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Linking Teaching, Practice, Research and Service: Dr. Jen Self’s Commitment to Queered Racial and Economic Justice

Dr. Jen Self is a highly accomplished and respected figure in the field of social welfare and social justice. With a PhD in social welfare and a graduate certificate in Feminist Studies from the University of Washington, Dr. Self wants leaders to be intentional, thoughtful, and pay attention to the micro moments that build to macro outcomes.

One of Dr. Self’s most notable contributions to the field is their role as the founding Director of the UW Q Center, a nationally renowned intersectional queer justice center that focuses on issues of race, gender, and sexuality. In this role, Dr. Self worked tirelessly to create a space for communities historically marginalized in higher education to come together and find support, resources, and community.

Beyond their work at the UW Q Center, Dr. Self has been expanding their work at Brick 13 whose mission is educate, coach, and strategize with leaders to examine, analyze, and disrupt (organizational) (institutional) biased and inequitable power so that leaders can (ensure) (grow) (build) racial, gender, and economic equity, diversity, and inclusion (justice) in every aspect of their work. 

At Brick 13 they want leaders to think about themselves in complex, nuanced ways wherein they understand that they have the power to leverage their privilege, authority on behalf of equity, liberation, and inclusion. Dr. Self wants leaders to be intentional, thoughtful, and pay attention to the micro moments that build to macro outcomes. Excellence is just fundamentals on repeat. Micro ~ mezzo ~ macro ~ every. moment. Matters.

Creating a Free and Democratic Society 

Dr. Self’s work is deeply committed to the principles of queered racial, economic and gender justice. They believe that the key to creating a free and democratic society is ensuring that everyone has access to education, teachers with whom they connect, structural supports and resources, and accessible, relatable pathways to success. This belief is reflected in all aspects of their work, including teaching, practice, research, and service.

Dr. Self’s professional interests are wide-ranging and encompass topics such as queer and trans access to behavioral health care and gender affirming care, social justice analysis and pedagogy, the use of social and political spaces with effective social work interventions, and the role of queer centers and academic settings in harm reduction and suicide prevention. They are also deeply interested in transformational processes in social work education, research, and practice, as well as social inequality and the intersections of sexual orientation, gender, race, class, and disability.

Dr. Jen Self provides Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Consulting services to help companies and organizations better understand the connection between their personal experiences and identities, and how that influences their leadership and decision-making. Through EQ assessments and consultations with experienced EQ consultants, Dr. Self helps individuals and organizations identify areas where they can leverage their privilege and authority to advance equity, liberation, and inclusivity in the workplace. This work aims to bring about a clearer version and vision of the individual, which will enable them to work more effectively and inclusively, promoting a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

From Academic to Community Movements

Dr. Self’s work is not only limited to academic and educational settings, but also extends to community-based organizations and grassroots movements. Their experience in community organizing and coalition building has been instrumental in the development of effective strategies for creating change at the grassroots level. Through their work in these areas, they have been able to not only provide support and resources to marginalized communities, but also to empower them to take action and create real change in their own lives and in the broader society.

In addition to their practical work, Dr. Self is also a committed researcher, whose scholarship is focused on understanding the complex and intersecting issues that contribute to social inequality and injustice. They have published numerous articles and book chapters on topics such as diversity and social justice analysis and pedagogy, the use of social and political spaces with effective social work interventions, and the role of queer centers and academic settings in harm reduction and suicide prevention. Their research is not only informative but is also deeply transformative, as it is aimed at creating a more just and equitable society.

Dr. Self is also a gifted educator, who is committed to the development of culturally-sustainable leadership development. They believe that education is a powerful tool for creating change and that it is essential to ensure that all students have access to the knowledge and skills they need to become effective leaders and change agents. They have developed numerous workshops and training programs that are designed to help students understand the complex issues that contribute to social inequality and injustice and to develop the skills they need to take action and create real change. Through their work as an educator, Dr. Self is helping to ensure that the next generation of leaders is better equipped to create a more just and equitable society.

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