Thanks to the example of Mount Saint Mary’s founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and to the everyday activism of our students, faculty and staff, issues of justice remain front and center at the University.
In February, some timely issues received an intentional focus during Social Justice Week at the Mount, held Feb. 12-16. Created by the University’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Mount Saint Mary’s Community Engagement team, the week not only sought to raise awareness around issues of justice, but also to give students a chance to engage in conversation and action.
The week kicked off with Social Justice Fairs at each campus, offering students a chance to get involved in building awareness around issues like immigration, human trafficking, homelessness, gender inequities and the LGBTQIA community. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, a pair of talks on each campus highlighted the issue of prison form, with panel discussions led by formerly incarcerated women and men.
Valentine’s Day, in the middle of Social Justice Week, offered an appropriate day of prayer and reflection in chapels on both Chalon and Doheny campuses. The week ended with Mount Saint Mary’s sponsoring students to attend a day-long Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation, hosted at Biola University.
All members of the Mount community also had the chance throughout February to directly provide supplies and donations to an L.A. nonprofit, Alexandria House, that provides safe and supportive transitional housing for single women and women with children. Alexandria House was founded by Sister Judy Vaughn, CSJ.
This being Mount Saint Mary’s, where social justice advocacy is never limited to a single week, other social justice activities continued throughout the month.
On Feb. 21-22, a multitude of departments and programs came together to support The Clothesline Project, an annual opportunity for Mount community members to provide empowerment, support, education and healing tools for survivors of all types of violence. Clotheslines were strung around both campuses, and participants decorated t-shirts to represent their experience or the experience of a violence survivor they support.
Each day included evening events, too. On the 21st, a screening of “The Hunting Ground” was offered in Chalon’s Hannon Theater, followed by a panel discussion on sexual assault. On the 22nd, students, faculty, staff and CSJ sisters came together for a “Take Back the Night” anti-violence march from the Mount’s Doheny Campus through surrounding communities.