The Dr. Ralph R. Watkins Center for Social Justice was established in 2011 (Fitzelle 417) by the Africana & Latino Studies Department to advance projects for social justice on the SUNY Oneonta campus, to support the new minor in Social Justice Studies the department initiated, and to advocate for social justice, locally and globally.
The ALS Department for several years prior had encouraged students to become involved in social justice projects such as interning at the Oneonta Jobs Corps or the NAACP, volunteering through the Center for Social Responsibility and Community or working on “Learn and Serve in Ghana” efforts, e.g., a community library in Kwabeng, Eastern Region, constructing a village clinic at Quigbey, Volta Region. In 2008 some Ghana program “alumni” students and then Chair, Dr. O’Mara, supported the creation of a new student organization, Students for Global Education which became active in raising funds in support of community projects in Africa (Ghana and Sudan).
Due to student interest the department then constructed a minor in Social Justice Studies. In 2013 we are opened the Social Justice Incubator (Milne 305) to enhance student, faculty, and community collaboration through small group research projects.