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TIE Podcast Summer Session: Applying Social Justice Principles to Leisure Studies with NC State University’s Dr. Rasul Mowatt

Recorded on 08/19/2022
Posted in TIE Podcast

TIE Podcast · Applying Social Justice Principles to Leisure Studies with NC State University’s Dr. Rasul Mowatt

In this summer session episode, Dr. Rasul Mowatt, head of the department of parks, recreation, and tourism management at North Carolina State University, joins Toward Inclusive Excellence editor-in-chief Alexia Hudson-Ward to provide a DEIA perspective to leisure studies. In the conversation, Rasul describes the personal and professional path toward his research, which sits at the intersection between nature, leisure, and race. In particular, he highlights how his decision-making in previous city government roles centered social justice; essentially, understanding the oppression or injustices affecting a community leads to programs that better serve constituents and address root issues. Further, Rasul parses out how race impacts the occupancy of nature spaces, surfacing topics like policing, private property, and the development of public parks. Alexia and Rasul also discuss cultural memory, paying particular attention to signage, statues, and memorials in public places. To close, Rasul shares his recommendations for summer leisure, including travel for the sake of history—no park, bus stop, or sign is too small for exploration and understanding for the past.


Rasul Mowatt headshot

About the guest:

Dr. Rasul Mowatt is Head of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. He holds a PhD in Leisure Behavior, a Master of Science in Park and Natural Resource Management, and a Bachelor of Science in History – all from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

Part of Dr. Mowatt’s research centers upon critical cultural geography, with an emphasis on the compelling concept of the geographies of race and how these geographies can and should intersect with social justice efforts. He is the president of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, the co-editor of Leisure Sciences, and the founding editor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism in Public Health.

Dr. Mowatt is also an editorial board member of the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers and served on the Commission on Race and Gender Fairness for the Indiana Supreme Court. He recently published a book titled, The Geographies of Threat and the Production of Violence: The State and the City Between Us.


Episode theme music: Black is the Night by Jeris (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: DJ Vadim (djvadim), NiGiD


Learn more about Toward Inclusive Excellence:

The ongoing TIE Podcast series will feature provocative, in-depth conversations with important figures in the higher education community to help administrators and academic leaders understand racism from new perspectives and to promote racial justice on their campuses. 

Check out the Toward Inclusive Excellence blog, which covers issues related to racial and social justice and provides actionable resources for those in higher education and beyond.

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Interested in contributing to TIE? Send an email to Deb V. at Choice dvillavicencio@ala-choice.org with your topic idea.