Welcome to the Gender Justice Initiative

The Gender Justice Initiative (GJI) is led by Dr. Jessica Shaw of the Community and Prevention Research Program in the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

The GJI aims to use research and evaluation to improve systems that respond to and interface with those affected by gender-based violence. We believe research gains much of its value in its ability to inform policy and practice, and that for it to be used in this way it must be relevant to policymakers and practitioners in the first place. We partner with practitioners, policymakers, and other community members to identify knowledge gaps and understand their informational needs, and then design research and evaluation projects accordingly. Our work is informed by a strong commitment to social justice and action, and we pay particular attention to the ways in which gender-based violence disproportionately impacts some individuals and communities. Through our research, we hope to continue to challenge and combat structural oppression.

To guide our work, members of the Gender Justice Initiative research team abide by a shared set of values and priorities. It is through these values that we ground our work with communities. We invite those we work and interact with to adapt and live by these values and shared priorities too. 

  1. We believe survivors.
  2. We reject the lie of white supremacy.
  3. We commit to anti-oppressive work.
  4. We commit to expanding our thinking on how to reach liberation.
  5. Individuals and communities know best what they need.
  6. Individuals and communities are experts in their own lived experiences and are in control of their own narratives.
  7. Individuals and communities are in control of if, what, and how they share pieces of themselves, their histories, and their identities.
  8. Social science is a tool to achieve social justice.
  9. We bear witness.
  10. Gender-based violence is a form of structural violence that results from and serves to maintain oppression. We can end gender-based violence. We can achieve liberation.