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'DEIS Impact! events by topical category (click topic to view list)

Arts, Exhibititions and Screenings
Faith and Social Justice
Health and Healing
Identity, Race and Gender
Society, Culture and Leadership
Students in Action

2015 Summary of Events

Download the PDF version of the booklet here!
Download a one page (double sided) PDF schedule here!

Multiday Events

The Struggle for Liberation: The Plight of Dalits and the Enduring Phenomenon of Caste in Indian Society

Tuesday, Feb. 3 and Friday, Feb. 6, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Heller G02

DalitThe word “Dalit” is derived from the Sanskrit for ‘broken.’ It signifies ‘oppressed’ and is used synonymously with ‘Untouchables’ who were considered the ‘impure’ caste. Although the Indian constitution bans ‘untouchability’ and discrimination on the basis of caste, the phenomenon still continues in complex and myriad ways.

The caste system is deeply embedded in the predominant Hindu religion in India. However, caste persists even when people convert to other faiths, even though caste inequality is “anathema to Christianity,” for example. This fact demonstrates the ways in which the caste system is embedded in the society, and is not attributable to the Hindu religion alone.

On Friday, a film was shown about the Dalit leader Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. Despite his Dalit caste, he became a practicing lawyer and was the main author of the Indian Constitution. A contemporary of Gandhi, he did not always agree with Gandhi on tactics and principles. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism in his final weeks of life, leaving behind the caste system rooted in Hinduism that was his life battle. “I was born a Hindu, but I will not die a Hindu.”

The symposium explored various issues surrounding the caste system and its impact on Indian society, culture, politics, the state and law and current strategies for resistance and liberation from its more adverse effects. See a PDF breakdown for the description of the schedule. 

Sponsored by: Center of Global Development and Sustainability at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and Office of the Arts
For more information: Nilambar Nyak,

Homelessness Through Our Eyes- "Out in the Cold"

Friday, Jan. 30-Monday, Feb. 9, All day
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Cold Kills“Cold kills,” said one man simply. “For a homeless person, cold is the enemy.” Two guests from the Community Day Center in Waltham spoke frankly about their experience, narrating their photographs displayed in the SCC Atrium. To create the exhibit, Waltham Group's Hunger and Homelessness gave disposable cameras to individuals experiencing homelessness. Then, the mounted photographs became an exhibit exploring the question “What does homelessness look like through the eyes of those who experience it?” (Photo by John Swisher Photography)

See the Wicked Local article

Sponsored by: Waltham Group's Hunger and Homelessness and The Community Day Center of Waltham
For more information: Rose Wallace,

Take a Seat, Break Down Barriers

Friday, Jan. 30-Monday, Feb. 9, All day
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Break Barriers

A colorful ball pit in the middle of the Shapiro Campus Center made an inviting place to take a seat and discuss questions designed to break down barriers and explore different concepts of social justice. Sometimes it’s difficult to approach someone new, and you might be more likely to approach certain groups of people than others. But you might learn about another person’s background and how it influences the way they view social justice. In the process you might learn more about your own view of social justice. Questions included “Is there a stereotype about your culture that you would like to change?” and "When was the last time that you saw social justice in action?”

See here for details. 

Sponsored by: The Ripple Effect
For more information: Caitlin Buegeler,

A Day in the Life of Women in Regions of Conflict

Friday, Jan. 30-Monday, Feb. 9, All day
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Day in the LifeVisitors to this display learned about a day in the life of a woman who lives in a region of current high conflict. Living in these conditions affects her life: where she lives, when she wakes up, and how she feeds her children. Various facts enhanced the exhibit of photos and text, uncovering the difficult choices that these women have to make in order to survive.

Sponsored by: Brandeis STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition
For more information: David Alpert,

BPArt: Pluralism and the Arts

Display: Friday, Jan. 30-Monday, Feb. 9, All day
Event: Thursday, Feb. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Art Gallery

BPARTSee here for details. 
See the article in The Justice newspaper. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Pluralism Alliance
For more information: Elaine Wong,

History of Activism at Brandeis: A Show & Tell Event

Tuesday, Feb. 3-Wednesday, Feb. 4, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Archives & Special Collections Reading Room, Goldfarb Library

HistoryFrom the founding of the University in 1948, Brandeis students have actively involved themselves in righting the wrongs they see in the world around them. The University Archives collects evidence of their work, illuminating the barriers they faced and the injustices they fought. On display were materials from the Ford Hall Takeover, an alumna’s journal from the 1965 SCOPE Project (voter registration civil rights initiative), and more. Exhibit visitors were inspired by these passionate former students whose social activism has played a large role in the life of this university, its students, and the world at large. 

See here for details. 

Sponsored by: Archives & Special Collections, Brandeis Libraries
For more information: Surella Seelig,

The Merchant of Venice

Thursday, Feb 5, 8:00-11:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 7, 8:00-11:30pm; and Sunday, Feb. 8, 2:00-5:30pm
International Lounge

Merchant of VeniceRead the article in the Justice newspaper. Also, read the interview with the play's producer in The Justice. 

Sponsored by: Hold Thy Peace
For more information: Arielle Keller,

'DEIS Impact College

Thursday, Feb. 5-Friday Feb. 6, click here for full summary of 'DEIS Impact College events
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

Attendees sat in on open sessions of courses taught by faculty representing a spectrum of disciplines but a common goal: grounding college students’ passion for changing the world in solid theory.

Friday, January 30, 2015

’DEIS Impact 2015 Kick-Off! 

Friday, Jan 30, 12:00-1:00 p.m.kickoff Shapiro Campus Center Atrium (SCC)

See here for details. 

Sponsored by: ’DEIS Impacters
For more information contact: Shikha Chandarana,

’DEIS Impact Shabbat  

Friday, Jan 30. 6:00-7:30 p.m. Dinner, 7:30-9:00 p.m. Oneg Shabbat program
Sherman Function Hall (Dinner) and Feldberg Lounge (Oneg)

See here for details.

Sponsored by: Hillel at Brandeis
For more information: Leah Staffin,

Dream Monologues – Moments of Transition

Friday, Jan. 30, 8:00-10:30 p.m.
Cholmondeley’s Coffee House, Usen Castle

Dream MonologuesSee here for details.

Read the article in The Hoot newspaper. Also, read the interview with the Brandeis Immigration Education Initiative coordinator in the Justice. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Immigration Education Initiative
For more information: Yasmin Yousef,

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Continuing the Discussion: A Conversation on Race-Related Violence in the Media

Saturday, Jan. 31, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

Continuing the Conversation

See here for details. 

Sponsored by: MLK Scholars of Academic Services
For more information: Megan Boateng,

Interdisciplinary Healing: Addressing the Stigma of Mental Illness on the Brandeis Campus through Science and Art

Saturday, Jan. 31, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Room 313

See here for details. Interdisciplinary Healing

Read the article in The Justice newspaper. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Office of High School Programs
For more information: Risa Dunbar,

AmeriCorps, Teach for America, City Year: Are they Actually Teaching America's Students? 

Saturday, Jan. 31, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Forum


See here for details. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society
For more information: Emily Conrad,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Social Entrepreneurship: Change the World One Business at a Time

Sunday, Feb. 1, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Social Entrepreneurship See here for details. 
Read the article in The Justice newspaper. 

Sponsored by: Business Undergraduate Department Representatives
For more information: Sandra Luo,

Film Screening: “Documented”

Sunday, Feb. 1, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
DocumentedWasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center

See here for details. 

Sponsored by: Film, Television and Interactive Media Program 
For more information: Ethan Stein,  

The G̶a̶m̶e̶  of Life

Sunday, Feb.1, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

Game of LifeSee here for details.

Sponsored by: Harry Potter Alliance: Imagine Better
For more information: Alyssa Berez,

Monday, February 2, 2015

What’s Fair About Fair Trade?


Original description follows: Do you like coffee, chocolate, bananas or ice cream? When you buy these products, are they fair trade certified? What does fair trade certified even mean? Join us for an informal gathering to examine the effects of fair trade and how it works to combat poverty, inequality, and injustice in our globalized economy. We will examine the role of consumers, business owners, and producers through conversations with business representatives, specialists and student activists. Fair trade refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by: ’DEIS Impact Intercollegiate Subcommittee
For more information: Julia Karr,

A (Hunger) Banquet


Original description follows: Brandeis Amnesty International requests the honor of your presence at the first annual Hunger Banquet. Black tie optional, open mind required. Dinner will be served. 

Sponsored by: Amnesty International
For more information: Christa Caggiano,

The Intersection of Dharmic Traditions and Social Justice


Original description follows: There are many faith-based communities all over the world, and each of them have teachings for how to make an impact in society. Come learn all about the Dharmic faith-based communities (composed of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists), where we will have a presentation about who they are, what they believe, what each of these faiths stand for and how they believe societal impact can be made. Following the presentation, we will have a roundtable discussion with students of these faiths and from other faith based communities where we will discuss our first hand experiences with faith and how faith inspired us to make a difference. All are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by: Namaskar (The Association for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs) and the Brandeis Multifaith Chaplaincy
For more information: Shruti Vaidyanathan,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Woman’s Place: An Intergenerational Discussion on Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Room 313

Woman's PlaceSee the article in The Hoot newspaper. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis National Committee Student Ambassadors
For more information: Karishma Pradhan,

Keynote Address

KeynoteKeynoteSocial Change Through Civic Engagement and Pragmatic Idealism 
With Alan Khazei, cofounder of City Year and CEO of Be The Change, Inc.

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Levin Ballroom, Usdan Student Center

Read the Justice, Brandeis Now, and/or Hoot article. See the keynote address on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Soulfulness and Social Justice Making

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

SoulfulnessSee here for details.

Sponsored by: Brandeis Graduate Christian Fellowship, Brandeis Interfaith Group, Brandeis Multifaith Chaplaincy and Sangha Club
For more information: Rev. Matt Carriker,

Brandeis Unites in Service

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 3:00-5:15 p.m.
Prospect Hill Community Center

The snow did not stop our Brandeis students from volunteering at the Prospect Hill Community Center’s after school program for children in grades K-5. We had a wonderful time interacting with all of the kids, helping with homework, making Valentine’s day cards, and playing games. Our one day of volunteering was so fulfilling that our volunteers plan on continuing to work at the center and in other places throughout the local Waltham community.

Sponsored by: Brandeis Student Union
For more information: Emily Conrad,

The Cultural Conversation

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Cultural ConvoIntercultural Center Swig Lounge

See here for details. 

Sponsored by: The Intercultural Center
For more information: Elba Valerio,

Strolling in the Ruins

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Alumni Lounge

Strolling in the RuinsWe are honored to have had the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies’ Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series
 as part of the ‘DEIS Impact festival of social justice. Prof. Faith Smith discussed the 1907 earthquake of Kingston, Jamaica and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, examining both ruins that are literal and also the gendered and sexed figures who are "ruined" in ways that are not necessarily visible.

At the time of the earthquake in 1907, Kingston society represented a mix of native Jamaicans, incoming migrant workers from India and China, and outgoing migrant workers to the Panama Canal. The strolling commentator after the catastrophe described the destroyed walls, exposing the family within to the neighbor’s eyes. But, Prof. Smith asked, “What are the ruins that cannot be seen? And what does it mean to be the flauneur who can interpret these scenes, as a figure who is not subsumed by the ruins?”

Sponsored by: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series
For more information: Shannon Hunt,

ED Talks: What Does Social Justice Mean In Modern Education?

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Ed TalksInternational Lounge, Usdan Student Center

See here for details. 
Read the article in The Justice newspaper.

Sponsored by: Education Program Undergraduate Department Representatives
For more information: Cynthia Jackson,

Mass Incarceration and the War on Drugs: “The House I Live In” Film Screening

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

“What drugs didn’t destroy, the War on Drugs did,” said one journalist who covered the issue for 10 years. He continued, “We are the jailingest country on earth – ahead of Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia.” Since 1971, the War on Drugs has cost over a trillion dollars and jailed hundreds of thousands of people, but drug use is unchanged. Unfortunately, this situation disproportionately affects poor and low-income communities and communities of color. Now, we can “predict with near certainty whether a healthy newborn will end up in jail based on class, race, and ethnicity,” this stunning documentary asserts.  A lively discussion after the film gave the audience the opportunity to unpack these concepts and consider how they might get involved in this devastating situation.

Sponsored by: Students Against Mass Incarceration
For more information: Maya Cooper,

More than Down Dog: Finding Social Justice in Yoga

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Art Gallery

YogaMorgan Dashko, an undergrad who is also a certified yoga instructor, explored the connection between yoga and social justice. “Social justice,” she said, “is about nondiscrimination, equal opportunity, and protection of vulnerable populations. Yoga is related to the word yoke, or union of individual consciousness and universal consciousness. The principles of yoga build towards social justice.” Yoga is not only a physical exercise, but a spiritual and mental discipline of respect, honesty and dignity that dates back to 3000 BCE. Modern efforts such as Give Back Yoga Foundation seek to make yoga accessible to the least privileged, working in prisons and elsewhere. “Yoga underscores the idea that each person is valuable, and they can succeed. It’s about giving them tools for success,” Dashko added.

Sponsored by: Yoga Club
For more information: Morgan Dashko,

Thursday, February 5, 2015

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “Order and Change in Society” (SOC 1a), David Cunningham

Thursday, Feb. 5, 11:00-11:50 a.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

 See here for details.

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “Twentieth-Century American Culture” (AMST 100b), Thomas Doherty

Thursday, Feb. 5, 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “Microeconomics” (ECON 10a), Michael Coiner

Thursday, Feb. 5, 1:00-1:50 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “Dancing the African Diaspora: Keyterms, Grammars” (AAAS 148b), Jasmine Johnson 

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre and Society” (ENG 20a), Ulka Anjaria  

Thursday, Feb. 5, 3:30-4:50 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

Civil Discourse: A Chaplains' Guide to 'Guard Your Lips from Evil'

Thursday, Feb. 5, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Alumni Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Chaplains GuideJewish, Christian, Muslim and Hindu faith traditions teach us much about agreeing to disagree for the greater good, said the Brandeis chaplains representing those faiths. This thoughtful conversation on the power of words underscored the fact that the University is meant to be a place of discourse. Disagreement can be healthy, hearty, educational and energizing if it is done with genuine listening and respect (as opposed to a shouting match). Each chaplain quoted from his/her religious texts to reinforce the idea of the sacredness of freedom of expression and listening to others. Hindu advisor Vaishali Gupta observed, “Different language, same idea.” 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Multifaith Chaplaincy
For more information: Rabbi Elyse Winick,

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “International Economic Law” (LGLS 127b), Guive Mirfendereski  

Thursday, Feb. 5, 5:00-6:20 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

Friday, February 6, 2015

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “Masculinities” (SOC 115a), Gordie Fellman  

Friday, Feb. 6, 9:30-10:50 a.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

'DEIS Impact College: Social Justice and “American Transformations: Perspectives on United States History” (HIST 50b), Abigail Cooper  

Friday, Feb. 6, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

It's Not Better in Mentor: Bullying, Suicide, and Denial in an All-American Town

Friday, Feb. 6, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center

MentorSee here for details. 

Sponsored by: Office of the Arts, the Psychological Counseling Center and the Film, Television and Integrated Media Program.
For more information: Ingrid Schorr, 

Coffee, Cupcakes and Condoms: Controversy in Reproductive Justice

Friday, Feb. 6, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

Coffee, Cupcakes, Condoms“My great-grandmother died after an abortion,” one participant said. “But for my mother, it was no problem. The human spirit is a great thing. Women know what they need to do. Our job is to make it safe and accessible.” The fact that black women abort at five times the rate of white women, and are three times as likely to experience an unwanted pregnancy, indicates that reproductive issues are about education and access (rural vs. urban), among many other complex factors. Speakers and participants discussed the “already controversial idea that all women, regardless of race, location, previous conditions, and socioeconomic status deserve the best health care.”

See here for details. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Students for NARAL Pro-Choice
For more information: Alexis Ouellette, 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

“Don't Forget Me, Sir”: Reflections on Transnational English Language Learning

Saturday, Feb. 7, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Levine Ross, Hassenfeld Conference Center

Shane Weitzman described his experience as a Sorensen Fellow in Hubli, India, teaching English to professionals at the Deshpande Foundation. “I only speak one language, while the students in my class spoke multiple languages,” he noted. “I’m the one standing at the front of the room, but I’m the one with the least language knowledge.” English literacy in southwestern India (the language of the British colonizer) is associated with upward mobility, but not stable employment. That is, English literacy leads to status and various kinds of social power, but not necessarily jobs or actual direct advantage.  

See here for details. 

For more information: Shane Weitzman,

Krav Maga Sexual Assault Defense and Awareness Seminar

Saturday, Feb. 7, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Lindsey Multi Purpose Rooms 3 and 4

KravMagaSocial justice begins at home – with personal safety through physical and mental empowerment. Krav Maga is a self-defense system that was developed in the 1940s in Germany, inspired by ancient martial arts. It was adopted by the Israeli Defense Force and is also taught to civilians around the world for self-defense. Following the discussion, an instructor from Krav Maga Boston taught participants specific techniques for self defense in case of potential sexual assault. Domestic violence and sexual assault are social justice issues.

Sponsored by: Brandeis Krav Maga
For more information: David Alpert,

Beats of Peace

Saturday, Feb. 7, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
BeatsLurias, Hassenfeld Conference Center

See here for details.

Sponsored by: Brandeis Beats
For more information: Aliza Gans,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sibs' Journey: Broadening the Narrative

Sunday, Feb. 8, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Lurias, Hassenfeld Conference Center

Sibs JourneyIn the summer of 2013, Ellie Rosenthal ’16, Renee Frederick, and Claire Nuchtern drove over 10,000 miles around the United States and interviewed almost 100 siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities ages four to 84. These three undergrads (now at Brandeis, University of Texas, and Princeton, respectively) originally met at Impact Boston, a program run by the Office of High School Programs at Brandeis. They produced a video of their interviews, held a conference for sibs, and continue to give talks (such as this one) about sib issues – all in their undergraduate years.

Siblings of those with disabilities also face discrimination and stigma. Sibs can be powerful advocates for disability rights for their sibs, connecting to the larger disability rights movement. 

Sponsored by: Sibs' Journey
For more information: Eliana Rosenthal,

Are You Winning an Unfair Game?

Sunday, Feb. 8, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

WinningCan you win when the odds are stacked against you? In the familiar board game of Candyland, one woman was sitting in the chair farthest east, which entitled her to use a "track 1" set of cards that consisted largely of double moves. Everyone else chose from a "track 2" set of regular cards with largely single moves. Naturally the person farthest east won the game. Prepared discussion questions began the reflection on this experience, asking "Do you think the location of your hometown affected your opportunities?" and "Should we even out disparities that arise from location? How?" The event also featured a short documentary, “Unnatural Causes,” detailing the racial, social, and economic circumstances that illuminate the unfair distribution of healthcare in this country. That is, health is not just about individual-level risk factors such as use of tobacco, healthy eating, and family history. Health also means access to good food choices (in some neighborhoods, it’s easier to buy a gun than a tomato). Environmental factors play a role, where poverty means leaky windows, which leads to soaked plaster, mold, dust mites, and therefore higher rates of asthma. What should be the prize for winning an unfair game?

Sponsored by: Project Plus One
For more information: Adele Huang,

Monday, February 9, 2015

Examining Feminism: A Global and Personal Perspective


Original description follows: Arab feminism? Feminists from Africa? Male feminists? African-American womanists? Learn more about feminism from a global perspective and explore what feminism means to you personally. A diverse group of individuals from around the world will discuss their experiences as feminists. Then, in small group discussions in a safe and welcoming space, explore what feminism means to you. This event is for everyone who wants to explore their relationship with feminism. Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by: The Heller School: Gender Working Group
For more information: Lindsey Green,

’DEIS Impact After-Party!

Monday, Feb. 9, 9:15-10:15 p.m. 
Cholmondeley’s Coffee House, Usen Castle

AfterpartyIt didn’t matter that the University was closed due to yet another blizzard. That didn’t stop the ‘DEIS Impacters from hosting a celebration of all that the Brandeis community experienced in the last 10 days and our collective motivation to make positive change in the world. Participants made their own pin-back button, writing on the button their pledge to make the world a more socially just place. The a capella group No Singer Cleft Behind treated the crowd to a stirring performance. The group’s very composition – everyone can join, no auditions, hence their name No Singer Cleft Behind – sends a message of social inclusion and equality.

Sponsored by: ’DEIS Impacters
For more information: Shikha Chandarana,

Rescheduled Events (the snow can't stop 'DEIS Impact!)

Exploring Housing Insecurity Through Art

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Olin-Sang Room 212

Exploring HomelessnessUnder current legislation, families with children who are experiencing homelessness are not eligible for emergency shelter until after they have already stayed in "a place not meant for human habitation." The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless works on the policy level to address the situation, trying to change the law to prevent homelessness before it happens. Currently Boston has only 12 beds for an estimated 6000 unaccompanied young people experiencing homelessness. Kenji Nakayama, an artist who moved to Boston from Tokyo, began a project called "Signs for the Homeless," replacing hand painted signs with beautifully lettered, artistically designed signs. This simple act is a gesture of dignity and respect. Through his website collecting photos of the signs he's given away and the stories of the recipients, Kenji seeks to share narratives and raise awareness. 

Sponsored by: Habitat for Humanity and Waltham Group's Hunger and Homelessness
For more information: Rose Wallace,

Hiatt Industry Night: SoJust Leadership

Tuesday, Mar. 3, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Case Challenge, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Networking
Hassenfeld Conference Center

The SoJust Industry Night was an opportunity for students and employers to benefit from each other in two ways:

1) The “SoJust” Case Challenge allowed teams of undergraduate and graduate students to address real social justice challenges faced by industry panelists.  Vinod Parmeshwar from Oxfam America asked, “How can Oxfam as an international NGO appropriately interact with local affiliates to provide reasonable agency within the organization?”  Leo Flanagan from Lawrence Public Schools asked, “How can we redesign teacher compensation for a small school district that has been taken over by the star, with compensation being a powerful lever for change?”  Student teams had just 35 minutes to brainstorm solutions and present them to the panel, after which they received feedback from Oxfam and Lawrence Public Schools.

2) Industry networking in four rooms focused on different social justice topic areas, including social service and education; health and human rights; sustainability, corporate social responsibility and social innovation; and policy, international and domestic development and community organizing.

Despite being postponed from February 9 to March 2 due to a blizzard, with inclement weather on the rescheduled date as well, more than 100 guests participated in the SoJust Industry night including 25 industry representatives (6 of whom were alumni) from 23 organizations and 80 students and alumni – who channeled their passions and interests for social justice energy into conversations about lifelong career paths and a diverse spectrum of missions and social challenges that need new perspectives, people and resources to solve. 

Sponsored by: Hiatt Career Center
For more information: Caroline O’Shea,

“Anita,” an award-winning Argentine film about a national tragedy seen through the lens of a woman with Down Syndrome

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 7:00 p.m.
Heller G3

AnitaThe 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires left 86 dead, hundreds injured, and countless lives disrupted. But for Anita, a young woman survivor with Down syndrome, it was baffling. Not understanding that her mother was dead, she ran away and wandered through the city. Somehow she managed to survive thanks to the kindness of strangers, until she was reunited with her brother. 

After the film, panelists commented on the film and the issues it raised. Panelists were John Anton, a self-advocate with Down syndrome and legislative intern at the state and national level; Tom Sannicandro, Massachusetts state representative; and Jo Ann Simons, currently disability advisor to the Ruderman Family Foundation, formerly executive director of The Arc of East Middlesex; with moderator Susan Parish, director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. Both Sannicandro and Simons are parents of children with disabilities.

Panelists remarked on the resilience of Anita to survive in such conditions, and her strong need to return to normalcy through regular routines. Anton spoke of his work as a self-advocate, working on government policies for more inclusion and autonomy for those with disabilities. "Inclusion is the only mantra," said Simons. 

Sponsored by: The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, The Nathan and Toby Starr Center on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Brandeis Buddies
For more information: Michelle Techler,

For more information about 'DEIS Impact! click here.
Questions about this weeklong festival of justice? Email