk culture is closely, but not always, related to anarchism. From crust punk and scream to pop-punk and hardcore punk, all forms have similarities and commonalities. Punk, similar to lowriders and Hip Hop, emerged out of the conscious, creative, and controversial youth culture and today is a global movement and culture with diverse politics. This research project on Punk Studies will host teach-ins, workshops, lectures, panels, publications, and conferences.