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SRSA 2023 ANNUAL MEETING Final Program

Social Justice Praxis, Community Development and Building Resilient Communities in the Rural South. Dr. Anne Cafer, SRSA President 

Social justice is a critical and increasingly utilized frame for organizing scholarly endeavours. As such it is important for scholarly communities, such as the Southern Rural Sociological Association, to have meaningful conversations about the implications of social justice activities in their praxis. To pursue a social justice mission, is to, conceptually, level the playing field for society’s participants. This is done by ensuring both good and bad experiences are equally distributed across members of society and that the political processes that dictate these experiences are accessible to all members of the society. This equitable access ensures democratized, or equal, decision-making. While there are many forms of social justice-oriented work, community development (CD) provides a compelling avenue for pursuing social justice in a way that achieves, simultaneously, scholarly and community-derived goals. CD within scholarly arenas is often pursued as a form of participatory action research or community-based participatory research. This type of participatory community research is shaped by numerous critical theories (e.g. Marx, Du Bois), prioritizes community autonomy, agency, authority, and expertise, and works against hegemonic ideologies. The Southern Rural Sociological Association (SRSA) 2023 Annual Meeting calls for all forms of scholarly work, but particularly for those works that examine the role of scholarship in supporting community social change through both empirically and theoretically diverse lenses. Additionally, SRSA anticipates papers and panels that discuss the potential risks to communities by social justice-oriented work and welcomes those works that engage critically with emerging themes in social justice and community development. Understanding the role of scholars in supporting community-driven development through equitable partnership and community-led research process is critical to building stronger, more resilient communities in the rural South. 

The 2022 annual meetings were held in New Orelans, Louisiana. The theme of the meeting
was "Climate Change, Agricultural Food Systems, Rural Livelihoods, and Resilience”

President Buddhi R. Gyawali, Kentucky State University View the program


The 2019 annual meetings were held in Birmingham, Alabama. The theme of the meeting was "Pathways for Equity in Development: Exploring the Past and Informing the Future through the Rural Social Sciences."


The 2018 annual meetings were held in Jacksonville, Florida. The theme of the meeting was "Pursuing the New Sustainable South: Rural Sociology in a Changing Era."


The 2017 annual meetings were held in Mobile, Alabama. The theme of the meeting was "Adjusting to Changing Climates in the South: Prospects for Rural Progress in a Time of Uncertainty and Discensus."



Eleanor M. Green

2023-2024 SRSA President

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