In Pursuit of Social Justice

As an interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, advocates, and students interested in the application of critical, scientific, and humanistic perspectives to the study of vital social problems, the SSSP is engaged in multiple avenues of social justice research and action. In addition to SSSP publications, the Society regularly participates in calls to action on various social justice issues. Each year, the SSSP also presents the Thomas C. Hood Social Action Award, which recognizes social justice work of grassroots organizations in marginilized communities in the city/local are hosting the annual meeting. See below for more information on these activities.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, one of our sessions, CRITICAL DIALOGUE: Presidential Perspectives on Current Social Problems, featured the Presidents of several scholarly organizations.  The panelists discussed major social problems. 

Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, President of the International Sociological Association (ISA), 2018-2022
Mary Romero, Arizona State University, President of the American Sociological Association (ASA), 2018-2019
Adia Harvey Wingfield, Washington University in St. Louis, Past-President of the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), 2018
Marcus Anthony Hunter, University of California, Los Angeles, President of the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS), 2017-2019
Nancy J. Mezey (not in photo), Monmouth University, President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), 2018-2019
William D. Cabin (not in photo), Temple University, Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), 2018-2019 and Presider of the session 

SSSP Resolutions

2020 Approved Resolutions

Resolutions were solicited via several calls sent out to the membership by the SSSP Administrative Office as well as by emails sent to the Chairs of the 23 Divisions by the SSSP Vice-President and Chair of the Committee on Social Action, Daina Cheyenne Harvey. This year, three proposed resolutions were submitted, including the expression of gratitude.

The resolutions were provided online for the membership to review and comment on prior to the Society’s Virtual Annual Business Meeting on Friday, August 7, 2020. Immediately following the meeting, current members were able to vote online for or against each resolution or abstain. The voting period lasted two weeks. 

Thank you to those who voted. 410 votes were cast. Resolutions 1 and 2 passed overwhelmingly, but resolution 3 did not pass. Per the Society’s By-Laws, a resolution passes if two-thirds of the members voting online by the deadline, vote in favor of the resolution.

Click here for the 2020 Approved Resolutions.

Click here for past years Approved Resolutions.

SSSP Letters

If a passed resolution requires letters or e-mails to be sent, the Administrative Office distributes these to appropriate individuals or agencies.

Click here to read the letters.

Take Action!

On Monday of last week (9/21/2020) the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that two Sociology professors and SSSP members, Dr. Wendy Leo Moore of Texas A&M University and Dr. James Michael Thomas of the University of Mississippi and were both being threatened with termination and/or financial penalty for their participation in #scholarstrike activities. Inspired by increased resistance to police violence against African Americans—protests that included professional athletes’ work stoppages-- #scholarstrike was a national effort to raise awareness and educate students on the long history of white supremacy and policing, as well as the long struggle of African Americans and others to achieve racial equality and civil rights. These educators’ actions were supported by our own organization and many other professional groups of educators around the United States and Canada. In fact, dozens of colleges and universities acknowledged their faculty’s rights to such actions and even lauded their professors’ efforts.

The Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Social Problems stands behind its members and calls on the President of Texas A&M University and the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi to issue statements of support for Professors Moore and Thomas respectively. We would also like to see ANY investigation or procedures related to their employment be transparent to them and the community. We believe that professors Moore and Thomas are being unfairly targeted for political reasons, and without regard for the highest principles of academic freedom and human rights, for their participation in an action designed to bring attention to social injustice.

We stand in solidarity with Dr. Wendy Leo Moore and Dr. James M. Thomas.

Click here to view the full letter.

Click here to view the full letter signed by 12 sociological organizations.

Click here for more Action items...

Thomas C. Hood Social Action Award

The Thomas C. Hood Social Action Award, established in 1991, is awarded to a local grassroots social justice organization in the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Census) in which the annual meeting is held that year.  While the recipient can be an organization that engages in direct service work, preferred recipients for the Social Action Award will be organizations that also work at the level of systems change.  The organization may not be a local or regional chapter of a national or international organization, and must be one that will benefit significantly from the award.  The nomination of organizations that include directly impacted people and communities in leadership positions and decisions are also encouraged.  The award carries a stipend of $5,000.

Click here for a list of past winners.