Social Justice Soup

Posted on: November 28th, 2012

It’s 10 o’clock at night and there are six women in my tiny kitchen. Food scraps are flying; we have more vegetables than counter space. Three oversized soup pots are boiling with broth and oddly there is a sense of organized chaos. This is stressful, not to mention messy but it needs to be done. ‘Tis the season, its time for the Gannon Scholars annually Sustainable Dinner. This event involves homemade meals made by the Gannon Scholars, student and guest speakers. Also, dinner guests are invited to reflect on experiences regarding food, sustainability and feminism. Despite the inevitable stress that ensues when planning and producing the event, the dinner never ceases to amaze me. Student and staff alike break bread and take time to relax and think about gender issues in regards to sustainability. Two topics that often are undervalued and silenced.

To understand the dinner, and the combination of sustainability and feminism an explanation of the Gannon Scholars is necessary. The Gannon Scholars is a four-year progressive scholarship program that strives to foster activism, service, and academic excellence within Loyola women leaders. The women in my kitchen are just six of the group of seventeen qualified young women who have informed my understanding of social justice throughout my undergrad experience. We collaborate as a group to put on campus and community events that value women’s experiences. In weekly meetings, we grapple with gender inequality both in our lives and society as a whole. Individually, we each have our niche. Our academic interests often inform our activism–women in politics, gendered education reform, feminism in literature, midwifery just to name a few. Surrounding myself with this dynamic group of women has challenged me to view social justice not as an isolated act but rather as a lifestyle.

Social justice then, must be understood not as the event of the sustainable dinner. Instead it must be understood as the women in my kitchen and the students at the tables. Social justice is rarely grandiose. More often it is small acts of justice- an engagement with something that you care deeply about. The Gannon Scholars, like Loyola in general aims to educate for the purpose of justice. These, messages of social justice are deeply engrained within us as Jesuit students, “Go forth and set the world on fire,” the mantra of Ignition education. In the mean time, I’m just hoping not to set my kitchen on fire.

Loyola University Chicago's Social Justice Web Portal is designed to provide a positive environment for the Loyola community to discuss important issues and ideas. Differences of opinion are encouraged. We invite comments in response to posts and ask that you write in a civil and respectful manner. Comments will be screened for tone and content. All comments must include the first and last name of the author and a valid e-mail address. The appearance of comments on the Web Portal does not imply the University's endorsement or acceptance of views expressed.

Comments are closed.