Finding Solidarity: SNC Hosts Social Justice Panel

SAMANTHA DYSON | NEWS CORRESPONDENT

On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the Bias Incident Response Group came together at St. Norbert College to promote the importance of treating every person with respect. The Campus Center hosted their panel discussion titled “Solidarity in a Time of Bias, Hate and Violence,” where they shared their thoughts on both the problems and solutions of social justice.

Through this panel, students at SNC were able gather and hear the thoughts and teachings of three members of St. Norbert’s faculty, who each brought different perspectives to the conversation: Dr. Burke-Ravizza, a Professor of Theology and Religious Studies; Dr. Pyne, a Professor of Peace and Justice; and Dr. Delano-Oriaran, a Professor of Education. This discussion fits in with the 2016-17 theme for the school: “Solidarity: We Commit to the Common Good.”

Dr. Burke-Ravizza approached the topic from a theological background, specifically asking “What does solidarity look like for Catholics?” She looked at what Catholics are instructed or called to do to help people who are marginalized.

Dr. Pyne showed pictures of destruction caused by discrimination in other countries, and discussed “Classification, Symbolization and Dehumanization,” as steps of bias, hate and violence.

Finally, Dr. Delano-Oriaran talked about white privilege and systemic racism, and urged people in privileged positions to take a stand.

“Your creator gave you that privilege,” Dr. Delano-Oriaran said, “so you could use it to benefit others who don’t have that privilege.”

Many people attended the event, and after the professors showed their initial presentations, it was the audience’s turn to get involved by asking questions.  Several questions followed a similar theme – how individuals can reach out and make changes – and mainly the professors responsed that taking even small actions and being informed are big parts of making a stand.

They provided encouragement to students to start looking at the world and their own interactions with a more informed lens starting this year: one that uses acceptance and understanding, but also one that recognizes the injustice that still exists in the world.

For more information about the Bias Incident Response Group or other information regarding discrimination, visit snc.edu/diversityaffairs 

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