Social Justice Month April 2023

Social Justice Month April 2023

Merrimack College is offering a number of events during April 2023 to highlight the need for social justice in the world.

Tuesday. April 4, 12 p.m.
Poetry Reading: Douglas Manuel 

Location: Writer’s House

Douglas Manuel’s first collection of poems, Testify, won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for poetry. His poems and essays can be found in numerous literary journals, magazines, and websites, most recently Zyzzyva, Pleiades, and the New Orleans Review. He has traveled to Egypt and Eritrea with The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program to teach poetry. A recipient of the Dana Gioia Poetry Award and a fellowship from the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts, he is a Bayard Rustin Fellow at Whittier College and teaches at Spalding University’s low-res MFA program. Organizer: The Writers House

Tuesday. April 11, 12-1:15 p.m.
Documenting LGBTQ+ History: The Story of the History Project, Boston’s Queer Community Archive

Location: Writer’s House

Speaker: Sam Valentine (she/they), archivist, The History Project. Sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, with assistance from the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.

Tuesday. April 11, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Taking Action for Social Justice

Location: Crowe 126

Matthew Cohen, Valerie Overton, Larry Freeman, and Charles James, co-founders of the social justice action group Together We Rise will offer thoughts on concrete actions students can take to help support social and racial justice in their daily lives both in day to day interactions and as part of movements and bigger joint efforts. We will encourage student questions, engagement, and thoughts so we can help students figure out what the best path is for each of them. The goal is each student will leave knowing a series of concrete steps they can take next to further their knowledge and ability to take meaningful actions, and we will give out handouts that have information on such steps. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Public Policy.

Thursday, April 13, 2-3:15 p.m.
Antisemitism: Past and Present 

Location: Crowe 126

Rabbi Howard Mandell serves as the rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel of the Merrimack Valley. He previously worked as a civil rights attorney, including for the Southern Poverty Law Center. He teaches Introduction to Social Justice at Merrimack College. Sponsored by the Social Justice Program.

Saturday. April 15, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Giving Garden Clean Up

Location: Giving Garden, North Andover. 660 Great Pond Road

The North Andover Giving Garden donates all the food grown to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Join us as we support the Giving Garden through a spring clean up.

Monday, April 17-Wed., April 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Paper Bag Project

Location: Main Street Table

This project gives the Merrimack community the opportunity to share their food insecurity experiences and stories on a paper bag. The paper bags will be displayed for 2 weeks on the wall next to the elevator at the Sak. The Food Recovery Network team will do tabling from 4/17 to 4/19 to interact with the MC community. Organizer: Vivian Villaman. Sponsored by The Food Recovery Network.

Monday. April 17, 4-5 p.m.
Art-Based Community Engagement

Location: Cogswell Arts Center, Haverhill

More information coming soon.

Monday, April 17, 4-5 p.m.
From Silence to Sounds: A Sound Bath for Expressing Your Voice

Location: Crowe Executive Room, Zoom Link

Speaking out for social justice can be a challenging experience. Join Dr. Kirstie Lynn Dobbs, Assistant Professor of Practice in Political Science and a certified sound healer, for a sound bath experience intended to unblock emotional, mental, and physical obstacles to expressing your political voice. Sound healing is used to promote clarity, healing, and a sense of peace and relaxation. This sound bath will focus on opening up the throat chakra, our energy center focused on communication. Attendees should bring a towel, mat, pillow, and/or anything to make them comfortable during the sound bath. A journal for reflection is also suggested. Organizer: Dr. Kirstie Lynn Dobbs. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Public Policy.

Tuesday, April 18, 3-4 p.m.
Social Justice and Political Science

Location: Sullivan B6

Join three of your Political Science faculty (Dr. McGravey, Dr. Dobbs, and Dr. Flaherty) to have a conversation about their research projects and connections to Social Justice. Our projects include the role of the first amendment in questions of social and democratic justice, youth involvement in social justice movements, and indigenous peoples’ deaths in criminal justice systems. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Public Policy.

Wednesday, April 19, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Social Justice Pop-Up Pop Quiz!

Location: Main Street Table

Come test your knowledge on social justice! Correct answers will be entered to win a prize. Sponsored by the Discover Program.

Wednesday, April 19, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Growing Food Justice

Location: Merrimack Garden, 27 Rock Ridge Road

Access to healthy, culturally relevant foods is a food justice and social justice issue. Take home seeds from the Merrimack Seed Library and learn how to care for them. Organizer: Lisa Perks, Department of Communication and Media

Wednesday, April 19, 3-3:50 p.m.
Food Justice Focused Community Engaged Teaching and Learning

Location: Executive Room in Crowe

Moderator: Elaine Ward
Panelists: Deanna Danforth, Anne Flaherty, Sandra Raponi, Eleanor Shonkoff, Vivian Villaman
Faculty and staff will describe their experiences with developing food justice focused curriculum, and engaging students in community action for change to decrease food insecurity and increase access to fresh, nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all residents across the Merrimack Valley. Supported by the Presidential Civic and Community Engagement Initiative.

Wednesday, April 19, 4-4:50 p.m.
Food Justice Focused Community Engaged Research

Location: Executive Room in Crowe

Panelists: Cyndy Carlson, Eleanor Shonkoff, Chris Stuetzle, and Elaine Ward
Learn about the work faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administrators did to support the development of the Regional Food Resiliency Partnership between 30 organizations across Methuen, Haverhill, Andover, North Andover and Lawrence. Faculty will share their experiences connecting their teaching, research, and service through the development of the Food Justice Action Research Cluster. Supported by the Presidential Civic and Community Engagement Initiative.

Thursday, April 20, 12-1 p.m.
Experiences at the Nexus
Location: Unity House

Hear from Latinx Students and their experiences with community engaged learning, diversity, equity, and inclusion and academic success.

Wednesday, April 26, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Community Engaged Learning and Neurodiverse Students

Location: McQuade Auditorium

Looking at community learning and engagement with neurodiverse students through the lens of the student experience. Students will share their perspectives and experiences with community engaged learning, engagement and working for social change.Organized by Mackenzie Reynolds, Ivy Irwin, Emily leal, Elaine Ward, Higher Education, ASO.

Thursday, April 27, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Anti-Racist Community Engagement

Location: 485 Andover Street

Facilitator: Elaine Ward. Bring your lunch for a discussion of anti-racist community engaged teaching, learning, and research principles and practices. Sponsored by Higher Education, Elaine Ward.

Friday, April 28, 12-1 p.m.
The Connection Between Faith and Social Justice

Location: Campus Ministry Office, Sanctuary Cafe

Organizer: Rileigh Armstrong, Campus Ministry Sponsored by Mission & Ministry.

Saturday April 29th 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Earth Day Lawrence 
Location: Campagnone North Common

Help clean up around the city and make our open spaces beautiful!