Social Justice Week offers opportunities for engagement, dialogue

By Dena J. Smith | Emory Report | March 21, 2013

Emory's College Council will host the University's first Social Justice Week on March 25-29. Coinciding with the 13th annual State of Race address on March 27, the intent of the newly created Social Justice Week is to raise awareness around issues of diversity, social justice, sexual assault and bullying on Emory's campus.

Emory Social Week flier

State of Race provides an opportunity for the Emory community to hear guest speakers address issues of race, diversity and culture. This year the address features Tim Wise, an author and educator known for his anti-racist perspective, and will be held in the Cox Hall Ballroom at 7 p.m.

Daniel Lim, sophomore and vice president of programming for the College Council, says there was significant interest in expanding a one-day event into a week of events that spotlight issues of inequality on campus and society in general.

Social Justice Week events range from academic lectures to volunteer opportunities to entertainment. The weekend kickoff includes a panel discussion on "Bully: Villain or Victim?" on March 22 and a coffee-house-inspired evening event called "Be More Heroic" on March 23. From a sandwich-making drive to feed the homeless on March 28 to a March 29 training session about what to say to and how to help survivors of sexual assaults, there are opportunities for the entire Emory community to get involved.

Lim says the events are designed to engage students in dialogue across a large spectrum of social justice issues: race, domestic violence, the culture of rape, and homelessness.

"We want people to walk away after the week able to dig deeper in conversation on issues that probe into the work of social justice," says Lim. "We're excited about all we have planned, and about this year's State of Race speaker Tim Wise. Tim Wise isn't as well known as some of our speakers in the past, but he is prominent in the field of addressing diversity and inclusion," Lim adds.

In Wise's most recent book, "White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son," he delves into issues of modern racism and white privilege.

State of Race tickets are free and are available at the Dobbs University Center (DUC) information desk and the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services.

"I am very proud of the College Council's efforts to raise the Emory campus' awareness of social justice issues," says College Council adviser Emily Sankey, assistant director of the Office of Student Leadership and Service. "I believe this week will provide several opportunities to engage in dialogue around social justice issues and create a community where we can learn from one another."

For more information and a complete listing of events, see the Social Justice Week schedule.