2021 Social Justice Summit


                                                  SJS Logo

The FIU Social Justice Summit is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to gain knowledgeable insights from incredible social justice change-makers who will shine a light on the path forward to a collective journey. The Social Justice Summit focuses on educating, advocating, empowering, and acting for social change. This event will be hosted in person on August 27, 2021, at the Wolfe University Center Theatre and Ballrooms on FIU’s Biscayne Bay campus. Students can travel to the Biscayne Bay campus by utilizing the FREE Panther Express shuttle system. 

The first 400 in-person registered participants will receive a $10.00 lunch voucher and a FREE Social Justice Summit t-shirt. REGISTRATION is now closed. 

All students in attendance will receive points toward FIU's Global Learning Medallion program. Faculty and staff in attendance will receive professional development credit

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM                      
Check-in at Panther Square

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM                   
Opening Remarks in the Wolfe University Center Theatre

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM                   
2021 FIU Social Justice Summit Keynote in the Wolfe University Center Theatre

Our keynote, Kenisha E. Anthony, is a first-generation college graduate, FIU alum, award-winning, foster care advocate, and author. Known for being resilient and bold, she’s an outspoken activist utilizing her experiences to empower others. As a foster care visionary, she starred in the documentary, Foster Shock, and has been featured in reputable publications such as Essence Magazine and in The Miami Times. Her eye-opening memoir, Labeled, is her debut. Ms. Anthony’s will to change her own life circumstances is a pure example of resilience. Her dedication to service has had a meaningful impact on the daily lives of children and families. As her goal is to educate, inspire, and empower, she started the "Labeled: Ward of the State Scholarship" to provide financial assistance to students on their college journey. Her advocacy has also helped to change the laws governing the child welfare system of care on local, state, and national levels. It was revealed that it is in the best interest of children to extend foster care to 21 years of age. After being permanently removed from the custody of their parents by the State, at age 18, youth, including Ms. Anthony, were left to fend for themselves with little to no income and lack of guidance and support. Legislators in the State of Florida ultimately sided with Ms. Anthony’s idea that young adults are not prepared to transition into adulthood at this age and should be granted further support from the system of care. This ideology continues to be adapted by other states benefiting the lives of other youth aging out of foster care.

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM  

Creating a Brave Space in the Classroom
Wolfe University Center Theatre

Students and staff will discuss how to take risks, openly communicate, and increase compassion and care in the classroom. Moderated by Jon Warech (Director, Hillel at FIU) 

Student panelists: D'Andria Hollins, Andrea Ramirez Torres, and Brian Garcia

Faculty panelists: Dr. Carleen Vicent (Teaching Professor & Associate Chair for the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs) & Dr. Phillip Carter (Associate Professor of English and Linguistics in the Department of English and Director of the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment)

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM                      
Lunch at one of BBC's campus locations, including two Minority-Owned Food Trucks                           

Understanding our Intersections as Faculty & Staff
Wolfe University Center Theatre
A dialogue for faculty and staff to discuss how aspects of social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege at FIU. Facilitated by Dr. Maria K. Lovett (Clinical Associate Professor of Social Foundations and Urban Education), Phillip Hamilton (Director, Student Access & Success), & Olga Zelzburg Alterman (Assistant Director of Hillel at FIU)

Being in the Fight Without Being in the Streets for Students
Wolfe University Center Ballroom
A dialogue for students on ways to further social justice issues that do not involve hitting the streets. Facilitated by Emelie Jimenez and Joshua Mandall


How will you Create & Maintain Common Ground as an FIU student?
Wolfe University Center Ballroom
Facilitated by Chloe Little and Elisbey Castillo

How will you Create & Maintain Common Ground as an FIU Faculty/Staff member?
Wolfe University Center Theatre
Facilitated by Iris Elijah, JD (Associate General Counsel) and Dr. Bronwen Bares-Pelaez (Dean of Students)

Creating and maintaining common ground through social justice is a journey. These facilitated personalized activity sessions will guide participants in aligning their values into actions.

3:50 PM - 4:00 PM                        
Break and Transition


Speak It Into Existence!
Wolfe University Center Theatre
Hosted by Erica Caton, Director, Educational and Faculty Development
Desired outcomes can be manifested into existence by communicating them to others. This session will provide participants the opportunity to share “I” statements and find meaningful connections.   

4:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Closing Remarks
Wolfe University Center Theatre

This event is sponsored by the Office of Social Justice and Inclusion, the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment, Office of Global Learning Initiatives, Student Government Association, and Hillel at FIU.              


Social Justice Summit Committee Members

  • Andrea Ramirez Torres, Office of Social Justice and Inclusion Student Ambassador
  • Anthony DeSantis, Division of Academic & Student Affairs 
  • Brian Barker, College of Hospitality and Tourism Management 
  • Carla Mayorga, Counseling and Psychological Services 
  • Claudia Anderson, International Student Scholar Services
  • Cristina Jaramillo, Marketing and New Media
  • Emmanuele Bowles, Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Javon Stovall, Pride Center in the Office of Social Justice and Inclusion
  • Jon Warech, Hillel at FIU
  • Julie Vallejos, Center for Diversity and Student Success / College of Engineering and Computing
  • Kerrie Montgomery Orozco, Campus Life 
  • Margarette Mahotiere, Student Access and Success Center
  • Phillip Carter, Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment
  • Phyllis Williams Kotey, Clinical Professor of Law & Director, Externships and Pro Bono Programs
  • Valerie Patterson, African and African Diaspora Studies Program
  • Yenisleidy Simon Mengan, Office of Global Learning Initiatives



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2021 FIU Social Justice Summit
“United for Change”
August 27, 2021

Wolfe University Center and Virtually

Registration is now closed


Office of Social Justice & Inclusion
11200 SW 8th Street
GC 216
Miami, FL 33199
Fax 305-348-1911


3000 NE 151st Street
WUC 255
North Miami Beach, FL 33181
Fax 305-919-4258