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From Thought to Action

Developing a Social Justice Orientation (First Edition)
Amy Aldridge Sanford
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From Thought to Action: Developing a Social Justice Orientation empowers readers to successfully navigate their individual social justice journeys and channel their increased consciousness into activism. The book provides robust historic, cultural, and social context for social justice work, assists readers in managing the discomfort that often accompanies raised consciousness, and offers step-by-step instructions for initiating social justice campaigns and projects.

The text examines the history of liberal activism in the United States, various types of activism, significant social movements, the art of dialoguing through disagreement, the importance of leadership, and the risks and rewards associated with activism. Readers learn about the challenges and successes of activists past and present, and are encouraged to recognize the struggles and achievements that define their own journeys. An extensive list of causes is provided, along with strategies for getting involved, empowering readers to identify causes that are important to them and to take action.

A powerful and innovative resource for those inspired to make a difference, From Thought to Action is ideal for freshman seminars, service learning and community engagement programs, and a variety of courses within the social and behavioral sciences, including capstone experiences.

Amy Aldridge Sanford is a professor of communication and associate vice president for academic affairs at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in communication studies from the University of Iowa, and a M.Ed. in school administration and B.A. in communication education from Northeastern State University. She specializes in leadership, gender, nonprofit, diversity, qualitative research, and pedagogy, and her research has been published in numerous academic journals, book chapters, newspapers, and national newsletters.

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“This is an excellent text that fills a niche not currently addressed in the market. … This text is the most promising work I have reviewed in a l-o-n-g time. … A must read read for anyone who wants to make society a better place for everyone.”
Pat Arneson, Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Duquesne University

“This book fills a major literature gap for activism. The book provides context and application that helps the reader understand the past, reflection on self, and obtain tools for the future. The exposure to different social issues and lessons learned from activists is a major benefit. I think the book will influence student’s interest in learning and becoming activists.”
Laura D. Boren, Vice President for Student Engagement & Success, Georgia Southwestern State University

“This is a must read for young adults who are fed up with the social injustices and want to create change. Specifically, this text can teach privileged people how to be an ally and advocate and use your privilege to make this world a better place!”
Jennifer Martin Emami, Doctoral Candidate in Women's Studies, Texas Woman's University

“I am one of the people who needed this book. I contacted the author for advice in situations. I agree with the necessity of the book. … The book is easy to read and hard to put down. It gives step-by-step procedures to get started and how to overcome obstacles. … I could see this being a book students would actually read in class. … As a faculty member, sometimes I do not always know how to help students begin the next steps of their social justice steps. This book provides excellent details on how people feel during the process as well as actual steps to take to go through the process. The examples that were provided explained the history as well as current situations to help the reader have a better understanding of social justice.”
Kimberly M. Weismann, Associate Professor, Williston State College

“I wish this book was around when I was an undergraduate student. I heard many of the messages based on the courses I took, but having this text as a reference would have been helpful. The author is correct that no other books like this, not focused on one specific type of activism, currently exist. This is important work.”
Elaina M. Ross, Instructor of Media Studies, Northeastern State University

“I truly find this book to be an amazing resources and fun text to read. … This text provides a history and valuable direct application. The use of this text in the classroom will benefit students by opening their minds and giving them space to find their own voice and viewpoint. … Dr. Sanford presents a dynamic and engaging look into what it means to be an activist. Her inclusion of both history and application provide the reader countless moments of inspiration as well as the tools to put the desire to make change happen.”
Malynnda A. Johnson, Assistant Professor of Health Communication, Indiana State University

“I applaud Dr. Sanford’s goals for this book, and believe that such a book is long overdue. This book is written generally enough so that it will be a great fit for Dr. Sanford’s intended audience no matter what their discipline. I was especially impressed because it is clearly about social justice – unfettered by attachment to a particular discipline (sociology, labor rights, as examples) – but usable in a variety of academic disciplines and genres. Dr. Sanford’s book not only provides the necessary historic, cultural, and social contexts for this important work in social justice, but it serves as a step by step manual on how to get started in a social justice project. Activists and organizers will find this book a ‘must read.’”
Deborah Cunningham Breede, Professor of Communication, Media, and Culture, Coastal Carolina University

“Professor Aldridge Sanford has put together a primer on social justice and activism that will stand the test of time. She has judiciously synthesized a complex assortment of historical, sociological, and political information in a way that is both accessible and useful for undergraduate students. This text will be of interest to any instructor or reader committed to learning more about the theory and practice of activism in various forms. Her insights are thought-provoking, attractive, and straightforward. It makes for enjoyable scholarly reading and reminds us that social activism, competently exercised, entails a good deal of thought, reflection, and dialogical engagement.”
Justin D. Walton, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Cameron University

“I think that the idea behind the book is excellent. The goals of helping students to ‘feel less isolated’ and to learn how to ‘move from thought to action’ are very commendable. It is appropriate for this to come from a communication perspective since communication is fundamental to any social action.”
Alberto Gonzalez, Professor of Communication, Bowling Green State University

“I appreciate the passion behind the writer’s intentions and her overarching desire to provide students with a guide for getting more involved in civic life.”
Tabitha Hart, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, San Jose State University