At a student assembly during Reunion weekend, WT alumnae/i shared the many ways that they “think also of the comfort and the rights of others” through work that promotes social justice.

 

“In college, I had the opportunity to be in a radical community of people trying to fight against apartheid and institutional racism. It really challenged me. What happened for me as I started to really learn about both racial and gender issues, about the culture of my identity, was very personal. As a society, we’ve taken private violence and we’ve exposed it. We’ve named it. That is a historical anomaly. One of the most amazing things of this generation is that we’re facing a problem that is vast and it’s global and as we name it we can challenge it and we’re blasting it apart.”

Sara Elinoff Acker ’76
Psychotherapist, Author, Training Facilitator, Program Innovator


“Working with non-profits, I like to be a part of the solution in some way. I like feeling as though I’m helping exceptional organizations in the arts and education think about the things that they need in order to accomplish their work.

Seeing how scary the news can be as my young son tries to understand injustice, I’ve realized that what I can pass on to him is that we need to be clear on our values. We can be strong together. How we treat other people matters. How he treats his friend in first grade, matters.”

Colin DePaor ’96
Organizational Strategist, Nonprofit Development Consultant

“We can’t operate on fear. If we all really, truly, love and respect ourselves, everyone is going to feel loved and respected. As that happens for everyone, it’s going to show. There is something called “self-care” and it’s really radical and really important. I don’t call myself a social justice artist or an activist. It’s about being who I am, and knowing what I want to give to the world.”

Alisha B. Wormsley ’96,
Interdisciplinary Artist, Teacher, Community Oriented Cultural Producer


“Anybody, in any career, if they have values that have to do with promoting social justice, they can bring them to where they are, in any area … I made a conscious choice to align myself with people who are struggling. I chose to represent trade unions because I wanted to help workers but it’s about what I did in my spare time, after work, at lunchtime, in the mornings at 4:00 a.m., and on weekends that makes me an activist.

You have to start somewhere with any issue.

I don’t believe that individuals change history. People working together, preferably working together in very large movements and numbers do.”

– Vicki Erenstein ya Toivo ’66,
Activist and Special Advisor to the Namibian Minister of Labour and Social Welfare (L), with student moderator senior Roshni Nischal (R)


“We are the media. You and all of us can use communication different ways. Are you going to sit in front of a screen and make your selections in life, set your professional course and determine your mission based on what you see on that screen, or are you going to experience life? That’s really the question. Are you going to do the art? Are you going to help the non-profit? Are you going to fight for people you know have been wronged?

You are obligated to be a witness in this world. If you choose not to do that, change will never happen.”

–  Lynn Johnson ’71,
Renowned Photojournalist, National Geographic Fellow, and Professor