Social Justice at St.Luke’s

Over the weekend St. Luke’s hosted its 3rd annual Social Justice Leadership Summit, where St. Luke’s students spend most of their day learning and talking about prevalent social justice issues. For those of you who don’t know what social justice is, (which is probably a lot of people because it’s a pretty vague term), it is defined by Wikipedia as “the fair and just relation between the individual and society”. So, essentially at SJLS, participants play games and have discussion about elements of society that cause discrimination or inequality.
These topics range from race to ability to religion. The summit is divided into two groups of first time attendees and people who have previously attended the summit. The groups come together during certain points in 13 hours long day. In my personal opinion, it all went by way too fast because of the impeccable organization by Dr. Bramlett and other facilitators.
Both groups were further divided into core groups of about 7 people. These became our families for the day. My core group (shout out to Team Thomas) got over the initial awkwardness of being thrown into a group with random peers within the first 10 minutes. This year’s summit had more of an emphasis on the topics of religion and mental health, two topics that seem to be woefully ignored at St. Luke’s. Each participant of the summit had to abide by established community norms, such as “lean into discomfort” and “listen, listen, listen, and process.” There are so many terrific activities in the summit that leave every attendee feeling better about themselves and closer to their fellow human.
There were four action plans introduced during the summit: a more diverse curriculum with authors from identities other than white heterosexual males, a larger SJLS for the middle school, improvements on the policies dealing with mental health in the St. Luke’s community, and finally improvements to kindness in the lunchroom. The group proposing kindness in the cafeteria made an announcement during Town Meeting on Monday promoting kindness to the Flik staff by cleaning up better after ourselves.
Some questioned how cleaning up the lunch room connected to social justice. It was pointed out by one of the facilitators and students that there is a certain area of the cafeteria that is more dirty than others. One facilitator said that it embarrassed him to have the kitchen staff pick up after students. This connects to social justice because, by leaving our plates on the table for maintenance or Flik staff to pick up, students are essentially treating the staff like their servants. Although it is mostly laziness, it looks to others that the students feel they are superior to those who work hard at the school.
Hopefully, there will be more effects of this amazing summit coming in the next few months. I will rest my case by encouraging you to think about this, what is it about this event that makes such a diverse group of people want to come back every year? Just a thought…

 

Claire Wilson, Staff Writer

Posted by on February 3, 2016. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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