JustPublics@365 began as a discussion about how an interdisciplinary group of scholars at the Graduate Center, CUNY (located at 365 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan) might be able to bring their work together to foster greater social justice by sharing it in the public sphere.
We live in an era in which inequality is rampant. Media reports on inequality often gain little traction in a 24-hour news cycle dominated by the trivial. Activists work to address inequality in a myriad of ways, online and on the ground, but often lack connections to research or media that could further their cause. Key research produced by academics can help us explain the causes and consequences of the growing problem of inequality, yet often remains disconnected from activism and locked within volumes and journals unread by the broader public.
JustPublics@365 was launched in January 2013 as a bold experiment in bringing together academics, activists and journalists, across the usual silos, to address social justices issues through the use of digital media. Neither the media nor academia nor Internet activists can address the pressing problems of the 21st century by working in isolation.
The 21st century calls for radically different strategies that share data and research through networked communication techniques, leveraging the reciprocal power of social activism and the connected platforms of digital media to meet demands for accessible and impactful information that retains the integrity and authority of scholarly research.
What JustPublics@365 set out to do was launch a project of cross-skilling new hybrid intellectuals – in the academy, in social activism and in journalism – who combine the best of these worlds and can work together for the public good. And, so we have. Today, those involved with JustPublics@365 are among the thought leaders in the transformation of higher education.
The initial start up year of JustPublics@365 has been a huge success across several key domains: Summits, Innovative Knowledge Streams, the participatory, open, online courses (POOC), MediaCamp Workshops, and Altmetrics. The following report offers details of each part of the project in turn, and there is an extensive set of appendices that provide an in-depth examination of the project.