Brock’s Student Justice Centre (SJC) provides socially and politically engaging programming for members of the Brock Community. To start the year off, the SJC together with the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) of Brock University hosted their first event focusing on advocacy for a variety of interests: the Activism Meet Up.
The SJC, which is housed under the Office of Human Rights and Equity Services, is a resource for amplifying the voices of individuals on campus through educational programming and organizing support.
The Activism Meet Up on September 6 provided a space for attendees to discuss issues they are passionate about working on, learn about local activist groups in their area of interest and exchange tips for effective organizing. Keeping with the intended activity-based structure of the Drop-In Zone, students also used the OPIRG Brock button maker and coloured in part of an upcoming Human Rights and Equity colouring book.
“It was important to plan and host an activism meet up as part of Orientation Week to open an opportunity for incoming and current students to plug into what is happening on campus and in the community,” said Michelle Mudge, the student justice educator for the SJC.
“Students looking to get involved often feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure how to go about doing this. We wanted to make this process a bit easier by facilitating connection-making with activist groups on campus and in the community.”
According to Mudge, the SJC has a number of other events planned for the remainder of the fall term. In collaboration with other campus organizations, like Human Rights and Equity Services and OPIRG Brock, the SJC is hosting an event featuring Curtis Carmichael on Wednesday Sep. 25 at 2:00 p.m. in Thistle Complex room 242. Curtis Carmichael is a former CFL prospect who cycled across the nation to challenge Canadians on their perceptions of racialized youth growing up in marginalized communities. He will be screening his short documentary called Ride for Change. Following the film, Curtis will be available for a question and answer session.
The SJC will again collaborate with OPIRG Brock to bring students an Anti-Oppression Workshop Series for the Fall semester after its success last winter.
Additionally, the SJC will host to a number of workshops dealing with a large variety of social justice topics.
“Our workshop line-up depends on the content that individuals apply with, but last year we had an amazing group of facilitators who lead workshops on an array of topics, like sexual violence education, racialized representations in LGBTQ+ Spaces, disability justice, decolonial reflections on the Haudenosaunee Deer Harvest, reclaiming Black culture, self-care & community care and some that offered practical tips and skill development, like adulting 101 and grocery shopping & meal prep hacks,” said Mudge.
Students and community members can apply to facilitate workshops on topics of interest to them and the call-out for workshop facilitators will happen very soon.
“In the past years, there have been numerous incidents displaying blatant white supremacy, rape culture and other problematic campus cultures at Brock and it felt important to join the work being done to address these issues,” said Mudge. “The work the SJC does stood out to me as it was truly student-led, student-driven resistance through advocacy and education. Students should get involved as we all have a responsibility to work towards dismantling problematic cultures that exist at Brock.”
Interested students are encouraged to reach out to the SJC for more information about the work they do by dropping into the SJC office located at Thistle 252A. Students are also able to follow the SJC and OPIRG on social media @BrockSJC and @OPIRGBrock for updates. The Brock SJC is currently doing research on revamping social justice at Brock and wants to hear from students about what they would like their SJC to look like moving forward. Interested individuals are encouraged to email Michelle Mudge directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with all questions, concerns and feedback.