Education administration students explore social justice

· 2 min read

Education administration students explore social justice

UNL students (L-R) Joel Orozco-Almeida, Jessica Weed, Lynn Huynh and Kevin Rush attend the 2014 Institute for Social Justice Nov. 9-11 in Seattle.

Four graduate students in Educational Administration are attending the 2014 Institute on Social Justice Nov. 9-11 in Seattle. Lynn Huynh, Joel Orozco-Almeida, Kevin Rush and Jessica Weed are in the second-year cohort of the student affairs master’s degree program.

According to Corey Rumann, assistant professor of practice in Educational Administration, it’s unusual for students in a student affairs program to take such a proactive interest in social justice issues and attend a conference dedicated to the topic—especially when they are mostly paying their own way.

The Educational Administration Student Affairs program at UNL is one of the few nationally whose students participate in a social justice retreat as part of their experience in the program. The emphasis on social justice is motivating students to learn more and think about the practice of social justice in their profession.

“We need to prepare ourselves to work with students who have vastly different life experiences than we have,” said Weed. “In order to do that, we need to take into account all the factors that affect our students, including their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and other social identities they may hold. This is where social justice comes in—trying to learn about ourselves and others.”

Huynh first got exposed to social justice in high school when to support a gay friend, she joined the Pride Alliance organization at her school. She transitioned from not wanting to be identified as “one of them” to being the group’s president. She is excited to attend the Institute on Social Justice “to more clearly define what social justice means to me” and “to share where I started, because I feel it is important for people to understand that this does not just happen, and I do not just get it. Social justice for me is a framework in how we do things, but also a life style.”

The 2014 Institute for Social Justice is sponsored by the American College Personnel Association and is designed for students and others to “learn or refine ways from experts to address the challenges of infusing social justice into your everyday activities and conversations.”

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