Dr. Xhercis (Sir-Sis) Méndez, is associate professor and Vice-Chair of Women and Gender Studies and Queer Studies, as well as a founding member of the Collective for Justice, Equity and Transformation (CoJET) at Cal State University Fullerton. Prior to Fullerton, she was an assistant professor of Philosophy and African American and African Studies at Michigan State University where she founded The Transformative Justice (TJ) Project, in 2017 in the aftermath of the Larry Nassar Case. Her writings on this case, “Beyond Nassar: A Transformative Justice and Decolonial Feminist Approach to Campus Sexual Assault,” and beyond such as, “Notes Toward a Decolonial Feminist Methodology: Revisiting the Race/Gender Matrix” form part of the theoretical foundations that inform her approaches to addressing harm for a diverse range of survivors.
The TJ Project offers consultation and facilitation services to higher ed institutions seeking an intersectional and transformative justice approach to building healthy and harm-free educational environments. As a consultant she works with faculty, staff, students, administrators, leadership teams, and academic units to identify the root causes of harm, such as microaggressions, relationship violence, and campus sexual assault, to create actionable pathways towards accountability and healing. Her approach often includes culture change work and building on and with the local resources available to provide support, toolkits, and adaptable accountability models that are survivor-centered and trauma-informed.
Outside of the academy, she works with various community organizations and serves as a consultant, facilitator, and strategist to organizations seeking to address systemic harm, racism, and antiblackness. She is a first-generation graduate, and the child of Puerto Rican factory workers who lives to inspire the next generation of believers that “a better world is possible.”