Opinion

What does Social Justice look like?

With the many changes on ENC’s campus, one major goal ENC has stated is to be a college that works and strives to promote Social Justice, but what exactly does that mean? Throughout the past couple of years, ENC has worked to incorporate more conversations about what Social Justice is and what it looks like, but talking about it is simply not enough.

ENC has tried to develop a community of social justice promotion, but there is still a lack of participation among students. A student group recently did a study on ENC student participation in events that promote social justice, and found that an overwhelming majority of students choose to never participate in events that ENC tries so hard to promote and encourage. This begs the question of if ENC is really doing enough.

During my recent trip to Ferguson, Missouri, the Fusion Team and I were able to meet with several different clergy who have been active, as well as those who still are active in fighting for social justice in Ferguson. The most powerful and profound thing that I learned during my time there is that the clergy’s role was not to silence the people who were marching in the streets and protesting, but instead listening, empathizing and standing in between the people and the cops to prevent people from getting injured. These clergy men and women used their privilege to walk along side those who were deemed ‘troublesome’ by the outside world.

This is what we should be preparing our students to do.

To fight for social justice means to be uncomfortable and to let God impact and change your heart in the process. As I leave ENC, my hopes are that more complex conversations come up and become a topic of discussion. For example, what does it mean to be a person of the LGBTQ community and practicing faith? How can we learn more about immigration and what to do to reform it? How can we address intersectional ties within the conversation of feminism? How can ‘All Lives Matter’ if ‘Black Lives’ don’t?

God truly has a place for the students that are at ENC, and I believe that these places are in some of the most challenging neighborhoods, businesses, reforming policies, or even within the arts. However, until we put action to our words, work in the areas of our neighborhoods, and listen to the voices that we have silenced, we will not know what fighting for social justice looks like.

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