Every day, communities grapple with conflicts and injustices that often remain unresolved because we lack the tools and vocabulary to effectively address them. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Buffalo State College is holding its annual Social Justice Festival to share methods, practices and experiences that bring people together for change.
“It’s not hard to find social injustice in our world today, where corruption, where greed, where the pursuit of power is put in front of taking care of each other,” said Drew Kahn, a SUNY Distinguished Professor and the founding director of Buffalo State’s Anne Frank Project, the organizer of the festival. “The real basic meaning of social justice is taking care of each other, that there is ‘we’ before ‘me.'”
Jewish-Dutch Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during World War II, but eventually died in a concentration camp, still just a teenager. The diary she kept of her experience has inspired social justice across the world. June would have been Anne Frank’s 90th birthday.
“Social Justice means equity. It means that there should be equitable distribution for all,” he said. “We’re really training activists to be activists in their own life and to be activists in the worlds that they touch and connect to. It’s not just talk, it’s doing. So if it’s a presenter talking about the power of writing, then participants will be writing and creating their narrative. If it’s about social change and dance, they will be dancing and sweating.”