Forging a Free and Democratic Society: Dr. Jen Self’s Vision

543

Dr. Jen Self is a leading voice in the field of social welfare, with a focus on diversity, social justice analysis, and pedagogy. They are a JEDI (Justice) strategist who has been working to create a more inclusive and equitable society for marginalized communities for over two decades. As the founding director of the UW Q Center, a nationally renowned intersectional queer justice center, and through their work with Brick 13, Dr. Self has been strategizing, coaching, and consulting across disciplines and systems for decades..

Dr. Self’s key focus is the use of social and political spaces with effective social work interventions. They understand that real social change requires not just policy reform but a shift in the way individuals and communities interact with one another. At the UW Q Center, they worked to create a safe and welcoming space for queer and trans individuals while also educating the wider community on issues of race, gender, and sexuality.

Harm and Suicide Reduction  

Another area of focus for Dr. Self is harm reduction and suicide prevention in queer centers and academic settings. LGBTQIA+ individuals are disproportionately affected by suicide and mental health issues, and Dr. Self believes that this is in part due to the lack of safe and supportive spaces for these communities. By creating centers like the UW Q Center, they are addressing this issue by providing resources, support, and education to at-risk individuals.

In addition to their work in harm reduction and suicide prevention, Dr. Self is also interested in transformational processes in social work education, research, and practice. They believe that in order to create a truly free and democratic society, we must not only address the issues of oppression, trauma, and inequality that exist in our current society, but we must also work to fundamentally transform the way that we think about and engage with these issues.

Holistic Understanding of the World

Dr. Self’s research and scholarship focus on the intersections of sexual orientation, gender, race, class, and disability. They believe that true social change requires a holistic understanding of these issues, by examining how oppressive systems interlock and function and our relationships to them, we can develop more effective solutions. Dr. Self uses postmodern, poststructuralist theory, critical feminisms, and queer theory in their work, as they believe these theories offer a valuable lens to examine the complex issues of oppression and inequality in our society. As a trans, genderqueer, and non-binary individual, they bring a unique perspective to their work and are committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable society for these communities.

Dr. Self is also deeply committed to the use of critical queer feminisms and queer theory in their work. They understand that these theories offer a valuable lens through which to examine the complex issues of oppression and inequality that exist in our society. They believe that by using these theories to analyze the ways in which power is distributed and maintained, we can develop more effective strategies for creating a more just and equitable society.

Dr. Self also brings a unique perspective to their work as a trans, genderqueer, and non-binary individual. They understand the challenges that these communities face and are committed to working to create a more inclusive and equitable society for them. They are also dedicated to cultivating culturally-sustainable leadership development, believing that by developing leaders who are representative of the communities they serve, we can create more effective and sustainable change.

True Change Shifts Communities 

By creating safe and supportive spaces for queer and trans individuals, working to address issues of harm reduction and suicide prevention, and using theories like postmodernism and queer theory to examine the complex issues of oppression and inequality, Dr. Self is helping to forge a more just and democratic society for all. With society today more than ever,we need more people like Dr. Jen Self who are dedicated to creating a more inclusive and equitable society for marginalized communities through their work in education, research, and practice. 

Dr. Jen Self works with leaders ready to evolve their leadership so that fits the 21st century, centers anti-racism and the life experiences of Black, Brown, and Indigenous, and the way power works in the United States. They deliver strategy and coaching services to transform culture. But more than that, they offer a lot of education to help leaders understand and engage with these complex issues. Their commitment to intersectionality, cultural-sustainability, and leadership development is a shining example of the kind of leadership we need to create a truly free and democratic society.