Center for Crime, Equity, and Justice Research and Policy

Hampton Roads Social Justice Conference

Society’s most pressing challenges – from racial justice to COVID-19 to climate change and far beyond – have profound implications for creating a more equitable and socially just future for all. Yet all too frequently people and groups from different sectors working on similar issues never have the opportunity for meaningful conversation and interaction with others working on similar justice- and equity-related issues.

In order to facilitate deeper interdisciplinary and cross-sector dialogue, the Center for Crime, Equity, and Justice Research and Policy and the Hampton Roads Christian Community Development Network will cohost the first annual Hampton Roads Social Justice Conference on April 11-12, 2022 at Christopher Newport University.

The goal of this conference is to bring together researchers, policy makers, nonprofit organizations, community activists, business leaders, the faith community and all others from across Virginia who are working on pressing social justice issues in our region.

The conference will be organized around six tracks as shown below, followed by potential topics for workshops, panels and presentations.

  • Criminal Justice: justice reform, policing, courts, mass incarceration, the carceral system, re-entry
  • Economic Justice: minimum/living wage, gender and racial income gaps, the racial wealth gap, workforce development and training, retirement
  • Education: unequal access to education and educational resources; discrimination based on race, gender identity and sexuality; school-to-prison pipeline; challenges faced by children of justice-involved parents
  • Environmental Justice: unequal distribution of environmental risks and benefits, air quality, urban heat, flooding and sea level rise, infrastructure, access to green space
  • Housing: eviction, redlining, racial segregation and discriminatory lending practices, unhoused populations
  • Human Health: physical and mental health, access to affordable health care, health inequality, social determinants of health, ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic

Proposals are currently being accepted for three different types of 75-minute sessions:

  1. Workshops are organized by a single individual, group or organization, and are intended to educate the audience and orient them toward action. Workshop proposals should describe the topic, provide a brief outline of the workshop, highlight the action-oriented components and provide a brief biographical overview of the organizing individual, group, or organization.
  2. Panels/Roundtable Discussions are intended to bring people with a variety of experiences and areas of expertise to engage in a lively and constructive discussion on a particular topic. Proposals can be submitted as a full panel/roundtable (identifying the topic, moderator and 2-5 panelists) OR by individuals interested in participating as a panelist (identifying topic(s) of interest and what perspective(s) that individual could bring to the discussion).
  3. Short presentations are similar to academic conference papers or mini-TED talks: engaging, informative presentations of about 15 minutes each. Proposals may be submitted as a full presentation session with 2-3 presenters, or as a single presentation, which will be placed into an appropriate session by the conference organizing committee (500-word abstract for each presentation).

Proposals should be submitted via the following link:

Date Details
January 5, 2022 Deadline for submission of abstracts
January 14, 2022 Submission acceptance be sent via email
February 18, 2022 Deadline for all participants to register for conference
April 11-12, 2022 Conference

Please email questions and inquiries to Dr. Steven Keener, director, Center for Crime, Equity, and Justice Research and Policy ( and/or Charles Cheek, Hampton Roads CCD Network coordinator (

  • Conference Hotel: Newport News Marriott at City Center
  • Start Date: Sunday, April 10, 2022
  • End Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2022
  • Last Day to Book: Sunday, March 13, 2022
  • Conference Rate: $96.00 per night plus taxes and fees

Individuals may call (866) 329-1758 and ask for the Social Justice Conference in order to book rooms as well.

The Hampton Roads Social Justice Conference seeks to foster a diverse and inclusive atmosphere where all voices are welcomed and can fully participate in this important dialogue. To that end, we strongly encourage submissions from women, people of color and other groups who have been historically excluded from academia, government and other positions of power.

There will also be a prominently featured exhibit gallery. Please email for more information about reserving space in the exhibit hall.

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