Why 'DEIS Impact? A Welcoming Message from the Organizers


Where does social justice begin? Eleanor Roosevelt H ‘54 contended that human rights originate “in small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works.” We suggest the same is true for social justice.

Former Brandeis professor and trustee, American First Lady and UN Ambassador, Roosevelt added, “Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.”

The Brandeis community understands this. And because you’re reading this, you are included in that community. Like the Brandeis students simultaneously getting an education and living social justice now, those involved with ’DEIS Impact – organizers, presenters, and attendees – are not content with bromides like “once you graduate, you can make a difference.” They are working for change now in their individual circles of influence, knowing that small acts can make a big difference that expands into the larger world. And they are also not afraid to turn a critical lens of social justice towards their own small place close to home: Brandeis itself.

Whether you are a student, faculty, staff, an alumnus of Brandeis or another school, a local resident or a business owner, you are invited to be a part of the weeklong festival of social justice that is ’DEIS Impact. A uniquely Brandeis response to calls of social justice pioneers like Eleanor Roosevelt, this third annual ’DEIS Impact is a collaboration between the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life and the undergraduate Student Union.

The enthusiastic response to ’DEIS Impact highlights the individual and collective efforts of Brandeis students, faculty, staff, clubs and academic departments to portray, define, and work towards achieving social justice on campus, in Waltham and around the world.

We invite you to put Roosevelt’s words into action and explore social justice at your “small place close to home.” At ’DEIS Impact we are doing this through collective learning, dialogue, action and commitment. From engaging in a public narrative workshop, to diving into a ball pit to help break down perceived barriers between people, to creating a collective artistic definition of social justice … there’s a way for you to get involved.

Join us.