What is ? Can you give a clear, comprehensive explanation about what the Ethics Center is? Prior to accepting a position on the Ethics Center Leadership Council last June, I sure couldn’t.
It’s easy to become involved with the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. The Center is incredibly multifaceted in its programming and offers plentiful leadership opportunities for both students and professionals alike. On the other hand, however, it’s also really easy to involve one’s self with a specific program and forget to take advantage of the other areas the Center has to offer.
The Ethics Center is such a multifaceted organization that coming up with one, comprehensive explanation about the innerworkings of the Center is really difficult. The official mission of the Ethics Center is “to develop effective responses to conflict and injustice by offering innovative approaches to coexistence, strengthening the work of international courts, and encouraging ethical practice in civic and professional life.”
You can read all about the six guiding principles of the center, “an international focus,” “the public square,” “across the disciplines,” “a bridge between scholarship and practice,” “the perspective of the arts,” and “connections to communities” right here.
As a Politics major, the international justice programming acted as a catalyst that inspired me to become involved with the Ethics Center. When I came to Brandeis as a midyear freshman last winter, I was immediately drawn to ‘DEIS Impact. Judy and Eliza Dushku, who founded THRIVE Gulu—an nonprofit organization based in Gulu, Uganda that aids Ugandans in healing from various traumas by enhancing their self-sufficiency and self-esteem—gave the Keynote Address. Hearing their inspirational stories ignited a fire that ultimately led me to apply for the ECLC.
After learning more about the Ethics Center as an ECLC member, I became intrigued by Peacebuilding and the Arts and Campus Programming. As a Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies minor, promoting peace by means of creating art was really inspirational to learn about. And regarding campus programs, who doesn’t want a $4000 grant to carry out humanitarian work anywhere in the world?!
For me, the most rewarding part about being involved in the Ethics Center is having access to an incredible network of motivated students and faculty who are all working to promote justice and better the world. Whether it’s learning about student initiatives to promote peace by creating art, reading the work of international judges discussing contemporary issues in international justice, or speaking with Sorensen Fellows who just came back from a summer-long fully funded internship abroad, I am constantly in awe of the resources and programming offered through the Ethics Center.
Starting this February 1, the Ethics Center is sponsoring ‘DEIS Impact 2014, a weeklong festival of social justice. Rumor has it, Nelson Mandela’s grandsons will be speaking at the keynote address! Be sure to check out the schedule of events for a complete breakdown of the entire festival!
If you’d like to become involved in the Ethics Center, please check out our upcoming events. We’d love to see you there!
-Talia Lepson, ’16