ENC’s second annual Social Justice Day featured multiple events to promote advocacy for social justice.
Social Justice Day started with a delayed chapel, which featured Reverend Simon Pierre and Caritas Rwaramba—speakers who shared their experience as survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. Between both their chapel messages they spoke about the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation amidst the violence of the Rwandan Genocide.
Followed by chapel was an activity for students, faculty, and staff to engage as a whole. The activity included putting boxes in one another which showed “the labels we use to define people, and the differences we focus on,” all of which are “seeds of violence,” said Tara Brooke Watkins, member of ENC Way Committee and theatre artistic director.
Since last year’s Social Justice Day addressed four different issues, the ENC Way Committee wanted to focus on one issue that reflected the community.
“The ENC Way Committee is a volunteer committee of staff and faculty devoted to looking at what ENC’s way forward is and conversing about how to steer it in the direction it wants to go,” said Watkins.
This year’s theme was “seeds of violence.” The committee decided that the week’s activities should focus on how communities grow from seemingly peaceful groups to those committing genocide. With one theme, “the entire community [was able to] engage in it” according to Watkins.
“We should be doing something as important as classes” said Watkins on cancellation of classes for Social Justice Day. With no classes or work for faculty and staff, the ENC community was able to focus on the issues at hand, the seeds of violence.
Social Justice Week began on Monday the 18, no classes on Wednesday the 20 and ended with The Laramie Project. The ENC Theatre Department had showings of this play from February 21-23.