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.
Adam Hochschild, an award-winning journalist and the author of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africs, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-18, and other books, will be coming to Brandeis this October 13th from 3:30 to 5:00 in the afternoon in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall.
Hochschild spent most of his career writing about human rights and social justice, and is currently a lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. This October, he will be delivering a public lecture about the public debate in Great Britain over the outbreak of World War I.
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 will be available for purchase and signing.
The Davis Projects for Peace initiative encourages students to design grassroots projects for peace that they themselves will implement anywhere in the world. In this year’s round of applications, four Brandeis students were given grants to spend their summers in India and Israel to work towards their causes.
Abie Troen and Andrea Verdaja are in India filming a documentary promoting the rights and entitlement of Dalit (untouchable) women. Abie and Andrea have made this video, showing some of their work in India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edq0i_NHDzs
Catie Stewart ’16 and Eli Philip’s ’15 are spending their summer in Israel working on their project, “Brandeis University – Al Quds University Student Dialogue Inititative” is working on establishing a long-term dialogue between students of the two universities
The Russian government and the Greenpeace organization are arguing over the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic. The rig is owned by Gazprom, a Russian state-owned company. The base of the rig is so heavy that it cannot be moved, and it sits about 20 meters (66 feet) deep on a seabed.
The issue with the rig is not its structure. Instead, it is the possibility of a spill in the Arctic waters. Campaigners say that “the nature here is unique,” as the animals, such as polar bears, walruses, and narwhals, have nowhere else to go if there is a spill. The arctic ocean has two narrow entrances to the remaining oceans: one by Iceland and the other by Alaska. Therefore, there is little mixing with other seas, causing oil spills to stay in the Arctic. Also, an oil spill would be catastrophic because of the low temperatures in the north. In tropical waters, oil becomes absorbed readily by bacteria and other microorganisms. These microorganisms do not live in cold waters, so the oil would stay in the Arctic for about 100 years. Companies also do not have the technology to collect spilled oil under ice.
Gazprom claims that they have extremely safe measures intact. The rig is in shallow water, enabling the wellhead to be inside the rig. There is also a cut-off system that offloads the oil into tanks. There are detections on the tanks to detect movement, and if there is too much movement by a factor such as ice, oil stops flowing. The company also claims that they could clean up a spill under the ice by using icebreakers. Two icebreakers are near the rig, which would enable skimmers to enter the water and clean oil if needed.
The safety measurements are not enough for Greenpeace activists, who repeatedly attempt to climb the rig in protest. By climbing the rig, the activists are creating risk to the rig’s possibility of spilling. Workers have even started to spray the rig with fire hoses while the activists attempt to climb up, but the activists claim that the use of inflatable boats and lightweight ropes deters them from being a threat.
This year, when 30 Greenpeace activists attempted to climb the rig, the FSB, Russia’s federal security service, pulled the activists off, pointed guns at them, and opened fire onto the water. The activists are now in jail with charges of “piracy as part of an organized group.” The Netherlands, where the Greenpeace ship that went to the Arctic is registered, is currently challenging the arrests with an argument of the “Convention of the Law of the Sea.”
View the full article here.
The Black-Jew Dialogues is coming to Brandeis!
What’s so funny about two US American marginalized groups that have slavery, the KKK, and chicken livers in common?
That’s what you’ll find out in this extraordinary two-actor play on the history and absurdity of prejudice and racism and the power of tough conversations that push us closer to coexistence. The Black-Jew Dialogues combines fast-paced sketches, improvisations, multi-media, puppets and a game show to create a show that has gained praise across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. at universities, high schools, synagogues, and theaters.
Where: Lown Auditorium
When: November 14, 9:30 PM
Entrance is FREE!
View the trailer here. Hope to see you there!