By: Hanna Laeu ‘17
From Oct. 24 to Oct. 27, The Social Justice Initiative (SJI) hosted Gordon’s first ever Justice Conference, reflecting the Justice Conference in Chicago from this past summer.
SJI streamed selected videos from renowned speakers on the general subject of justice for the public, which varied with more specific related topics every night during the week. Tea and snacks were provided, as well as a sign up sheet for those interested in attending the official National Justice Conference in 2017.
SJI students and advisor, Rachel Henderson, went to the 2015-2016 National Justice Conference in Chicago. While there, the students were inspired to host a justice conference on campus.
“After the students attended the conference, the idea came to purchase copyrights to the justice conference talks and show them the next school year to Gordon’s student body,” said Madison Seligman ‘18, a SJI council member.
SJI council member, Nadia Lina ‘19 said that one of the primary goals of the conference was to “Engage students in thinking what justice means and how human beings (particularly Christians) are to be engaged in the pursuit of justice.”
Monday night offered a broad philosophical take on justice, with the first event being titled “What is Justice?” In this event, featured speakers Eugene Cho and Dr. Cornel West spoke on challenging issues revolving around why justice matters and what this looks like to Christians in today’s society.
Tuesday night’s focus pertained to the topics of education and poverty, featuring speakers Nicole Baker, Tony Campolo, Gabriel Salguero, and Propaganda.
For the second half of the night, SJI presented videos on refugees and colonialism, affording students the opportunity to hear from both Jenny Yang and Mark Charles on these difficult subjects.
Wednesday night focused on racial reconciliation in the Church. Speaker Neichelle Guidry led this talk, which was followed by a discussion hosted by Gordon’s Dialogue Club.
Thursday’s event, the last of the conference, featured a video pertaining to “Justice in Action.”
“We hope that through the conference, students were challenged in their understanding of justice and are inspired to go forward and actively fight against injustice,” said Seligman.
SJI’s next hosted event will be a “Hunger Banquet” on the evening of Nov. 11. Students can come to learn about food injustice as it affects people of varying social classes, and be challenged to think about the disparity of this system.