Social justice skills training to be held for students, faculty, staff

Fathma Rahman, Assistant Campus Editor

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Leadership and Community Engagement is hosting its first ever day-long training event Saturday for Northwestern students, faculty and staff to develop skills in social justice advocacy. The event will be co-sponsored by the Campus Inclusion & Community, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies and the Center for Civic Engagement.

The event, titled Social Justice Advocacy Skills Training, can accommodate 25 to 30 people and there are no set topics or issues for the training. Rather, attendees will generate ideas concerning social justice issues that interest them during one of the first sessions in the day, said Kelly Benkert, director of LCE.

“It’s neat when a staff or faculty has a conversation with a student about a social justice issue they both care about, and after the training, each of them might think of that skill in the different contexts that they’re working in,” Benkert said.

Benkert brought this training model with her from her former institution, Seattle University, where she worked for seven years and facilitated this training a few times each year, she said.

From her experience with the training at Seattle, Benkert said she saw many students take the skills they learned and apply them in the community and campus, as well as working with community partners to engage in system level and state level change.

“This is not the end-all, be-all solution to social change, but it’s one piece of it and it’s one approach about having the skills and confidence to be able to take a bite out of that problem to make lasting social change,” she said.

Twitter: @fathma_rahman