What is social justice?Our group spends a lot of time thinking and talking about this question, because it's complicated and important. Definitions matter: what we understand social justice to be shapes what actions we take to bring it about.
Broadly speaking, a just society is an equitable one: it’s a place where every citizen has a fair share of resources and the chance to be heard.
We’ve defined five key values that help us understand what social justice means to us. We value
- social connectedness
- equitable environments
- community partners
- equitable practice
- and experiential learning
Who are we?Our Advisory Committee is made up of students, staff, and faculty at Lambton College, as well as interested community members. We meet once each term or so to check in about our ongoing work and to plan for what's next.
I'm Erica Kelly, an English Professor here at the college and the Project Lead at the Centre for Social Justice, and I'll be the one writing most of these posts. I'm always happy to ask questions or hear ideas or comments about our work, so please feel free to email.
What do we do?Our mission is to “create environments to advocate, connect and participate; to nourish equitable systems and relationships on campus and in our community.”
For us, this means encouraging connections among community members whenever we can.
Our students participate in many activities that could be understood as acts of social justice.
This semester, we’ve organized a series of fall "lunch-and-learns." We're calling them "Community Conversations" because the idea behind them is to encourage connections between members of our community and to celebrate some of the wonderful diversity at Lambton. These lunches are co-facilitated by students who share with us their own experiences.
So far, we’ve held two lunchtime conversations: our first featured Sarah, a student who identifies as transgendered and who shared the story of her journey with us; our second featured a panel of CICE students—Brooke, Tiffany, Cody, Kylee, and Vanessa—who told us about what Lambton’s Community Integration through Cooperative Education program has meant for them. For our November lunch, we're teaming up with Ruth Drewitt, a Lambton professor who organizes LINC’s Intercultural Award, to host a panel of international students, each of whom will tell us about what life at Lambton has been like so far. The series will continue in to the winter months, so stay tuned for what's next.
What else do we do?We try our best to support any social justice activities and initiatives that we see others organizing around our community. From the “Stand Up Against Poverty” rally, organized by the
Sarnia Lambton Poverty Reduction Network, to Wear Orange day, an annual day to draw awareness to the legacy of Canadian residential schools, to the upcoming Global Diversity Summit: we try to spread the word about these events and offer whatever help we can.
How can you get involved?We're a diverse group, and we have a lot of projects on the go, often all at once. We always need more people! If you'd like to meet more folks around the college and the community while volunteering your time to work for positive change, please join us! Send an email (you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by (I'm on the college campus in E202-7).
Do you have an issue you're passionate about? Do you have an idea for how the Lambton College community might change things for the better? If so, please let us know. Leave a comment here or send me an email.
-Erica Kelly, Project Lead, Centre for Social Justice