Clubs Unite for Social Justice

Herbie Rosen '12
Photo by Mike Lovett
Herbie Rosen '12

Inspired by the success of Brandeis’ annual spring Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts, a group of undergraduates gathered this academic year to create what they hope will become a similar annual tradition. Titled ’Deis Impact, the celebration was designed to illuminate the meaning of social justice and celebrate the many ways Brandeis students, faculty and staff contribute to society.

The program, which Student Union President Herbie Rosen ’12 dubbed “a festival of social justice,” kicked off on Monday, Feb. 5. With generous funding from the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice, some 32 clubs and organizations came together to present more than two dozen events that were free and open to the public.

“What is exciting about ’Deis Impact is that it capitalized on an enormous amount of student energy and connected it to faculty and staff initiatives,” says Marci McPhee, associate director of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. The highlight of the week was a keynote address by Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), which has endeavored for the past quarter century to empower marginalized people around the globe. Speaking to an enthusiastic audience in Sherman Hall, the one-time New York mayoral candidate urged participants to act locally to improve the world. The AJWS mission, she reminded them, is “to support every single one of you who believes that things can be better than they are and who is prepared to work toward that end.”