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“Our commitments as feminist scholars often center on challenging preexisting notions, equipping our students to be more reasoned, careful, and effective advocates and future professionals.”
In their chapter entitled, “Making sense of sex work, prostitution, and trafficking – in the classroom and beyond”, authors Chrysanthi S. Leon (center core member) and Corey Shdaimah challenge academics, advocates, and community collaborators alike to reflect on the implications of biases and assumptions in studying controversial topics. Our intentions in research and policy, albeit earnest, often overlook the complexities of sex workers’ lived experiences.
For example, criminal justice responses often harm vulnerable populations, and rehabilitative measures reify paternalistic structures. Through a sincere reflection of their personal research experiences, the authors offer recommendations for amplifying diverse and marginalized voices, emphasizing empathy and authenticity at all stages of the research process. Recommendations for productive collaboration in feminist research are also discussed.
“Students enter the field equipped with theories and knowledge of best practices, informed by their mentors, their classwork, and their fieldwork.”
In their chapter entitled, “Educating for social change: Feminist curriculum and community partnerships for advocacy training”, authors Jennifer Naccarelli (center co-director) and Susan L. Miller (center core member) detail best practices for undergraduate academic programs seeking to integrate practical training for gender-based violence. The chapter highlights The Domestic Violence Prevention and Services (DVPS) Program housed in the Department of Women and Gender Studies at UD. The DVPS Program is a certificate program that was developed and implemented with the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) in 2011.
The curriculum prepares students to become Domestic Violence Specialists through comprehensive coursework, exposure to service providers who also teach courses, and developing experience and relationships with service providers in the community through a 300 hour direct service practicum. The chapter includes thoughtful reflections about the importance of a feminist approach in connecting academics to advocacy, as well as testimony from students who have gone through the program.
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