Second annual social justice week to inform, explain

by Sosie Gehling, Staff Reporter

It’s springtime at Simpson, and as the semester winds down, the activities charge forward before students get to say goodbye for the semester. This April will mark the second annual Justice Week, a week-long event that was started by Religious Life Community Chapel Intern Emma Kain.

Justice Week is a week dedicated to bringing awareness and raising discussions about important social justice issues that affect not only the Simpson community but the community surrounding Indianola as well.

Each day during Justice Week has its own theme. The events will kick off Sunday with a Fair Trade chocolate party, where people will be invited to come to Holy Grounds to enjoy Fair Trade chocolate and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

On Monday, there will be a table in Kent Campus Center talking about privilege.

On Tuesday, PRIDE and RLC will host a showing of “Boys Don’t Cry” followed by a trans* issues discussion.

On Wednesday, people will be packaging Welcome Kits for the homeless during Quench.

On Thursday, SARA and RLC will have a table in KCC talking about sexual assault prevention, and information on Denim Day, which will follow later this month.

On Friday, RLC will be sending a group to volunteer at Central Iowa Shelter and Services.

And to end the week, RLC and EAC will be sending out two volunteer groups, one to clean up highways and the other to Second Chance Dog Rescue for the much-loved Picnic with the Pooches!

“There were so many important causes I wanted to highlight I thought it would be fun to make a week long event and focus on a different issue every day of that week,” Kain said. “Simpson is also incredibly fortunate to have so many amazing student organizations on campus that are focused on social justice issues. I was excited to work with them.”

Kain said that it was a good chance for people to discuss such a difficult topic because it is a “low-stakes, meaningful, and sometimes fun environment.”

Anyone can participate in any of the activities, and there will be several different sign-up sheets for the volunteer events. It’s a great way to raise awareness to start a discussion while also giving back to the community.

Not only is it a great mood-booster and a chance to give schoolwork a break, but it teaches a lesson and reminds people that Simpson students are privileged—something that is all too easy to forget.

“The phrase ‘social justice’ can be intimidating and our goal is to make it accessible and easy to understand.  We don’t need a special degree or vocabulary to talk about these issues.  These are things that impact everyone’s lives, and it’s time we began to talk about them” Kain said.

“I think Justice Week is special because it allows different organizations on campus to work together.  It also allows us as a community to begin having important conversations.”

Justice Week T-shirts will be handed out during the week, and all of the events will feature free food. Contact Emma Kain by visiting the RLC office in the Chapel or stop by one of the events or tables to find out more.