Social Justice Coalition plans second ‘Justice’ week

Annie Bruce, Reporter

The second annual Social Justice Week will begin Monday and feature a number of different events, all centered around the theme “Oppression at the Academy.”

Student groups applied to organize different events throughout the week, with topics ranging from worker’s rights to student’s clothing choices on campus. The entire week is organized by the Social Justice Coalition, which is made up of a number of different student groups, including Students for Justice in Palestine and Peace Project.

Weinberg junior Dalia Fuleihan said this is the first time Social Justice Week will be centered around one central theme.

“Part of ‘Oppression at the Academy’ is showing how university systems can contribute to social justice problems,” she said. “Social justice is broad and people can focus on many different aspects of it, and part of Social Justice Week is to bring people together on commonalities and build solidarity along those lines.”

Members of the Social Justice Week organizing committee, which is made up mostly of representatives from different groups in the Social Justice Coalition, reviewed applications Winter Quarter from individuals and student groups for potential events.

Fuleihan, a member of the organizing committee and a campus liaison for Students for Justice in Palestine, said during the process, applicants needed to describe how their proposed event was related to the “Oppression at the Academy” theme.

Hillel, MEChA de Northwestern, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows and Project ShoutOUT, among other groups, were chosen to organize and sponsor this year’s events.

Hazim Abdullah-Smith, a member of the Social Justice Week organizing committee and treasurer for Peace Project, said he is especially looking forward to the event he worked on with Peace Project, called “Workers’ Rights and Neoliberalism at the University.”

“It’s really about bringing together different voices and how we can all process these issues and what can come out of all of our efforts to address this,” the Weinberg sophomore said.

Abdullah-Smith said he hopes Social Justice Week as a whole teaches people about different types of inequality.

“I hope students get … an opening to education, specifically social justice education, which challenges ideas or beliefs, that they may have seen as normal, in terms of how we think about power, privilege and oppression at the academy,” he said.

Fuleihan said she hopes the week encourages students to talk about important issues on campus.

“Part of what we’re trying to do is get students to be aware of different social justice issues around them,” she said. “The goal of Social Justice Week is to bring marginalized issues into the center of campus dialogue.”

Fuleihan said last year, the idea for the concept came up at a Students for Justice in Palestine meeting and was then pitched to the entire Social Justice Coalition. The Coalition then spent about six weeks organizing the event.

This year, she said the Coalition had a formal application process and much more time to prepare.

“We’re really excited to do this again,” Fuleihan said. “We’re hoping that the Northwestern community will be as supportive and responsive as they were last year.”

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