October 26, 2020

Social Justice Summit Spurs Students to Action

UMW students speak at a previous Social Justice and Leadership Summit, presented by the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Covering topics like systemic racism, housing injustice, immigration and climate crisis, this year's full event was held last weekend, while a smaller event was held during the summer.

UMW students speak at a previous Social Justice and Leadership Summit, presented by the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Covering topics like systemic racism, housing injustice, immigration and climate crisis, this year’s full event was held last weekend, while a smaller event was held during the summer.

When junior Mandy Byrd came to the University of Mary Washington, she got involved with the James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC) and the University’s new NAACP chapter. These organizations helped open her eyes to a wide range of social justice issues, she said, and “just how powerful this kind of work can be.”

Her goal is to devote the rest of college – and beyond – to educating people about injustice and encouraging conversations that result in “positive and lasting change.”

She did both last Saturday, when JFMC hosted its Social Justice and Leadership Summit on Zoom. Dozens of Mary Washington students joined high school and community college students from the Fredericksburg area, as well as UMW faculty members and guest speakers, engaging in a virtual dialogue about pressing issues currently impacting our country and planet. Held annually since 2018 – usually in person – the summit gives students, according to the website, “the chance to build coalitions across cultural barriers, strengthen advocacy and promote a more equitable culture and climate at UMW and in American society.” Read more.

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