Below is the Social Justice and Social Policy Program’s statement of solidarity with #FordHall2015. Though the occupation has ended, with success, we feel it is important to share this nonetheless.
Statement of solidarity with #FordHall2015
The Program in Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP) stands in solidarity with the students who peacefully occupy the office of the University President. The mission of SJSP is to develop effective social policies and encourage students to advocate for change. SJSP seeks to teach students to
“Rigorously engage with core questions of liberty, equality, and justice
Interrogate the historical, structural, and cultural contexts that shape the dynamics of discrimination and inequality in a range of institutions
Clearly communicate theories, analyses, and policy solutions, both orally and in writing
Apply generalized principles to a range of real-world issues and settings
Deploy analytic frameworks and tools to develop effective policy approaches to specific social problems
Adeptly consider and respond to objections to proposed policy solutions
Collaborate with …communities to develop policy strategies that address pressing issues.” University Bulletin.
How can we demand these educational commitments for our students and not of ourselves? Our students are now taking the lead. These are the leaders of the next generation. It is our responsibility as faculty to support the peaceful demonstration and encourage the dialogue by which they seek change.
It’s Not Better in Mentor: Bullying, Suicide, and Denial in an All-American Town (New England premiere) Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, 4 – 6 p.m.
Wasserman Cinemateque, Sachar International Center, IBS
Part of the ‘DEIS Impact Festival of Social Justice
At first glance, Mentor, Ohio, seems like any other wholesome midwestern town, even earning a spot in Money Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Live. But Mentor’s tree-lined streets and marching bands could not prevent the spate of teen suicides caused by relentless bullying and an indifferent school system.
The Vidovic family came to Mentor to escape the war in Croatia only to have their daughter Sladjana commit suicide at age 16 after years of relentless bullying. More interested in maintaining its image than in helping protect vulnerable students, Mentor High School failed to punish the perpetrators.
Eric Mohat, 17, hardly seemed the type to be targeted by bullies. Active in musical theatre, he seemed like a happy kid. Until the day he committed suicide, the family had no idea of the bullying he endured.
Devastating, illuminating and buttressed with a haunting score, director Lambert skillfully documents bullying in the internet age and makes us wonder if Mentor is just the tip of the iceberg. This film is thought provoking and unforgettable.
A discussion with filmmaker Alix Lambert and bullying expert Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D., moderated by Joy Von Steiger, clinical director of the Brandeis Psychological Counseling Center, follows the screening.
–About the filmmaker:
Alix Lambert’s feature length documentary The Mark of Cain was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and aired on Nightline. She went on to produce additional segments of Nightline as well as produce 7 segments for the PBS series LIFE 360. Lambert has written for a number of magazines including Stop Smiling, ArtForum, and The LA Weekly, and is an editor at large for the literary journal OPEN CITY. She wrote Episode 6, season 3 of Deadwood: A Rich Find (for which she won a WGA award) and was a staff writer and associate producer on John From Cincinnati.