Student organization spotlight: Social Justice Coalition

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) at Calvin works to become better justice activists and advocates, as well as positively influencing social change targeted at injustice.

The way the SJC enacts their mission varies depending on what they choose to focus on for that semester. Examples of past semesters’ focuses have been on global clean water access and domestic hunger. One of the main ways they focus on working toward their goals has been through the advocacy of writing letters to the U.S. government.

This semester, the SJC is focused more closely on campus and “assessing the brokenness of justice here at Calvin,” according to Taylor Maxfield, one of  SJC’s leaders

As a coalition, the semester so far has consisted of reaching out to other groups, departments, offices and faculty on campus who have a vision for belonging and inclusion. They’ve also been looking into the Inclusion and Diversity report here at Calvin, reviewing commitments and starting action plans for improvement.

However, they also bring in guests from the Grand Rapids area who participate in advocacy and activism. The SJC values the learning experience these guests bring. Next week they’re looking to welcome their first speaker of the semester, Michael Fravel, who is a social worker serving homeless youth.

“Advocacy and activism can be really creative, so we are aiming to think out of the box,” Maxfield said. “A couple specific issues we’re looking at right now are Calvin’s faculty requirements and judicial affairs processes as related to belonging and inclusion. The last couple weeks have been foundation-building time, and we’re excited for upcoming action.”

Another upcoming event for the SJC and several other student organizations is meeting up on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 25. This event of like-minded organizations is intended to see how they can better support each other’s more individual pursuits of justice and peace.

The SJC is eager to join and support who have similar ideas about social justice. They gather every other Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. For more details or to hear more about upcoming events, find the “Social Justice Coalition at Calvin” on Facebook or email [email protected].