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Janet Dodd joins the InterFaith Works’ Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism (CWD) staff with a wealth of related study and educational background, and now she wants to put it to practical use. The Arkansas native, who spent her formative years in Kansas City, Missouri, has been an adjunct instructor in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Syracuse University (SU) since 2001, and has also been a facilitator in the Intergroup Dialogue Program at SU since 2005. Since 2004 Janet is a Ph.D. Candidate, Social Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at SU, and she has also earned a MS in Sociology from SU in 1997.
Janet’s enlightened perspective is certainly InterFaith Works’ gain, as her refreshing outlook will contribute to extending the CWD reach, scope and importance, “I don’t know of any for-profit agencies or corporations whose central mission is addressing issues of social justice in general or racial and ethnic equality in particular,” says Janet “At least in the nonprofit sector, the organization of work focused on producing social justice does not covertly conflict with the organization of work to produce a profit.”
Janet’s experience and involvement in dialogue programs is what makes her a natural fit – not to mention her enthusiasm about the central issues that the CWD program is challenged with engaging in and approaching, “I believe dialogue as a process of communication that stimulates critical thinking and critical “doing” has much broader applicability, and I’m excited about the opportunity to expand and hone my skills by working with Community Wide Dialogue,” Janet explains. “Some of the most interesting work I’ve been doing the past several years has focused on both teaching and learning how to communicate across social identities of difference by co-facilitating Integroup Dialogue courses at Syracuse Uiniversity.”
Demystifying how processes of racialization work on individual, institutional, and cultural levels is just one of the many things Janet will be targeting in her work, as her training and skill will help move the conversation and focus of collective action aimed at producing social justice from “fixing people,” to changing the policies and practices that shape the contexts of the collective experience.