With our country’s social climate in crisis and the notion of “liberty and justice for all” in question, there is a true urgency for cultural competence and compassion in action for all of our citizens. These necessities are particularly salient for our nation’s children and specifically for those from underrepresented and underserved communities. When constructs such as the “pre-school to prison pipeline” become a part of our daily vernacular, and unarmed African American males continue to be gunned down by law enforcement officials, it is obvious that social justice needs to be the starting point for educating our future teachers and community leaders. We need to light the fire for justice!
As an Associate Professor in Child Studies with Courtesy in Psychology, my professional mission is to educate, guide, mentor and support the next generation of “fire starters.” This means giving individuals the tools and skills that they need to make informed decisions about their lives, and the lives of the children with whom they serve. Directing SCU’s Future Teachers Project gives me the opportunity to consider the tools that college students need to be equipped to experience and understand the injustices experienced by others. The tools challenge our students to consider privilege and to grapple with the expectations and judgments that often coincide with it. The tools encompass standing up, speaking out, and representing for those who may not be able to do so for themselves. If the tools work, they will influence a change in consciousness regarding children who are underrepresented and underserved to children who become represented and served. I value being a member of the Child Studies Program at SCU community because of the “Jesuit ideal of humanitas, the aim of which is to cultivate persons engaged in a wide variety of occupations for service to humanity1.
1 “The Jesuit Tradition at Santa Clara University.” http://www.scu.edu/Jesuits/main.html, September 22, 2012
Ph.D. (2002) University of California, Los Angeles (Graduate School of Education- Educational Psychology)
M.A. (2000) University of California, Los Angeles (Graduate School of Education- Educational Psychology)
Ed.M. (1994) Harvard University (Graduate School of Education)
B.A. (1993) University of California, Berkeley (Major in Social Welfare)
Echols, L., Solomon, B.J., Graham, S. (2014). Same Spaces, Different Races: What Can Cafeteria Seating Patterns Tell Us About Intergroup Relations in Middle School? (In Press) Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology.
Solomon, B.J., Davis, E.G., & Luckham, B. (2013). The relationship between trauma and delinquent decision making among adolescent female offenders: mediating effects. In P. Kerig (Ed.), Psychological Trauma and Juvenile Delinquency: New Directions in Research and Intervention. New York: Routledge. [Reprint].
Solomon, B.J. and Garibaldi, M.L. (2013). Adult and middle-school girls' perceptions of risk-taking behavior: Implications for adult practitioners. Journal of at Risk Issues, 17, 11-22.
Works In Progress
Pre-school to Prison Pipeline: Teacher perceptions and implicit associations of students of color "Successful Pathways to High School Completion: Opportunities and Risks," from the National Institute of Health.