Call to action to protect minorities

Krystal Jackson, Julia Scherb, John Verser Mar 5, 2017
Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

The Social Justice Coalition is an organization created to bridge the gap between existing organizations on campus dedicated to social change. The Coalition is an alliance of campus organizations that aim to create effective, systemic culture and policy changes on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. The perceived politically apathetic environment on Carnegie Mellon’s campus makes it challenging for the diverse range of student organizations concerned with cultural awareness, community service, political change to coordinate, and mobilize students and their causes.

These organizations host events that are underfunded, poorly attended, and often redundant. Such efforts suffer due to a lack of coordination between groups, effectively fracturing a community with shared interests. The Social Justice Coalition aims to remedy this disconnect between campus organizations by providing a space for open discourse and discussing the issues that matter most to the Carnegie Mellon community.
The Coalition will work by dividing the organizations into interest committees based on the goals of individual organizations. Committees such as Racial and Ethnic Justice, Gender and Sexuality, Pittsburgh Community, International Development, and Civic Engagement and Government will allow groups of similarly focused organizations to specialize while also promoting intersectionality. The Coalition will work to bring together a community of engaged organizations in the hopes of creating systematic change. Finally, the Coalition will work with the administration and other organizations in and around the Pittsburgh community to promote conversation and political action.

The Social Justice Coalition not only offers the opportunity to unite existing humanitarian organizations to speak in one voice — it also offers member organizations the chance to foster a true sense of community and coordination within Carnegie Mellon.

The Social Justice Coalition would serve as the tool with which to implement these processes.
The Social Justice Coalition will be the foundation on which the future Carnegie Mellon community will build upon. Students will be able to use the Coalition as a facilitator and long-term resource to encourage healthy debate and concrete change in Carnegie Mellon policy.

By hosting public student forums and guest speakers, as well as organizing campus-wide fundraisers and protests, the Coalition will increase the efficacy of existing organizations to spread awareness and spur inquiry.

For these reasons, the Coalition’s most pressing task is to unite campus organizations in a practical and effective way that improves communication and bolsters support for the on-campus social justice community.
Now more than ever, it is necessary to act against the political injustices affecting the Carnegie Mellon community.

Such profound action requires determination, a vast array of resources, and the time and effort of a devoted, coherent community.

The Social Justice Coalition will build such a community, reducing apathy and joining student organizations together. More than any one organization before it, the Coalition has the potential to truly change the minds and hearts of those at Carnegie Mellon. Change in the right direction will only come if Carnegie Mellon stands together: the Coalition is the bond that will keep that unity alive.

If you have any questions or would like to join the movement, please do not hesitate to contact the Chair of the Coalition, Iris Stegman.

She can be reached via email at cmusjcoalition@gmail.com.

Editor's note: The writers are members of the Social Justice Coalition.