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Love within the US context is often defined in overly individualistic, anemic, and depoliticized ways. It is discussed almost exclusively in the context of romance and its familial dimensions. Why? What of love and its role in social transformation? Grounded in Black liberation theology and Black feminist thought, this session will interrogate the Westernized construction of love. It will analyze the ways in which the everyday notion of love operates as a tool of oppression and perpetuates white supremacist ideology to shape our social realities, desirability, and diminishes our possibilities for social transformation. Instead, this session will offer us all an opportunity to interrogate what love is, how we have been socialized by it, and how it shapes our capacity to lead change and hold each other with loving accountability within the moment. Ultimately, this session is about reconceptualizing love in ways that help us resist erasure and dehumanization, and defining it in ways that helps us heal. We will explore a Critical Theory of Love framework to interrogate our own social justice practices to ensure that we are not perpetuating oppression, but instead helping ourselves and others discover their power and heal.
Durryle Brooks, PhD, Founder & CEO, Love and Justice Consulting, LLC, Baltimore, MD
Dr. Durryle Brooks, PhD, MA, is an interdisciplinary research scholar-practitioner and a social justice educator from Baltimore, MD. He is the Founder and CEO of Love and Justice Consulting LLC, an organizational and leadership development firm that provides leaders with diversity and social justice learning opportunities to increase their capacity to effectively and authentically engage difference. Love and Justice offers leaders executive coaching and thought partnership as they navigate embedding intersectional justice frameworks and values into everything they do. Additionally, his company designs intentional and highly interactive retreats to help teams deepen relationships to create greater alignment, commitment, and direction as well as heal.
Dr. Brooks is the former Policy Chair for the Baltimore City School Board, and he continues to advocate for educational justice for LGBTQ students, who are often marginalized and erased within formal educational settings. He is a WK Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow and supports racial justice and healing for all children and families. He is the author of (Re)conceptualizing Love: Moving Towards a Critical Theory of Love in Education for Social Justice, which articulates a vision and framework for re-conceptualizing love in ways that produces intersectional justice and healing for people of color, communities, and our society as a whole.
Organization Website: www.loveandjusticeconsulting.com