Austin Clements's ePortfolio

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Austin Clements's ePortfolio

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Download A Social Justice Manifesto: An Examination of Social Justice as a Process (290 KB)

Download Granada, Is it Pronounced Gruh-NAY-duh or Gruh-NAH-duh: I Don't Know, but Reagan's Foreign Policy Sucks (229 KB)

Download Left in Limbo after Lumumba: An Analysis of the Decolonization of Resource Rights in the DRC (207 KB)

Download What Happens in Vagueness Stays in Vagueness: The United State Constitution's Ideas on Race (184 KB)

Download Maybe I Have Different Opinions Now: Exploring the Learning Experience of My Social Justice Major (141 KB)

Description

This is a collection of works that have been selected to showcase my personal interest in these topics, as well as show the growth I have undergone as a social justice major. These works were selected for this project in fulfillment of the requirements for SJUS 4901: Social Justice Practicum. These works should demonstrate a collective understanding of both personalized works in the social justice field, but also demonstrate macro levels of understanding as well.

Contents

A Social Justice Manifesto: An Examination of Social Justice as a Process (Social Justice Class Paper): Social justice is a very broad term and one that is not easily defined. Is it certain issues or is it a broad range of issues? Is it one particular methodology or is it a variety of methodologies? It is a term that can provoke both with a sense of pride and a roaring ire towards anyone who uses it in a positive context. Why is social justice a term that provokes so many different emotions, opinions, and ideas about its origins? This paper attempts to answer these questions and define the term.

Grenada, Is It Pronounced Gruh-NAY-duh or Gruh-NAH-duh: I Don't Know, but Reagan's Foreign Policy Sucked (History-History of the Caribbean Class Paper): The history of the Caribbean is one infested with slavery, colonialism, imperialism, and coups d’état. While these are all very important when considering the history of these island nations, what is also equally important is considering that these islands are often seen as tokens and means to convey a message by world superpowers, not as genuine nations that should be respected just as much as any European power. This is especially evident in the history of Grenada, an island nation in the eastern Caribbean. Grenada, throughout its history, has been used as a political pawn and has been bullied by much larger and more powerful nations into cooperating with those nations’ aims. This paper seeks to explore how Grenada has been treated as a lesser nation throughout history, specifically in reference to the United States invasion of Grenada in 1982. While Grenada is a country rich in history and imperialist exploitation, often the reason that anyone has heard of the nation is because of the invasion of 1982 and the “triumph over communism” that it symbolized.

Left in Limbo after Lumumba: An Analysis of the Decolonization of Resource Rights in the DRC (History-Decolonization Class Paper): The DRC is one of the most chronically understudied countries on the African continent even though it is the second largest in size on the continent, and this is in part due to the immensely complicated issues that threaten the DRC. I have chosen to focus upon the mining operations of Western companies not only to limit the discussion for the sake of length but also because it is the most easily influenced of all the predicaments facing the DRC. The mining corporations that oversee the harvest and exploitation of Congolese minerals within the nations could be influenced by transnational legislation and international governance, which oddly enough are the easiest and least dangerous forms of reforms to assist the DRC in its continuing decolonization efforts. An additional difficulty I have faced when writing this paper is the lack of a cohesive social media presence within the country to rally against continuing neocolonial mining efforts. This is because the issue of mining decolonization has become an issue that has been popularized to the Western world by Western reporting and academia, rather than from movements and advocates from within the country. Much of the DRC does not have access to the Internet, nor do many who are affected have the means and safety to express dissent from their situations. Throughout this paper, I will express the problems that the DRC faces in regard to Western mineral extraction from the DRC but also provide commentary upon the ways that the problems in the DRC vary from similar problems across Africa, specifically in relation to Nigerian oil extraction and South African diamond mining. While the DRC has seen little publicity about mineral extraction within the country, both Nigeria and South Africa have seen more publicity concerning their respective industries and have taken varying actions regarding their industries.

What Happens in Vagueness stays in Vagueness: The United States Constitution's Ideas on Race (History-Race, Law, and Social Change Class Paper): The United States’ Constitution, while it may not explicitly discuss race in detail, has echoes of race throughout both its language and its history. Even during the origination of the Constitution, the inclusion of slavery was a hotly contested subject among the authors of the Constitution. The United States’ Constitution only uses the words “race” and “color” once and that is in the Fifteenth Amendment, which essentially gave black Americans the right to vote. While the US Constitution may not explicitly talk about race much, I argue that race is a present theme throughout the Constitution as well as behind many decisions regarding the language of the Constitution. While the Fifteenth Amendment may directly address the issue of race and voting rights within the United States, I believe that the history of the Fifteenth Amendment and its subsequent implementation and tests in the Supreme Court need to be further examined to truly understand the context of the Fifteenth Amendment in American society. The Fifteenth Amendment, while being a moral statement and a push in the right direction, was toothless in its implementation when the federal government usurped their own ability to enforce the amendment in states that were more hostile to its implementation. Not only do the explicit mentions of race within the Constitution need to be examined, but so do the amendments and the context of the Constitution’s authorship that are most relevant to the issue of race and slavery within academia today.

Maybe I Have Different Opinions Now: Exploring the Learning Experience of My Social Justice Major (Social Justice Capstone Paper): Social justice classes, my internship, and my other experiences have helped me to understand how lawyers play a role in social change and how they can oppress. Justice is not carried out by one man with a good heart, instead it is about systemic change and how whole teams address an injustice that plagues our society. This paper explores my understanding of social justice through these contexts.

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Keywords

social justice

Austin Clements's ePortfolio

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