Marquette Wire

Social Justice Conference advocates selflessness, activism

The+university+announced+an+increase+of+%241%2C330+for+tuition+during+the+2017-2018+academic+school+year+Jan.+23.+
The university announced an increase of $1,330 for tuition during the 2017-2018 academic school year Jan. 23.

The university announced an increase of $1,330 for tuition during the 2017-2018 academic school year Jan. 23.

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

The university announced an increase of $1,330 for tuition during the 2017-2018 academic school year Jan. 23.

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At the Social Justice in Action Conference on Saturday in the Straz Business Hall, students discussed and received an action plan for social justice activism.

Around 120 students attended this free conference, the idea which stemmed from last year’s Women in Leadership Conference after the Center for Community Service took a broader approach to it. The CCS based the conference’s changes on student feedback gathered from two listening sessions hosted earlier this year.

Kelly Walker, coordinator for Student Community Service Programs, said the listening sessions were an important component to planning the conference.

Provost Dan Myers kicked off the event with a keynote address focusing on ally activism, which he said is activism done on the behalf of others.

“You can’t motivate activism with self-interest,” he said.

Myers said his social justice activism experience and his observations of activist groups in college drove him to pursue a doctorate in sociology after graduating.

He offered students six tips for social justice ally activism: learn and understand the cause and its critical issues, get educated on the issues, try not to get frustrated, remember that you are not actually part of the beneficiary community, be clear about who you are and your commitment to the cause and don’t give up.

“We want to make sure students get a chance to convene and get to know each other around the shared interest of social justice, and also that we are providing students with skills and tools and opportunities to learn about social justice issues,” Walker said.

Throughout the conference, students learned about privilege, service, marginalized populations, social justice storytelling, social movement strategies, Milwaukee’s past social justice movements, government activism, self-care and activist identity.

“Any opportunity to learn about helping the greater Milwaukee community in light of Marquette’s mission is something I want to take advantage of,” Ben Zellmer, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said about attending the conference.

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