Leadership and Social JusticeJune 11, 2010
Many people see things in the world that make them stop and wish for something different. I’m not talking about adding ketchup and mustard to a burger; I’m talking about something a bit deeper, like injustices, discrimination, and hate. In the workshop session “Leadership and Social Justice: Preparing for a Better Tomorrow,” Carmen Rivera, from Colorado State University and Samuel J. Offer from the Washington Consulting Group helped prepare students to become not only activists, but effective ones.
Carmen highlighted on the importance of the “sense to act” and knowing what you are acting on behalf of. Is this just something that you feel passionate about for the moment, or is this something that you are willing to become a true activist for? Do you have knowledge of the subject? Do you know what your resources are? Do you know who your key research people are in the field? Do have knowledge of what you are fighting for?
Carmen really showed that, in a typical day, people may see many injustices in the world, but the ability to effectively change them is a whole other story. In order to be an effective activist it is important to know yourself, know your cause, know your resources, and know those around you who may have similar passions and can help you create that change.
After Carmen spoke, Sam took center stage and helped with the first part of the process, which was the main focus of the session. Sam helped us undercover who we are, what we identify as, what our passions are, and where we see ourselves. The exercises helped the participants know themselves better and know what motivates them to act. Sam helped us see not only our desires, but also the correlation between our lives and the future we seek.
Ultimately, Carmen and Sam focused on the participants understanding themselves, understanding others, and using such information to create a better future. It was a very eye-opening and soul-seeking workshop that left participants with building blocks to become better activists in their lifetimes.
This post is by Amanda-Rae Barboza, NASPA intern. Amanda-Rae studies Government and International Affairs at George Mason University.