Monday, October 28, 2013

27 Million

On Tuesday October 29th, Social Justice League will lead you through the heartbreaking and empowering stories of millions of people all around the world who are currently victims of the global slave trade. Join us for a personal experience like no other, and learn how you can become a modern abolitionist.

Open to the public. Moakley Auditorium, 7 pm

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Padre Melo -- Human Rights in Honduras

Monday, October 7
Science Lecture Hall -- Conant 120, 7:00 pm (Main appearance)
Library Lecture Hall, 12:20 pm (Bonus appearance)

Padre Melo, a Jesuit priest, is the director of Radio Progreso, a radio station that is a national leader in investigative reporting. Radio Progreso was shut down by the new government at the time of the coup in 2009, and has suffered military occupations since. He is also director of the Center for Reflection, Research, and Communication (ERIC-SJ), a think tank that conducts research and reports on societal trends and public opinion in Honduras.

Honduras has earned the title “Murder Capital of the World,” where according to the U.S. State Department, nine journalists have been killed and many more have been tortured or kidnapped, or have suffered death threats. As an outspoken critic of the 2009 coup d’├ętat and its aftermath, Padre Melo has been a target of death threats and has a bounty on his head. He is a strong and fearless speaker.

Padre Melo will speak of the human rights abuses occurring throughout Honduran society, and especially within his own journalistic world, and within campesino and indigenous communities. He will offer in-depth analysis into the systemic reasons for the continuing violence, impunity, and injustices, and illuminate the various impacts of The Drug War.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Diversity of GLBT Experience in Latin America

Pam & James Hayes-Bohanan
Wednesday, September 25
12:20 to 1:00 pm -- Library Lecture Hall
1:00 to 2:00 pm -- Pride Center, RCC
This presentation brings many of these passions together in one brief event. The first 40 minutes of the event will be a special lecture as part of James' course, GEOG 381: Geography of Latin America. Because the region includes about two dozen countries, the legal status of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) persons and relationships varies considerably, from outright bans to varying degrees of legal protection and recognition. The region is also home to many interesting social and political movements within GLBT communities, expressed in music, film, print, radio, and more. After a brief discussion of how the GLBT experience varies in Latin America, we will move with the entire audience to the Open House celebrating the new office space for BSU's Pride Center in the Rondileau Campus Center.

James and Pamela Hayes-Bohanan are long-time members of the BSU community. James is a professor of geography and Pamela a reference librarian and Spanish instructor. Both have been involved in the Latin American & Caribbean Studies program, serving as its coordinator at different times, and both have been involved in welcoming many campus visitors from around the world. Pam & James have also been active in helping to make BSU and the surrounding community a welcoming environment for all people, regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

A Portrait of the Global Classroom

SEDtalks (based on the world-renowned TEDtalks) is a series of innovative and thought-provoking anecdotes to improve your understanding of the full potential of global education. The talks will be given by students who understand the inequalities and differences of education systems all around the world because of their personal experiences in those systems or their expertise on the subject.

The event will also include thought-provoking discussion on how education can become better suited to make the next generation understand social issues.

This event is sponsored by Social Justice League with help from Sister Scholars, International Culture Club, Student Immigrant Movement, Free the Children, Jumpstart and FAM for Change.

Bridgewater State University 

Moakley Auditorium
Wednesday, September 25
7:00 PM

Open to the public

See the FB Events Page to RSVP (optional)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Connecting with SJL on LinkedIn

The Social Justice League is about making a difference in the world, of course. It is also a great way to build skills for a lifetime of making a difference -- as volunteers, professionals, and students. See the SJL page on LinkedIn to connect with fellow SJL students and alumni on a professional level.

Friday, August 9, 2013

SJL LinkedIn

SJL has been around long enough now that alumni members are starting to find out how the SJL experience translates into lifelong activism -- both professional and voluntary. Some are working in their own neighborhoods, some are working for international organizations, some are in graduate school, some are ...
You get the picture. Getting involved in human rights stays with a person. We have created a LinkedIn group for current members and alumni to connect on a professional level. (It is called an "alumni" group because that is the closest category LinkedIn has -- it is really just as much for SJL world-changers who are still students.)

Read more at the "Why LinkedIn" article, and share your own experience and insights.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A President's Note on Social Justice

Hi world-changers! Tony here. From the moment Andrew, Melissa, Amanda, Liz and I were elected as the new officers of SJL, our gears have been turning to make this year more progressive, meaningful and thought-provoking than ever before. And who could leave out the wonderful support we have been given so far by our new advisor, Mr. James Hayes-Bohanan. But we are not the core, heart or soul of SJL. What I mean by that is that we do not own social justice on this campus - we do not have the final say in every movement of progress and purpose that this organization makes just because we are the officers. In fact, our purpose is to serve the higher cause of social change, and we will work to our greatest ability to be sure that every last one of you gets the chance to have your say as to what needs to be done on this campus, this community, this nation, and this world.

That being said, I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being who you are. Every person who has supported us over the years deserves much more than recognition for the amount of work they put into making the world that much better, but because you are who you are, none of you ask for anything more than the satisfaction of knowing that you have done something for the good for the human race.

You see, social justice is not about being the best. It is not about being the savior of humanity. It is certainly not a call to arms or for violent protest. Though many people view it differently, there is one thing that it will always be: LOVE.

We strive for peace in this world, and it brings us together; to love. We strive for Equality. Purpose. Freedom. Whatever it is you equate justice with, it will always come down to that one word, and it could not be more simple. Our purpose is to be the essence of love for those who have none. I am not speaking of a religion, a flurry in the heart or a romantic interest, but rather of a greater truth that we cannot live without.

So if you're willing to join us in our quest to spread equality, justice, understanding, purpose, peace, and love, then I welcome you. It will never be an easy road, but we have made it this far, together.

Peace & Love,
Tony Winters

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Social Justice Pedagogy

Hello, SJL community! In recent weeks I have been asked to step up my social-justice game in a couple of significant ways, which I have found very humbling. It is not a game of course; it is important work. But doing good work with good people in support of human rights is more rewarding than any game.

Most readers of this space will have already heard of the first challenge. As Dr. Jonathan White has moved with some reluctance on to Bentley University, the leadership of SJL has asked me to serve as advisor to the organization. I will never be able to mentor and advise in the way that JWhite so ably did. I take the trust placed in me very seriously, though, and have already begun to work with the excellent leaders of SJL to ensure that the group continues to build on its proud legacy at BSU and in the world beyond.

This blog was not my idea, but those who know me well know that blogging has become a way of life for my family. I think blogging by SJL leaders (that means officers and others who take on significant responsibilities) can be used to communicate more effectively about the ideas and ideals of SJL as well as to provide richer detail about projects and events, in a way that is easy to share through social media.

Shortly before this transition, I was approached by a colleague in the Geography Department -- Professor Phil Birge-Liberman (a BSU graduate, by the way), who suggested that we write a proposal for a summer institute to help other faculty members to integrate social justice into their teaching. This proposal was for a track to be offered in the high-profile Summer Institute that has become a recent tradition at the end of each summer at BSU, with considerable financial support from the university.

We were very pleased to be one of only two pedagogy tracks selected for the institute this August, and look forward to work with sixteen faculty members, including full-time and part-time instructors from more than a dozen departments. We will share with them some of our insights, but are most interested in what we will learn, as these educators grapple with how to approach matters of social justice in the context of their own teaching goals and style, and from the perspective of each discipline.

I am including the list of professors below, without anything specific about the goals of each professor, simply to let students know just how broad interest in this subject is on our campus.

Heidi Bean, English
Jessica Birthisel, Communication Studies
Fernanda Ferreira, Foreign Languages
Joshua Irizarry, Anthropology
Jonghyun Lee, School of Social Work
Karen Lema, Special Education/Lang. Disorders
Deniz Zeynep Leuenberger, Political Science
Ronald Maribett, Geography
Khadija Monk, Criminal Justice
Melissa Santos, English
Yasar Say, Anthropology
Ellen Scheible, English
Jonathan Shirland, Art/Art History
Lidia Silveira, Special Ed./TESOL
Jerry Steinhofer, Philosophy
Lisa Troy, Theater

With these discussions taking place in August, the fall semester promises to be one of many new ideas!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Blog, New Schedule & NEW SJL!

Hello friends, and welcome to the new blog! Last year, Social Justice League tried to start a newsletter which would inform our readers of social issues affecting the world. Unfortunately, this effort fell through after a few successful attempts, as we did not have enough contributors due to the college students' very busy schedule. Therefore, the 2013-2014 officers decided to make a frequently-updated blog instead! So here it is.

This year, Social Justice League's schedule is going to revolve around monthly themes, as follows:

September - Global Education
October - Slavery & Human Trafficking
November - Hunger & Homelessness
December/January - Self Expression
February - Fair Trade
March - Gender & Sexuality
April - Environment

So as you may have guessed, we will be hosting one major event per month which will focus directly on the issues that we will be blogging, campaigning and starting discussions about! More information on those events will come soon. Also, Stay tuned for a huge announcement about what we will be doing to wrap up the year!

So all in all, SJL is going to be bigger and better than ever. Let's make a difference, and remember who we're doing it for!

Tony Winters