Southern University Launches Social Justice Initiative

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Social justice is everywhere and the south is no exception. A new system is in place at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The school launched the Social Justice CARE website on April 7. CARE stands for Community Action, Recovery, Education, and Action.

According to its website, the organization is “situationally aware”: Vanderbilt’s Student Care Network acknowledges that Black students face systemic racism in society. We are aware that many of our Asian students are suffering from discrimination, distress, and prejudice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s anti-harm: We are aware that many students with marginalized identities also suffer from the effects of conscious and subconscious bias. It’s also anti-ism, just so you are clear

The Student Care Network strongly condemns police brutality, racism, violence toward Black people, homophobia and transphobia, xenophobia and sexism as well as acts of classism and sexism.

Adolescents require affirmation: We stand with you in solidarity, we are here to support you, advocate for you and recognize your need for affirmation and support. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere, a threat to justice everywhere,” we acknowledge that any harm suffered by any member of our community is detrimental to our collective community.

Social Justice CARE invites all students to “explore [the provided] resources in order to understand and heal.” It’s all organized according to your identity.

These resources are organized according to race and ethnicity. Social justice is the broad elimination of inequity across all identities.

The following resources can be used to help you achieve “Community”:

  • Center Link – The Community of LGBT Centers | LGBTQI2S+ Students
  • Modern Military Association of America | LGBTQI2S+ Students
  • PFLAG | LGBTQI2S+ Students
  • GLAD Racial Justice Resources | Black Students
  • African Communities Together | Black International Students / African Diaspora
  • The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. | Black Womxn Identified Students
  • Greater Nashville Chinese Association | East Asian/ East Asian American Students
  • WAVES Community | East Asian/ East Asian American Students
  • Greater Nashville Chinese Association | Chinese/Chinese American Students
  • Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi | Womxn
  • The Mighty | Disabled Students
  • iWeigh Radical Inclusivity |

All IdentitiesThese are the identity groups for “Education”:

  • Code Switch (Podcast) | BIPOCAsian Mental Health Collective + Mental health Mukbang podcast | AAPI Students
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum | AAPI Students
  • Center for World Indigenous Studies | Indigenous Peoples
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights | Immigrants
  • Out & Equal – Workplace Advocates | LGBTQIA+ Students
  • Campus Pride | LGBTQIA+ Students
  • GLAAD Accelerating Acceptance 2020 Report | LGBTQIA+ Students
  • Talking about Race – resources from National Museum of African American History and Culture | Black Students
  • The Black Youth Project | Black Students
  • Latinx Therapy Podcast + Latinx | Latinx Students
  • National LatinX Psychological Association (website | journal article) | Latinx Students
    SisterSong | Womxn
  • Feminism 101 Blog | Womxn
  • Disability Horizons | Students with Disabilities
  • The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation | Neurodiverse Students
  • The Neurodiversity Network | Neurodiverse Students
  • What is Systemic Racism (Video Series) | All Identities
  • UC San Diego Anti Racism Guide: Resources for Education and Action | All Identities
    Anit-Racism Reading Resources | All Identities
  • Library Research Guides – University of Dayton: Resources for Anti-Racist Allies | All Identities

It is a fascinating combination of components. The program refers to Martin Luther King, a man who preached integration without discrimination. Yet it seems determined upon separation.

It also promotes “antiracism”, as defined by Kimberle Crenshaw, UCLA Law Professor:

“[It] is the active dismantling system, privileges and everyday practices that reinforce or normalize the contemporary dimensions of white dominance.”

In such a short time, so much has happened. America seemed to be strengthening through unity for a few decades after MLK’s leadership (and that of others). This trend appears to have been reversed. Now, we are once more segregated. The small-group divisions have been told that they are “harmed” by this and must be “affirmed.”

They are also “marginalized” — they are not only in statistical margins but “-ized,” which is a force that oppresses them.

In 50 years, where will we be? We can continue on our current course, despite much contemporary talk about personal “pride” or “empowerment”. But Americans don’t seem to be bound to have either. These qualities are a sign of individual strength, according to me.

If we are only fragments of a country, it can’t exist as a nation. We will, hopefully, find our way back to “one nation, under God.”