- May 2, 2012
- 12:01 am
- Jessica Reynolds
Social justice savvy
Loyola is known for its commitment to social justice, but often the good deeds of students and employees go overlooked – until now.
A new website launched by the Office of the Provost is showing how Loyola lives up to its motto of “being a person for others.”
Courses, clubs, and articles relating to societal problems are accessible on Loyola’s new social justice website, which is the brainchild of Kathleen Maas Weigert, Carolyn Farrell, BVM, professorship in women and leadership and assistant to the provost for social justice initiatives. “Without the technical talents of Chris Abplanalp and Steve Ravenscraft and the research-writing skills of my assistant, Kelly Silay (CAS ’12), this would not have been possible,” says Maas Weigert.
Maas Weigert says the site’s purpose is twofold: “to lift up all the terrific social justice work being done at this University that most people don’t know about” and “to provide resources for advancing social justice.”
When Maas Weigert assumed her role in the provost’s office last April, she told John Pelissero, PhD, provost, her top priority was to create a web portal highlighting Loyola’s concrete commitments to social justice.
A year later, here it is. But in order for the website to be sustainable, it needs a steady supply of content. Maas Weigert encourages anyone working to correct a societal wrong to submit photos and videos portraying their work.
“We want people to see the doing of social justice as well as the thinking about it and the spiritual engagement with it,” she says.
Students can also contribute as bloggers and reflect about the rewards and challenges of pushing for change, whether through service-learning courses, course research, membership in campus organizations, or community volunteering.
When asked why she thinks Loyola has not previously had a platform for publicizing social justice in action, Maas Weigert speculated, “People just do it without really thinking of the fact that not everybody knows.”
Humility is a common trait of Loyola students, but showcasing actions allows those passionate about a topic to find partners in the struggle.
“With all the problems in the world, we need to coalesce this energy to address them,” Maas Weigert says.