- MSW, University of Georgia, 2012
- BA History, Georgia Southern University, 2007
Joel Izlar’s research focuses on the intersection between community organizing, social welfare, and mutual aid. He has a decade of experience in community organizing, and received a Bachelor’s in History, and a Masters in Social Work with a focus on Community Empowerment and Program Development. His background includes working as a community service coordinator for court mandated volunteers, a case manager with the food insecure, a program director of a meal assistance program serving low-income elders of color, a program director of a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the digital divide in low-income communities of color, as well as an organizer with a number of causes focused on direct action, poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, digital justice, environmental justice, and economic justice.
In 2017, Izlar received the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration’s Outstanding Doctoral Student Award for his exploration of “community-based solutions to deteriorating social cohesion and environmental injustice” and scholarship that is “positioned to offer a significant contribution to the theory and practice of functional community organizing in particular and community practice more generally.”
Most recently, Izlar served as a program coordinator for an emergency community shelter serving those experiencing homelessness. Izlar’s research interests include community organizing, social welfare, anti-authoritarian practice, feminist methods, and qualitative inquiry. Izlar believes that long-term, project-based community organizing that emphasizes autonomy and inclusion acts as a more reliable model for lasting social change than dominant models that emphasize top-down, short-term organizing.
Community organizing, grassroots organizations, glocalization, social welfare, mutual aid, ecosocial justice, environmental justice, feminist methods, qualitative research