Visiting Professors Launch Social Justice Curriculum

Dr. Johnny Moore, president of Philander Smith College is making history by hiring two visiting professors to assist in infusing social justice themes and missions into the institution’s curriculum.

Professor Jonathan Hutchins and Dr. June Christian will be joining the faculty for a one-year appointment and to teach two classes per semester. Both professors will be working under the guidance of the Office of the Social Justice Initiative where director Dr. Joseph L. Jones will collaborate with on several community engagement projects. Both professors will also conduct workshops for faculty in our Social Sciences and Education Divisions to infuse or develop courses that include social justice themes.

Professor Hutchins earned his bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and master’s in History from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fla. Upon completing his master’s degree, he became the first Feeder Scholar from Florida A&M University to enroll in the doctoral History program at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. He recently finished a summer seminar at Yale University focusing on slave narratives that focused on the writings of Fredrick Douglas. Jonathan’s research analyzes the intersections of public and private space, as well as power and racial uplift in the development of African Americans’ role in Mississippi and national politics. His dissertation examines Perry Wilbon Howard (1871-1961), an Assistant Attorney General, National Republican Committee member for the state of Mississippi, successful lawyer, and accomplished mathematics professor at Alcorn State College. Hutchins is committed to using his scholarly credentials in pursuit of “archival justice” to rediscover and reclaim the legacy and contributions of African Americans who have been on the margins of history.

Dr. Christian earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature as well as her master’s degree in Education from Washington University in St. Louis. She also earned a master’s degree in Literature from Tennessee State University in Nashville. In August of 2011, she received her doctorate degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Educational Leadership and Policy with an emphasis on Social Justice. A long-time social justice advocate, Dr. Christian has facilitated numerous social justice workshops and leadership institutes aimed at assisting youth, teachers, superintendents, community members, health professionals, and university staff in understanding and dismantling several forms of oppression including racism, classism, sexism, ageism, genderism, and heterosexism. She taught middle school reading and creative writing in both the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and the Normandy School District in St. Louis, and is currently editing her book, The Black Flame Trilogy; Multigenerational Trauma, and the Dehumanization of Black Students, under contract with Lexington Books.

Philander Smith College is elated to have such rising scholars join our ranks and as we continue to fulfill our mission which is to graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better.

To obtain more information contact Dr. Joseph Jones, (501) 975-8543, or at