WSSU holds Social Justice Week

WSSU holds Social Justice Week
October 15
00:00 2015

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

Although it was midterm season, many Winston-Salem State University students found time to take part in Social Justice Week.

Presented by the Office of the Attorney General and Political Action Committee last week, Social Justice Week was designed to give the students a chacne to express their views on a number of social justice issues that are dividing the country.

The events were held Monday through Thursday, with a different topic being discussed every day.

During the opening day of Social Justice week, students and educators discussed mass incarceration, activism and impacting the community, but voter participation led the discussion.

According to Mona Zahir, attorney general of the Student Government Association, 2008 was the only time black voters had higher voting turnout rates than whites.

“Our ancestors fought for us to have this right to vote, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be voting every chance we get,” said Zahir. “2008 was the only time black voters have had the highest turnout rate, and we all know why that was.”

“I don’t think we will ever have a voter turnout like we did in 2008,” said Zahir. “Instead of voting for the candidates who look like us, we should do more research on what these candidates are about.”

Deonna Cureton, director of student conduct, expressed how important it is to vote during mid-term elections. According to Cureton, most younger citizens don’t vote during mid-term elections because they don’t feel like they are as important.


“This generation doesn’t pay attention to mid-term elections for what ever reason,” said Cureton. “Mid-terms are the most important election for making change. We have to do something better; advocacy is about working together.”

The topic of mass incarceration sparked a number of constructive talks as well. Dr. Jack Monell, a professor of history and politics at WSSU, said mass incarceration is the new slavery.

“Mass incarceration is the new slavery. A lot of black people say Bill Clinton was the first black president, but what they don’t know is that under Clinton, more African-American males were arrested than ever before.”

Monell has a lot of experience working for social justice before becoming a educator. He worked in a number of different fields, including Federal Community Corrections, Juvenile Justice & Delinquency, Family Preservation and Child Welfare.

“I have worked in the justice system at a number of different levels. For us to stop this modern day slave trade, we must educate each other,” said Monell. “We have to make sure our brothers and sisters are educated on the laws.”

To wrap up Social Justice Week on Saturday, Oct. 10, over 100 students from WSSU took a bus to the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March on Washington.

Zahir said it is important that the younger generation be about the movement and not the moment.

“It’s important that we have these discussions and keep them going,” said Zahir. “We need to find the real leaders who are willing to take that first step to transform the way we live our lives.”


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