SOCIAL JUSTICE GROUP SEEKS POSITIVE CHANGE.
There’s a new movement on campus. Not a club. A Collective.
The Social Justice Collective (SJC) is a group dedicated to seeking equity and social justice in the SCC community, filled with people from different disciplines coming together for a common cause.
Members of the Collective just held an open house which was attended by upwards of fifty students and over a dozen faculty members. The Collective also garnered 46 signatures of potential new members. Green t-shirts bearing the slogan “You Are Safe Here” were handed out in droves.
At the open house, the SJC dedicated an “Idea Wall” to giving students a voice. Post-it notes peppered the wall with concerns that students would like to see addressed at SCC. Some of the notes read: “women’s center,” “support for students in transitional housing,” “mental health awareness,” “micro-aggressions” and “closing the achievement gap.”
According to the co-facilitator of the SJC and communications studies faculty member Elena Esquibel, the “Idea Wall” is one of the places where the Collective will mine for issues to tackle over the coming months.
“Being as it’s a new group, I think we are going to come up with new ideas,” she said.
She would like to collaborate with administrators as well as students.
“Everyone should feel heard, should have a place to be heard,” said Cheri Coleman, a second-year student at SCC who attended the open house event.
As a newcomer to the SJC, she hopes to see experiences through other people’s eyes. “I hope to gain a deeper understanding on how to be more productive in my community,” she said.
“Students have been targeted for being Muslim or transgender,” said DuValle Daniel, SCC English teacher and president of the SCC Federation of Teachers. “We have some things in place, but they’re scattered. Things that happen in departments are so isolated from each other.”
SCC student Mideum Hur sees some limitations in some faculty members’ ability to recognize and welcome individuals with non-binary gender identities.
Hur, who prefers gender-neutral pronouns, wanted to get resources from the SJC on how to address the problem.
“I can sense that they don’t know what to do with my identity,” they said.
Daniel views part of the group’s duty as finding the right speakers to come to SCC. The cauldron of ideas and viewpoints within the collective helps to weed out potentially offensive speakers in lieu of ones that would be helpful, invigorating and positive.
The SJC is not a club, as it is run not by students but by faculty and staff. Despite this, students are the focus.
For students who don’t already know about all of the social injustices facing society, having venerable hands at the helm could provide more guidance. And for students who already know how to get involved, this is the place for you, too. What the group wants is to create a support system for the SCC community.
“I want the campus to know that if there’s an equity and social justice issue on campus, this is a group that you can reach out to and find support,” Esquibel said.
The plan is for the SJC to meet a few times a month, and their first meeting will take place from 3-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 in Room 9202.
And, if you notice someone wearing one of the green t-shirts, they could be a good resource for learning more about the Collective.
By CJ Priebe,