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What is ‘social justice’? Why should you care?

November 1, 2010

What is ‘social justice’? And why should you care?

By Kari Plog ’11

In the first floor of PLU’s University Center, students fill the overstuffed couches – some studying, some texting their friends, some just hanging out. It’s what happens at the Diversity Center all the time. The “D Center,” as it is known, is a great place to hang out. It is also a great place to tackle big issues – like power, privilege, equity and inclusiveness.

It can be both. In fact, that’s the whole point. The D Center, in the words of Director Angie Hambrick, is “what you need it to be. It’s always that safe, inclusive and welcoming community.”

Hambrick’s role at PLU serves to support students who are learning about identity, culture and equity. And that includes social justice issues – defined as a series of actions that promote betterment of the world and society.

As part of that, the D Center has four students who serve as diversity advocates, students who take leadership roles on campus supporting and coordinating programs for social justice. “Advocates take leadership of social justice to the next level,” said Carrie Hylander, one of the four diversity advocates.

Let’s meet the four PLU diversity advocates for the 2010-11 academic year.

Angela Pierce ’12 – Hometown: Tacoma, Wash. – Major: Social Work
Carrie Hylander ’12 – Hometown: Seattle, Wash. – Major: Hispanic studies and global studies
Chelsea Putnam ’12 – Hometown: East Wenatchee, Wash. – Major: Fine arts
Maurice Eckstein ’11 – Hometown: San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago – Major: Communication