Student Movement for Peace and Social Justice
by Jacquelyn Poplawsky, Katie Kroll, Jennifer White, Meg Thomas
Our project was originally intended to bring awareness of social justice inequalities to the Southwestern campus. Though our events have not yet occurred, we plan to increase the campus awareness of such issues as hunger and poverty, fair trade campaigns, and fair labor laws. There are many avenues we could have explored, money permitting, and we have had to evaluate what methods will reach the most students at Southwestern. In our original proposal, we wanted to hold another summit with the high school students; however, that idea was not possible this year. We still plan to hold a week’s worth of events on campus, though, each educating the campus on issues of world importance.
We have been researching various organizations that fight world hunger and poverty, and understanding the intersection between poverty, hunger, fair labor laws, and death the world-over. We have come to realize that these issues are not only prevalent internationally, but are also issues in our own communities. To that end, we have designed a Hunger and Social Justice Awareness Week to be held April 10-16, 2003.
We will be set up in the commons each day (Thursday-Wednesday) with information regarding the Hunger Banquet and an issue of our choice. We will have t-shirts available for those who chose to learn about the issues, in exchange for canned goods, which will be donated to the Caring Place to help with their shortage of food. For two days, we will focus on issues of hunger and poverty both internationally and locally. One day will focus on fair labor laws and the globalization of the clothing industry. Another two days will be dedicated to a campaign for Fair Trade Coffee. We will have two carafes of coffee, one Fair Trade and the other regular coffee served in the commons. We will be having a taste test, much like the Pepsi/Coke taste tests which were so popular. Finally, we will end the week with the Hunger Banquet. Hopefully there will be 100 students/faculty who will participate. As they walk into the Banquet, each participant will draw a money bag, which will tell them their income bracket: high, middle, or low. Each bag will contain a characterization that will give them an identity. Everything is chance at the Banquet: sixteen participants will receive full course meals and eat in chairs at tables. Middle-income participants will have a chair, but no table space and a much lighter meal. Fifty participants, in the low-income group, will get rice and water to eat, and will sit on the floor. There will be a video shown, and participants will share their characterizations in an attempt to better understand how the issues of poverty and hunger affect people all over the world. All participants at the Hunger Banquet will receive a t-shirt, a packet of information regarding the issues we deal with over the week, and a square to add to the Hunger Quilt we will be hanging in the commons at the conclusion of the week.