BY DEVYN KING
From Monday March 25 to Friday March 29, Sacred Heart University held Social Justice week, sponsored by the Office of Mission and Catholic Identity.
Social Justice is based on the concept of human rights and equality.
According to the Pachama Alliance, “by the mid-20th century, social justice had expanded from being primarily concerned with economics to include other spheres of social life to include the environment, race, gender, and other causes and manifestations of inequality”.
In collaboration with La Hispanidad, clubs and organizations on campus held events throughout the week giving students a chance to get involved and learn about social justice issues. On Monday March 25, events took place in the 63’s hallway and were put on by the Veg, La Hispanidad, and Green SHU, organizations on campus.
La Hispanidad’s Co-President, senior Rachel Vogt said this year’s social justice week theme is activism, which was chosen due to the important role it plays in in today’s climate and society.
“Social Justice Week is extremely important to me as a social work major,” said Vogt. “As social workers we fight social justice issues and advocate on our clients’ behalf for equal opportunities, wealth, and privilege.”
On Tuesday March 26, an event called Blessed Are the Pure of Heart, For They Shall See God took place at Hall House at 3:00-6:30 p.m. Students were able to attend this event off campus.
On Wednesday, March 27 evening, Campus Ministry put on a Paint and Pray night at the Edgerton Art gallery, where students socialized, listened to music, and painted on their personal canvases discussing various topics involving social justice.
In the beginning of the event just before painting began, senior Erin Curley, Campus Ministry member, spoke about Social Justice week and its relation to their theme of the night, Corporal Works of Mercy. These works include: Feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, and burying the dead.
Students then discussed how these works played a role in their personal lives.
“To me social justice means going out into the community with an open heart and an open mind, and really embracing the meaning what social justice is,” said sophomore Julia Antonacci, Campus Ministry member.
According to Annie Wendel, Assistant Director of The Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, SHU offers a chance for students to continue staying involved outside of Social Justice week through weekly volunteer opportunities like serving in local food pantries, working with students in local schools, and assisting individuals in living centers.
“Social justice week is important because at the heart of our university, our core values recognize the dignity and worth of every human being and promote the common good of society,” said Wendel.