'DEIS Impact festival explores questions of social justice

Forty events will comprise annual festival from Feb. 1 to 11

What is social justice?

 Members of the Brandeis community will have the opportunity to explore that question for themselves as ’DEIS Impact 2013, the university's annual festival of social justice, will be held Feb. 1 to 11 at locations around campus.

Clubs, academic departments, students and professors have planned 40 events that will answer that question in at least 40 different ways – or will complicate the question even further.

“The foundation that this university is built upon is social justice, and what’s better than a week of social justice?” asks Amanda Dryer ’13, a member of the ’DEIS Impact Steering Committee.

Some of the questions to be explored in talks, artmaking workshops, performances, exhibits and discussions during the week are:

-- What does social justice really mean? Does trying to define the term help us think more clearly and work together more productively? Or is trying to define it a useless rhetorical exercise?

-- How can I get involved more effectively in social justice work?

-- How can I turn my passion into a career?

-- What will be different because of this ’DEIS Impact week? How will I be different?

“Students have a great opportunity to learn more and to become more reflective, to think about how on a daily basis they can become more involved with social justice,” says Elaine Wong, senior associate dean of arts and sciences for undergraduate education.

 Echoing that sentiment, So Hyun Shin ’15, a member of the core student planning committee, the ‘DEIS Impacters, notes that “some think that social justice is something that is far from their life, but actually it is about everyday life.”

A highlight of the week will be the keynote address, “Uganda by Way of Hollywood & Boston: A Social Justice Journey,” by film and TV star Eliza Dushku and her mother Judy Dushku, a professor of politics at Suffolk University, at 7 p.m. on  Feb. 6 in Levin Ballroom. They will speak about their work with THRIVE-Gulu, the non-profit organization they founded in Uganda that addresses issues of child soldiers, sex slavery and other post-conflict concerns.

All events are free and open to the public. Tickets are required for the keynote address. 

’DEIS Impact is a collaboration between the Brandeis Student Union and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, with support from the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice.

Community adviser Rose Obarisiagbon '14 is looking forward to the week and to the conversations that will happen because of ’DEIS Impact.

“Whatever race you are, whatever you believe, just talking about (what you think) really does make a difference,” she says, “because it tells people what you really think, your opinions, and that could really start a movement – instead of just sitting back and doing nothing.”

For more information, visit the ’DEIS Impact 2013 website, or contact Marci McPhee of the Ethics Center at (781) 736-7744 or mcphee@brandeis.edu or Student Union President Todd Kirkland at (781) 521-2855 or tkirk@brandeis.edu.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, International Affairs

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage