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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Peace and Justice Center

     It started out as an assignment for my Social Movements class—to volunteer my time with a social justice group in Prescott that I hadn’t yet participated in. The Peace and Justice Center seemed like a perfect choice for me, having had taken multiple classes in Peace Studies at Prescott College. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did—it wasn’t that I didn’t care about social justice or the objectives of the Peace and Justice Center(PJC), I was just crunched for time. I was taking a full course load, dividing my time up between work, classes, groups I currently volunteered with, and extracurricular obligations. I didn’t feel I had the time to tack on another obligation. I was looking at this as a chore, and not a golden opportunity to be more involved with my own experiences at Prescott College.
     The first meeting of the semester was what really began to change things. I began to understand what the PJC was really about. We weren’t sitting around talking about issues and the way things should be in our community…we were pitching ideas about speakers, workshops, film screenings, and other events to bring to Prescott College. We were focusing our efforts on collaborating with other on-campus groups to educate our community and CREATE CHANGE within the town of Prescott, the state of Arizona, the United States, and the World.

     And that’s when I realized it for certain: Prescott College is an activist’s dream school. Here we have the ability to step forward out of the crowd and work together to take action and create change. More often than not, students can be afraid to come forth with their beliefs and let their colors shine. But here we receive so much support that failing to come forward with new projects and ideas can be scarier than actually implementing them. The Peace and Justice Center offers students and community members a space to be heard—to pitch ideas for events, to share grievances and create a dialogue about how we can manifest solutions to current issues about human rights, border justice, environmental problems, and the like.


***Our most recent efforts have been focused on putting together a series of FREE community events exploring the true costs of “Free Trade” and how it affects food sustainability, environmental, economic, and social justice issues on a national and worldwide scale. On Monday, April 26th, Director Aaron Woolf will be arriving at Prescott College to screen his award winning documentaries “King Corn” and “Big River”. Following the screening he will conduct a discussion about food sustainability and the pressures of government subsidized mono-cropping in the United States. The following afternoon, April 27th, Borderlinks will present a workshop about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Following a skit and discussion, Borderlinks will explore the profound implications NAFTA has on the environment, global politics, economical, and human rights issues, as well as the way it affects our everyday lives and the world around us. Come join us for an informational discussion about “Free Trade” and the ways in which each individual can help solve these issues in our country, and the world. ***

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