In 2016, SWS Council approved the Social Action Committee’s (SAC) proposal to support more direct social action of SWS members. The Social Actions Initiative Awards provide a way for the SAC to directly support and encourage the social activism of SWS members. Awards are given out twice per year on a competitive basis until funds run out. The social actions represented by this initiative are central to advancing the mission of SWS. Special thanks go to the Social Actions Initiative Award Subcommittee: Kris De Welde (Co-Chair), Heather Hlavka (Co-Chair) Rebecca P., Kira Escovar, Natascia Boeri, Rosalind Kichler and Kristy Kelly.
Queer Feminist Climate Justice in Asia proposed by Minwoo Jung.
Minwoo Jung is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola University Chicago. His research investigates the impacts of global and regional geopolitics on political, economic, and social life of marginalized groups and individuals. His work grows out of multi-sited fieldwork conducted across East and Southeast Asia. His work has been published in The British Journal of Sociology, The Sociological Review, Social Movement Studies, and positions: asia critique.
As a transnational gender and sexuality scholar, Minwoo worked on a multi-sited research project on how global politics impact the conditions of queer activism in various parts of Asia, including South Korea. During Minwoo’s fieldwork, he became involved in the work of Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights in Korea, a Korean queer activist organization. For more information on Solidarity Korea, please visit: http://lgbtpride.or.kr/. Solidarity Korea and Minwoo proposed educational workshops on transnational climate justice and queer feminist action for Korean queer and feminist activists. The workshops will provide a space for transformative education for Korean queer and feminist activists who seek to build coalitions between climate justice activism and queer and feminist activism in South Korea and across Asia. They will work with local climate justice organizations to create educational resource and identify shared issues, challenges, and agendas related to the uneven impact of the climate crisis on vulnerable women, as well as queer and trans people. During the workshop, they will also seek to form coalitions with feminist and queer movements in other Asian countries, particularly Taiwan and Japan, to address regional-scale climate challenges. With these workshops, Minwoo plans to bring the important issue of how impacts of climate change have been and will continue to be unequal to the attention of activist communities so that we can better understand climate injustices form a queer and feminist perspective, as well as discuss possible action plans for queer and feminist sustainability that challenges heteronational and reproductive futurism.
Boots on the Ground Initiative to Increase Public Awareness of Harm Reduction and Treatment Resources for Underserved Communities proposed by Leslie Wood.
Leslie Wood (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate at Kent State University. She studies medical sociology/mental health and deviance. Her current work focuses on the social aspects of drug use, harm reduction, and experiences and perceptions surrounding the recovery community. Over the past 5 years, she has volunteered with and built relationships with numerous grassroots organizations and individuals in Akron, Ohio where she lives. She is passionate about meeting people where they are and providing access to harm reduction and recovery resources for marginalized populations. She strongly believes in asking people what they need, because every individual is the expert in their own lives, their own drug use, and their own definitions of recovery.
Leslie is thrilled and honored to receive an SWS social action award to help her in this work. Her proposed social action, “Boots on the Ground Initiative to Increase Public Awareness of Harm Reduction and Treatment Resources for Underserved Communities,” is a targeted campaign to provide education about and access to resources for harm reduction and recovery to specific neighborhoods where these vital tools are rarely provided. Using recent local overdose data to identify appropriate zip-codes, we will visit three underserved neighborhoods – low SES neighborhoods with high overdose rates – on three separate dates to engage with community members and pass out brochures, as well as naloxone with instructions and demonstrations of use. We also hope to offer other harm reduction tools including fentanyl test strips and wound care supplies.
Leslie proposed outreach campaign is targeted towards specific neighborhoods in Akron, Ohio where there is limited access to or awareness of local resources for harm reduction and treatment for people who use drugs. The goals for this campaign are as follows: 1) increase public awareness of what services and resources are freely available and local, 2) provide education on harm reduction and safer drug use 3) serve specific, underserved populations within their own communities. This campaign will be implemented by a team of local advocates primarily composed of people with who have lived experience with drug use, harm reduction and/or recovery. Ultimately, the team hopes to increase the services available directly within these underserved neighborhoods where funding does not seem to reach and decreasing the fear of asking for help and reducing the stigma of talking about drug use.
SWS will honor Minwoo Jung and Leslie Wood and all our 2022 Summer Award recipients during our Awards Banquet which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 7 from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm in the Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 515B.
If you are interested in making a gift to support the Social Actions Initiative Award, please contact Barret Katuna, Executive Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or make a gift via this form: https://sws.memberclicks.net/donation-form.