Explore social justice at this year’s 'deis IMPACT festival

Logo that says deis IMPACT!

This year’s 'deis IMPACT, the annual festival of social justice at Brandeis, will feature more than 50 events events all surrounding one theme: What is Social Justice? Consciously Exploring Oppression, Power, and Privilege.

The festival kicks off Feb. 3 and runs through Feb. 9. and will feature workshops, presentations, discussions, and invited guest speakers—all organized by a team of nine student leaders known as “Impacters.” Now in its eighth year, the festival is being overseen for the first time by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is supported by the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice, as well as numerous other sponsors for individual events.

Here is a look at a few of the events. A full schedule can be found on the 'deis IMPACT website.

Power, Privilege, and Climate Justice

Monday, Feb. 4 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Location: Rapaporte Treasure Hall (Goldfarb-Farber Library)

Description: Mariama White-Hammond is a Boston-based faith leader who has proven a commitment to climate justice advocacy and speaks forcefully against environmental racism, oppression, and privilege within our communities. This event will help members of the community recognize that they are stakeholders in the important work around protecting our planet and each other. It will also expand our thinking of the “who” and “how” of climate justice, the impact of our actions and how we can perpetuate diversity in our activism.

Sponsors: CGES; Senate Sustainability Committee (SenSus); Environmental Studies Program; Sustainable Brandeis

Justice for All: The Ongoing Fight for Reform of the Justice System and Prisoner Rights

Monday, Feb. 4 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Description: In this all-Brandeis alumni panel discussion, hear from a corporate trial lawyer who uses his talents to serve as president of the Innocence Project in Pennsylvania (Howard Scher, '67), and from a former director of the ACLU’s National Prisoner Project who has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court that helped to change national policy (Elizabeth Alexander, '67). They will be joined by two public defenders who apply social justice activism to their daily work (Aaron Bray, '13 and Lindsay Markel, '08). Whether you are looking to enter the field yourself or are simply interested in hearing from those on the front lines of the fight for justice and prison reform, join us for this timely and important discussion. Moderated by Legal Studies Lecturer Rosalind Kabrhel.

Location: Usdan International Lounge

Sponsors: Brandeis Institutional Advancement; Brandeis Alumni Affairs; The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism

From Protest to Politics: The Ferguson Uprising; Challenging Longstanding Injustices

Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Location: SCC Theatre

Description: Pastor Cori Bush tells the story of her journey in the struggle to end police violence and resource deprivation in the St.Louis/Ferguson area. Bush came to the protests in Ferguson to support the physical and mental well-being of activist and never left, seeing that the men in power did not have concern for people's interest. Bush also saw that few Black women were speaking out and even less were being listened to. To her, the protests were and remain important but the work evolved into more venues to make change. 

Sponsors: PAX Department; Student Union Social Justice and Diversity Committee

In Her Footsteps: Film and Director Talk

Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Location: Heller's Altman Amphitheater

Description: This award-winning documentary follows director Rana Abu Fraiha’s family as they try to fulfill their mother’s dying wish. Rana’s parents’ Arab traditions clash with their children’s Israeli upbringing, providing Abu Fraiha with a lens through which she examines complications of identity and what it means to call a place home. A Q&A with Abu Fraiha will follow the screening.

Sponsor: Heller MVA Program; Heller Dean's Office - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Talk Black Session

Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 8 p.m. -10 p.m.

Location: Usdan International Lounge

Description: A unique discussion among Brandeis faculty and students as well as local community organizers on inclusion in white institutions. We specifically use this space to ask: “what does it mean to work towards inclusivity when brown and black bodies in this space are both invisible and hyper-visible?”

Sponsor: Caribbean Cultural Club

Sampled: Beats of Muslim Life Featuring Su'Ad Khabeer

Thursday, Feb. 7 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Location: SCC Theatre

Description: "Sampled: Beats of Muslim Life" is a one-woman solo performance by Su'ad Abdul Khabeer, performance artist and anthropologist. It challenges dominant narratives on race and gender, religion, popular culture and citizenship in the contemporary United States. The central focus of the performance is a concept Khabeer calls “Muslim Cool” -- a way of being Muslim forged at the intersection of Islam and hip-hop. The performance consists of a series of vignettes which are similar to scenes in a play, although without a linear narrative structure. These vignettes use movement, theater and poetry to share complex stories of Muslim life in the US.

Sponsors: International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, Student Life

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