The last two years we were forced to transform our realities, to adjust our lives and innovate as educators, as human beings, in ways we might not have thought possible. We innovated even while so many around us and around the world, sometimes those we loved, transitioned, were hospitalized or were in despair, directly affected by the pandemic. Much has been written about the impact of this sudden forced transformation on our schools, our pedagogies, our mental health, technology, our health care system the list goes on. The pandemic, how we were forced to adjust to it, irrevocably changed how we live and who we are. Still, many choose to hold on to the hope that we will “return to normal.” We, however, argue that our normal will never be what we once knew, and we embrace that tension and our new realities. In the chaos of our current moment, grief, joy, and healing are intertwined and are generating a novel form of critical praxis and ways of being.  

We recognize that while our existence has been in turmoil, our humanity, and our ability to find joy and heal and be intentional in our experiences persisted. In this inaugural volume of In Dialogue/ En Diálago, we want to honor the messiness that comes with this transformation. We want to honor the seeds we planted, the roots that have begun to grow and the sprouts we wish to cultivate. Tarc (2020) for example, asks us to think about, “online environment and the shutdown of face-to-face (f2f) classrooms as a condition that represents a new vantage for thinking, and particularly so for re-imagining and perhaps re-visioning f2f pedagogies” (pg. 121). Valdovinos, Rodriguez-Coss & Parekh (2020) explore “how ancestral/indigenous knowledge provides us with ways to persist, transform, and heal during these moments.” Within this context, critical scholars urge us to abolish traditional understandings of “socioemotional learning” and strive for complete humanization, inside and outside of schools. “The socially toxic stress from all forms of state-sanctioned dehumanization is further compounded by the Coronavirus global pandemic, inequitable access to health care and testing, and growing wealth inequality…Humanization confronts the systemically imposed, colonial, and dehumanizing consciousness that oftentimes manifests itself in students through manufactured self- hate, divide-and-conquer, and suboppression if it teaches students knowledge (and love) of self, solidarity, and self-determination” (Camangian & Cariaga, 2021, pg. 2). Expanding this thinking into the community and beyond what is traditionally thought of as educational stakeholders, Whitehead & Torossian (2021) explore how older adults’ experienced stresses, joy, and comfort during the pandemic and found that “most of the sources of joy and comfort that emerged include[ed] social support, faith, hobbies, and exercise/self-care” (pg. 44).  In this call, we encourage authors to contribute to these conversations from their contexts and perspectives. Sustaining dialogue/diálogo about grief, innovation, joy, healing, and uncertainty (amongst other topics) is critical not only to support one another, but to also generate new ways of being and doing in and out of our educational contexts.

Some topics authors might consider:

  • Joy, grief, healing in the context of forced innovation
  • Reflections on joy/healing amidst grief, despair, and uncertainty
  • Pedagogies of joy/healing
  • Messiness of healing – how and why we sit with the mess
  • From turmoil to healing and joy –transformations & seeds that emerged from this experience that we want to continue to cultivate

Some questions authors might consider:

  • What does joy look like now in your position (teacher, leader, counselor, staff, student, community member, etc.)?
  • What are people doing to heal? What types of healing still need to take place in our contexts?
  • What are we grateful for now that perhaps was not so obvious before? How has two years of overwhelming grief heightened our gratitude?
  • How have we been transformed in our particular roles/contexts and from our unique perspectives?
  • How are we humanizing each other in our contexts? Where or in what ways do we need more intentional humanizing practices?
  • What are some seeds planted, transformations/ innovations that had to be made during these times of grief and turmoil that we want to continue to cultivate and foster?
  • How can our “new normal” in our contexts center joy and healing?

Submissions Open: March 21 – August 5, 2022

To submit, go to:

Contact: Yesenia Fernández or Jen Stacy, Editors

                  College of Education

                  California State University Dominguez Hills