Faculty from the School of Social Work organized a meeting on Feb. 2 to debrief the Women’s March and to find ways to maintain the momentum of social activism at Wayne State.
The discussion included students and faculty from the School of Education and the School of Social Work.
Susan Lebold, a Bachelor of Social Work coordinator, said the inauguration of President Donald Trump inspired her to become more politically active.
“I advocate for advocacy and community organizing all the time, but I had to admit to myself that I’m not that good at doing it myself,” Lebold said. “I can talk the talk, but I haven’t been walking the walk.”
Lebold said the election altered her attitude and encouraged her to act.
“After this election, I decided that I’m through with standing on the sidelines. I need to start putting my face out there,” she said.
The meeting was a group brainstorming session to maintain the momentum on campus. Ideas included joining forces with other campus organizations to gain a broader audience and forming a networking group to collect politically focused resources.
The group discussed what the future could hold in terms of advancing the women’s movement and how WSU could be the leading force behind it.
Kim Jaffee, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, said it is the responsibility of organizations to promote justice and equality.
“Every institution, especially an institution that I’m connected with, should be advocating for social justice,” Jaffee said. “We are at risk of losing social justice in this country.”
Caitlin Cassady, a Ph.D. student in social work and anthropology, said students should get politically active to defy the negative stereotypes surrounding millennials.
“Millennials have been getting a really bad [reputation],” Cassady said. “Some of the [rumors] I’ve heard about millennials in the job market are like, ‘[millennials] want to be a part of something, they want to make a difference, but they don’t have the attention span to do it.’”
Cassady said the election is an opportunity for millennials to prove themselves.
“This is really our generation’s chance to show people that we care about diversity and human rights,” she said. “We’re here to work and we’re going to keep doing it.”
The next debriefing meeting will be on March 2 at 3:30 p.m. in the School of Social Work building.