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Manuscript deadline
25 January 2021

Cover image - Research in Human Development

Research in Human Development

Special Issue Editor(s)

Karen L. Suyemoto, University of Massachusetts, Boston
[email protected]

Roxanne A. Donovan, Kennesaw State University
[email protected]

Lizabeth Roemer, University of Massachusetts, Boston
[email protected]

Alissa L. Hochman, Haverford College
[email protected]

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Developing and Fostering Ally and Accomplice Action: A Lifelong Developmental Process to Advance Social Justice from Privileged Positionality

Developing and Fostering Ally and Accomplice Action: A Lifelong Developmental Process to Advance Social Justice from Privileged Positionality

Guest Editors: Karen L. Suyemoto, Roxanne A, Donovan, Lizabeth Roemer, Alissa L. Hochman

Resisting oppression and advancing social justice require committed action not only from people experiencing oppression, but also from individuals benefiting from systemic privilege. Research has shown that effective action from individuals acting for justice from a position of privilege usually emerges from a personally transformative foundation established through a process of unlearning dominant cultural messages, developing cognitive and affective empathy for experiences of oppression, engaging in reflexivity on personal positionality, and cycling through iterations of attempted action and accountability for these actions and related effects. This process is cyclical, continuous, and ever-deepening across the life span. Studies have also shown that relationships across difference beginning in childhood and throughout the lifespan play a significant role in the developmental process that is required of allies. Thus, the development of allies and accomplices from privileged spaces is often related to the fostering of allies by oppressed peoples, although this is much less discussed in the literature.

This special issue of Research in Human Development focuses on the processes of ally and accomplice development and fostering allyship across the lifespan. Such an issue is critical in and reflective of this moment in the U.S. when racial oppression is in the spotlight and action for justice is at the forefront. As more White people are seeing the effects of oppression, many are unsure how to support the movement toward justice, often turning to friends and colleagues of color for guidance and advice. This not only creates added burden and emotional labor for People of Color, but is also contrary to the developmental process of allyship in the extant literature, which emphasizes transformative learning and personal and relational accountability.

To address the needs of the current moment, this special issue aims to:

  1. Illuminate the complex processes and nuances of developing and fostering ally and accomplice action across the lifespan
  2. Offer models and resources for those seeking to advance ally and accomplice action and deepen engagement in social justice resistance
  3. Highlight the complexity, challenges, and rewards of relational processes in ally and accomplice development
  4. Engage the transformative learning, personal accountability, and authentic relationships related to the development and fostering of effective ally and accomplice action embodying relational and procedural justice

We invite authors to challenge themselves and readers to think outside the box, enter courageous conversations, and take risks to be vulnerable and imperfect (as these processes inevitably are). These aims and hopes are reflected in the grounding article for this issue available here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15427609.2020.1825905

Articles in this special issue will be primarily empirical studies, including a range of disciplines and methodologies and address experiences across the lifespan. Empirical approaches could include (but are not limited to) qualitative, quantitative, mixed-method data approaches, case studies, autoethnographies, oral histories, curricular presentation and evaluation of classroom dynamics or effects, or media analyses. We also seek to highlight ally and accomplice development and experience across the lifespan, which is particularly important given that the majority of research on ally development is focused on limited developmental and environmental contexts (i.e., college students and psychotherapy trainees). We also welcome exploration of ally and accomplice action across contextual time (e.g., from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s to the present day, or from abolition during times of chattel slavery to the current abolition movement).

We are especially interested in papers that emphasize complications, nuances, relational dynamics, and intersectional influences on ally and accomplice development, going beyond more simple descriptions of the influences on ally and accomplice development. Examples of paper foci might include:

  • Papers addressing perspectives and experiences of individuals experiencing oppression who engage in the fostering of allies (e.g., People of Color fostering White allies and accomplices).
  • Papers addressing perspectives and experiences of individuals who hold intersectional statuses of oppression and privilege, in development or fostering development as allies and accomplices, such as exploration of coalition building between White lesbian, bisexual, and trans women and Black heterosexual and cisgender women.
  • Papers exploring more complex, nuanced, and non-binary positionalities in relation to privilege and oppression and the effects on ally and accomplice development, such as relationships between Black and Asian peoples or between LGB and TQ peoples.
  • Papers exploring ally and accomplice development or experience within unexpected contexts, such as allies within law enforcement addressing anti-Blackness.
  • Papers exploring lifespan ally development and experience in childhood or adolescence, such as an exploration of parenting practices for developing foundations of ally understandings, awareness, or action in children; a case study of teaching about or fostering ally development in children K-12; or an article discussing how current children's books may be developed or used for early childhood ally development.
  • Papers exploring lifespan ally and accomplice development and experience in later adulthood, such as a paper examining experiences of late adult allies' and accomplices' engagement in the Black Lives Matter movement, or a paper from a late adulthood perspective reflecting on how relational experiences and processes of fostering allies and accomplices have changed across the lifespan.

The guest editors welcome questions from authors: Karen Suyemoto <[email protected]>, Roxanne Donovan [email protected], Lizabeth Roemer [email protected], Alissa Hochman <[email protected]>

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Submission Instructions

Articles should be no more than 30 pages including abstract and references.

Select "special issue title” when submitting your paper to ScholarOne

Please note that this issue is on an expedited timeline. Full and polished articles will be reviewed as received and early submissions are welcome. We anticipate a two to four week review process, followed by an author revision period of two to four weeks.

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