Moments of growth in a social justice journey by valerie a. guerrero

As I read the Facebook statuses of friends returning from the ACPA Institute on Social Justice this past week (shout out to the amazing planners!!), I reflected on professional development experiences  I have found crucial to my growth as a social justice educator. I feel lucky to have had many opportunities to continue my development and I enjoy learning of similar moments for my colleagues, if only to better understand their perspective. In the spirit of reflecting upon the moments that help us to grow as individuals and educators, I invite you to share your developmental experience inspired moments in your social justice journey.

To ignite this discussion, I will share my own moment:

While listening to a presentation about poor and working class students at the 2010 ACPA Institute on Social Justice, I nodded along, engrossed in the speaker’s every words and pausing occasionally to exchange “Preach!” glances with my scholar-bestie who like me, had come from the economic roots currently up for discussion. Lost in my own undergraduate memories, I was interrupted by a question to the group: How has your economic mobility since entering college impacted your work with poor and working class students? Well. as it turned out, this was the first time I had ever been forced to sit in the discomfort of my ascending social class and to think about how my new economic access has sometimes allowed me to be less attuned to the access of others in my work with students. While this moment didn’t result in my being the “perfect” social justice educator, it was a remarkable reminder of my own growing privilege and evolving perspectives that I have carried with me.

What moments of growth have you had along your social justice journey?

Please share in the comments!

valerie a. guerrero is one of the proud co-coordinators of the CSJE blog. She enjoys learning from her colleagues and engaging in pedagogical dialogue with social justice educators from around the globe via the CSJE blog. If you would like to contribute to the dialogue contact her at and Denise Boneta ( for more information about submitting your own 800 -1300 word post on any intersection of education and social justice.

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