The SoJust Forum presented a plethora of contacts, opportunities and information about social justice as part of an ongoing effort to create an informal network between Brandeis social justice activists and alumni. Roughly 35 organizations/groups were represented. There was open discussion amongst tables before and after an almost hour long panel discussion. Other details are available from packets prepared for the event containing the schedule and list of who was there.
One major theme, however, was the specialness of Brandeis as a beacon of social justice amongst colleges. Recounting why he chose Brandeis, alumni Andrew Slack said that he was told by his mentor, “Harvard is the boat…. Brandeis rocks the boat.”
Here are details of two randomly chosen organizations and their representatives that I talked to.
Doug of Prospect Hill Academy:
Prospect Hill Academy is a K to 12 public school whose pupils are chosen by a blind lottery. It was founded in 1996 by parents disillusioned with the quality of public schools and has grown since to 1200 students (approximately 100 per grade). The school hopes to give as many students as possible from areas with poor schools the quality of a good suburban high school. Doug is an art teacher there, actively working to make a difference in children’s lives. The school welcomes visitors and recruits new teachers, as well as working with student teachers to help them enter the career path.
Lauren of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Spaulding Rehab Center:
Lauren took a rather interesting route to becoming a doctor. She was interested in performing art, and went to Gambia as part of a program that used art for conflict resolution. Her time in Gambia “opened her eyes” to the world and the struggles faced by peoples outside America. She went to medical school, during which she took part in projects in China, Ecuador and Nicaragua, then during her residency went to Guatemala. Back in the US, she specialized in rehabilitation and sports medicine. She is also involved with the National Physicans’ Alliance, where she sits on the Ethics Committee. Lauren is living proof that you can pursue advanced professional education while still actively pursuing social justice.