Visiting social justice visitors tell their stories in the classroom
In ENV2700: Social Media, Social Movements, and the Environment, 6 social activists and social justice organizers came to class to share their personal stories of how they entered into social justice, action, and mobilization with 16 WPI students. The current WPI students are working on their own social action plans for how they plan to engage in a social movement of their focus now as students, and in the future as a STEM professionals. The guest activists came to provide insight, advise, and mentorship.
Two of the activists, Joshua Croke and Tim O'Neil are 2014 WPI alum. Josh designed their own major focused on technology, sustainable design, and inclusive marketing. Josh has used their degree as the founder of Love Your Labels, which advocates and provides programming for queer youth and others fighting for acceptance and visibility. Love your labels is hosting a Queer AF fundraiser fashion show on April 18, 2020. Tim O'Neil graduated from WPI with degrees in BME and management. His IQP in Namibia and degrees and skills from WPI led him to African Community Education (ACE), where he has become a critical member of this social justice initiative, and where he has helped to foster a relationship between WPI and ACE.
Our other participants have supported WPI students in multiple ways, including through social justice mentorship and as project sponsors. They include:
Jeuji Diamondstone, Renewable Energy Worcester
Gaylen Moore, Mother's Out Front: Mobilizing for a Changing Climate
Lisa Burris, Turn Back Time, Teaching and Healing At-Risk Populations through Farm and Nature
Martha Assefa, manager of the Worcester Food Policy Counsel, where she works on issues around food access, food justice, an increase in the minimum wage, and earned sick time.