KarenWarrenKaren Warren may be the first name that many of us in the experiential education think of when we think of EE and social justice.  The 2014 Kurt Hahn addressee Karen will be continuing to share her passion and commitment to social justice with the AEE community at the 2015 conference with her presentation, “Social Justice Allies in Adventure Programs.”

Social justice allyship has been a hot topic this year not just within the AEE community but throughout the American media and many of our communities.  When speaking with Karen about her definition of allyship Karen shared that, a social justice ally is a person from a dominant group who acts in support of those from groups that experience discrimination and oppression.”  Karen went on to highlight that, “allyship has the potential to be mutually beneficial to both groups.  Allies question their unearned and often unconscious privilege in attempts to seek justice for all.”

Karen’s workshop promises to be a space where attendees will not only be able to become knowledgeable about the concepts of social justice and ally identity development, but will also be a space for attendees to practice productive allyship behaviors.  Having that opportunity to engage with new behaviors while in a controlled environment with others who are there to expand and learn is all too rare and incredibly important for our own social justice journey’.

Karen shared that she is most excited to use this workshop as an opportunity to be part of the social justice conversation happening at AEE this year and about social justice being given an even stronger platform through the theme this year.  As Karen spoke to in her Kurt Hahn address last year, “the field of experiential education risks being irrelevant unless we steadfastly address issues of social justice in our practice and organizations.”  Karen shared with me that she believes, “experiential educators are very energetic and resourceful people with strong commitments to do what is right,” and it is with that spirit in mind that she hopes to bring more tools and frameworks to the AEE community.

This workshop is open to all, regardless of prior exposure or knowledge level with social justice allyship or topics.  This workshop is one of the many this year that is so closely aligned with the conference’s theme: “Social Justice: Creating Change” that it has the words right in the title.  If you are looking for a place to begin or continue your own social justice journey Karen’s workshop is sure to be a great space.

Read more about Karen at – https://www.hampshire.edu/opra/karen-warren

Author – Megan Bolger