The topic of social justice seems to be on the minds of many right now. But what exactly is social justice? Is it economic equality, social privilege, institutional privilege and equality? What do these topics mean to the individual? These are difficult questions that perhaps do not have one definitive answer. Perhaps the topic of social justice is so murky because we are still in the process of understanding and defining it. Perhaps social justice is illusory because we are often blinded by our position within society and it is difficult if not impossible to understand another’s position.
The Social Justice Network at Saint Joseph’s University hopes to create spaces where these topics can be discussed in a calm and respectful way. Our country is experiencing a divisive period of political divide and it has even reached our campus at SJU. The SJN is geared toward graduate and adult students and hopes to provide these students with outlets for communication. Given the busy schedules of graduate and adult learners, the Social Justice Network is working to provide various means of opportunities to get involved. We will be hosting a discussion series on campus based on feedback from a survey sent out at the end of the Fall 2016 semester. We are also looking for students to contribute to a student-run blog, and we will be hosting a discussion board on Blackboard for online students. Lastly, we are working to organize volunteer opportunities.
The most important goal we are working toward is to encourage constructive, respectful conversation on topics that can be contentious. Democracy requires compromise and discussion is a great place to start understanding the compromises that must be made. Get involved with the Social Justice Network today to be a part of these important discussions and community outreach programs.