Eastern students, staff and faculty participated in a "Safe Civil Disobedience for Social Justice" workshop in Goddard Hall on Dec. 1.The workshop was sparked by a campus-wide faculty response to news stories showing campus police at the University of California at Davis using pepper spray on students who were engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience.
Faculty and staff shared information on how to engage Eastern students and faculty in raising awareness and promoting social justice on campus. Tracy Sutherland, public service librarian in the J. Eugene Smith Library, presented the audience with numerous resources available to the public that would inform them about the "Occupy" movement, which has spread across the globe. Sutherland has also created a resource page on Eastern's library website that provides information on books, videos, and online journals that focus on civil disobedience. "I am not an activist, said Sutherland, "but doing this research has really opened my eyes."
Starsheemar Byrum, coordinator of Eastern's Women's Center, discussed the center's plans to raise social justice awareness during the spring semester. Her office is working closely with the Intercultural Center to produce a social justice calendar of events that will contain activities supporting Eastern's mission to educate the campus community on a wide range of issues.
Visual Arts Professors Imna Arroyo and Mark Gerard McKee provided a rich historical presentation on the importance and impact of art and dissent, and the power of images on civil discourse.