We laughed. We cried. We (well, some of us) danced.
We shared. We trusted. We learned…together…some important and difficult things.
None of us will forget that day, or stop feeling grateful for what we learned about ourselves, about each other, and about social justice issues such as those related to race, religion, sexual identity and other cultural identifiers.
By “us,” I mean the twenty-five students and ten faculty members who attended last Saturday’s Social Justice Leadership Summit (SJLS) in the St. Luke’s Commons. Skillfully and sensitively led by Stephanie Bramlett, who was ably supported by Grant Russell, the summit brought participants together around activities and case studies that deepened our awareness, strengthened our capacity and commitment to oppose injustice, and fostered trusting relationships across the perceived barriers of race, ethnicity, religion, identity, gender, age and power.
I did not know what to expect when I signed on to attend the summit, or even when I walked in. But I walked away with something special – in my head and in my heart. I saw adults and adolescents engaged in ways moving and profound, creating a memory both beautiful and uplifting. In more than thirty years as an educator, I have never participated in an event that built as much trust, or inspired as much faith and hope as the SJLS.
Special thanks to Dr. Bramlett and Mr. Russell, and to every student and faculty member who participated in what will become a much anticipated annual event.