Reflecting on the 2016 voting season, we are challenged to think anew concerning the connection between the theory and practice of social justice and adult education. I suggest that we should mirror the mission of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), and its call to “provide leadership for the field of adult and continuing education” (AAACE, 2017). It is my belief that as adult educators, we have not provided leadership for the field in addressing social justice issues because we have been battered and are fearful to address civic(s) topics. Battered is defined as “injured by repeated blows or punishment” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2017). Higher education has experienced repeated blows with the reduction of funding by state legislatures, the questioning of the value of higher education associated with student debt and remedial education, and a feeling of powerlessness and fear among many of my colleagues in the wake of the 2016 democratic process. I contend that as adult educators, we should recognize the 2016 voting results as a call to action to inculcate ourselves with the mission of AAACE, become advocates for higher education, and develop strategies for ourselves, our students, and the community. We must engage in civil dialogues that move us away from divisive political rhetoric and recapture our position as leaders in addressing social justice issues; we may be battered, but it is my belief that we are not broken
Dialogues in Social Justice: An Adult Education Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, 9-11.