Dr. Saundra ArdreySocial Justice
Dr. Saundra Ardrey is the Head of the Political Science Department, Director of the University Political Engagement Project, and Director of the African American Studies Program at Western Kentucky University. In addition to her many accolades and accomplishments she has been awarded the President’s Award for Diversity, Outstanding Teaching Award, and in 2003 was the first African American elected as the president of the Kentucky Political Science Association. Dr. Ardrey’s passion, however, is empowering all students to become civically and politically engaged. She has attended and placed college students in internships for every Republican and Democratic Convention since 1988 and taken groups of college students to every inauguration since 1989. Her past and current global projects include service learning project trips to Sanka in Ghana, West Africa; study abroad trips to Trinidad, Tanzania, Turkey and several European countries; and a trip in the summer of 2016 to work with school children in Soweto, South Africa.
During her presentation, Dr. Ardrey recounted her own unique life journey, while sharing her life’s passion of motivating young people to understand and define their own distinctive place in society so that they are equipped to speak up and take action for social justice. Her presentation was a personal perspective through the Civil Rights movement in America and her navigational journey in finding her own voice, with the hope of empowering students to do the same. It included a discussion that allowed students to objectively explore the concepts of power, privilege and oppression, encouraging them to develop their voice, as well as find their own path in the world’s ever-evolving need and desire for social justice and equality. She shared her inspiring learning service project trips that can be both life affirming and life changing for anyone who explores the amazing diversity and similarities of global communities.