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Place-Based Justice Network Summer Institute

July 28, 2021 @ 8:00 am - July 30, 2021 @ 5:00 pm

Building Accountable Practices and Transforming Power

About this event

This summer, from July 28 to July 30, the Place-Based Justice Network will host its annual Summer Institute, a virtual experience centered on two focus areas: (1) building practices of accountability and (2) transforming power.

Read the full framing note with links to resources and citations on the website here.

Building Practices of Accountability

During this year’s Institute, we have intentionally constructed a three-day experience that allows for vulnerable (un)learning and wisdom sharing at multiple levels of accountability.

Through PBJN offerings (Leadership Retreat, Continuous Learning sessions, BIPOC Healing Circles, White Affinity and Accountability Circles) held this year, we’ve witnessed power dynamics emerge in our relationships and within our institutions. Indeed, when we understand that the tentacles of power reach well beyond the individual and interpersonal into institutions and even societies, it can feel overwhelming. While we may be inclined to act with urgency, we find ourselves grasping for more authentic relationships, a set of collective values, and, most of all, community. In our own anti-racist praxis, at our institutions and in our lives, how can we honor the need for repair and healing in conjunction with the ever-evolving nature of accountability and justice itself?

To unpack these questions, we will present a series of framing dialogues, featuring leaders in our field that embody the values of the Network and the larger themes we hope to explore during the week.

  • We will begin the first day in conversation with the inimitable Nadinne Cruz on systems accountability in conversation with Kent Koth and John Loggins.
  • Day two will we will transition to organizational accountability with Daren Ellerbee and Jamilah Ducar, thought leaders from the University of Pittsburgh.
  • We will conclude on day three with Marisol Morales and Elaine Ikeda on personal and interpersonal accountability.

Each dialogue will be followed by small group discussions, during which we invite attendees to explore their own contexts and practice accountability in community with one another.

By bearing witness to these and sharing our own oral (hi)stories, we not only aim to uplift and (re)center voices of color, but also hope to engage participants in a narrative-driven changemaking process that they may carry back to their own institutions.

Transforming Power

In conversations regarding race in higher education, many turn to sharing, redistribution, and reparations, namely financial capital. This commitment to acknowledging harm and restoring once-extracted capital, while admirable, is not enough. When we restore the system and its power to the same state in which the harm originally occurred, we forgo an incredibly valuable opportunity to transform power and, by consequence, the system itself. This is transformative justice.

While primarily used as a framework to address harm in interpersonal relationships, we invite participants to imagine what this transformation could look like beyond our students, our colleagues, and our community partners. Specifically, what are the places in your institution where “a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything”?

During the PBJN Summer Institute, we ground our programming in a power-conscious frame, centering individuals’ identities and experiences in gathering and reflection spaces. Through several points of connection—conversation, bursts of brilliance (lightning talks), somatics, and creative engagements with yourselves and one another—during the conference, we hope that seeing the work of others rekindles a sense of joy and inspires you to do yours in a different way.

Ultimately, we hope participants will return to their institutions, committed to interrupting and dismantling the old, imagining the not-yet, and co-creating the new in their own communities and beyond.



Who should be on a team?  We invite you to bring a team of up to 5 people including community engagement staff, faculty, university leaders, community partners, funders and/or others. Please contact us if you’d like help deciding who to bring.


What is the cost to participate in the Institute? 

The 2021 Virtual Summer Institute is $15 per person for PBJN Institutional Members and $25 for non-members for all three days of content.


What is the agenda?

What is the agenda?  While the final agenda is still in development, the Summer Institute  will include:

  • Core Dialogues with leaders in the field
  • Breakout Conversations with peers to process content and connect
  • Bursts of Brilliance, an opportunity to witness updates from colleagues about practices of place-based community engagement through a series of lightning talks
  • Asynchronous learning and reflection opportunities

Access the full framing note on the theme with resources and citations online here.


Can I update my registration information?


Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes – please e-mail Erin Burrows to transfer your ticket to another team member from your campus

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends?

No, please update us to let us know who will be attending.

How can I contact someone if I have questions?

Reach out to Erin Burrows with any questions regarding logistics at or (206) 220-8567, cell (360) 241-9790.


July 28, 2021 @ 8:00 am
July 30, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
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