Janice Marie Collins — Session III

Active centralized empowerment: A practice of de-marginalization in the classroom and community

Janice Marie Collins, PhD (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

In this time of severe trauma and violence, communities and learning spaces must revise their pedagogical approaches to not only instruct students and individuals, but also to address the psychological impact that social injustice has had on our students and ourselves. The author’s pedagogical approach, called Active Centralized Empowerment, directly addresses issues of marginalization. Leadership development, learning and working within a collective, and self-empowerment are three of the main focus areas. In the classroom, students are taught and encouraged to be accountable and responsible for their decisions and actions, and for their consequences. They also engage in moments of healing and being aware of one’s Authentic Self so that they can truly be free. As a result of using Active Centralized Empowerment, individuals and students show behaviors of healthy inclusion and tolerance of diversity, increase in self-esteem, empathy, Transformational Leadership, and a form of liberation, freedom, and empowerment.