Religious Life Community hosts Justice Week, raises awareness

by Temesha Derby, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — How much do you know about sex trafficking in Iowa or sustainability efforts?

Religious Life Community hosted Justice Week, shedding light on important issues in our nation. The week started out with Hunger and Homelessness and a trafficking awareness event, put on by Alpha Psi Omega and an education workshop with Teens Against Human Trafficking.

The week kicked off Monday with the human trafficking event.

“I was really shocked to find out how many victims are from the United States,” junior Fran James said.

“We have a mentality that ‘it doesn’t happen here’ when it comes to poverty, homelessness and human trafficking,” said junior Maddy Kersten, of RLC. “We need to make people aware of that and that it does happen here.”

EMCOR helped students on Wednesday put together education kits. In the past, they had made health kits but wanted to try something new this year. The education kits — equipped with notebooks, pencils and other school supplies — are sent to kids and schools in need.

Meals for the Heartland were prepared on Thursday and afterward, participants spent time connecting and reflecting on how their service matters and why it’s important in the community.

“I feel like one of the biggest things behind justice is awareness. We were able to bring awareness to campus,” Kersten said.

Kersten’s favorite part of Justice Week was being able to spend more than two months collaborating with the other hardworking interns to make it all fall into place. She said she always loves how Justice Week brings people together and get involved in issues that truly matter.

It’s important to continue talking about justice and social justice issues, RLC members said.

“Justice doesn’t need to happen for just a week. People need to bring it with them and share it with the world. The more people that can serve justice, the more good we can all do in the world,” Kersten said.

RLC continues to do community service and events like the ones during Justice Week and be sure to continue looking for more ways to get involved and make a difference.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Kersten said.