Joel Izlar (born 1984) (He/Him) is an American community practitioner, social scientist, researcher, and educator with a transdisciplinary background rooted in ecosocial community work. He began his work organizing communities in the United States Deep South around addressing the glocalized ecosocial problems of pollution, waste, poverty, inequality, and community disempowerment and atomization.
His PhD dissertation, “If We Just Plant the Seed”: Community Technology Centers, Community Organization, and Ecosocial Justice, explored how such issues were addressed in a community technology center, as well as the challenges and accomplishments in organizing glocally. The study findings also contributed to an expansion of community organizing theory.
While Izlar’s areas of interest are rooted in community practice, they often interlink and transcend disciplines. His topic areas primarily include community work; organizing communities; ecosocial justice; social welfare, mutualism (mutual aid), direct action, and direct services; radical social theory; post-social work; social ecology; and social critique.
His current work explores how ecosocial functional communities concurrently operate as forms of mutualism, social welfare and care, community practice, organizing, direct services, and direct action in the 21st Century.