When Neesha Tambe (COL ’13) and Jocelyn Fong (SFS ’14) began discussing social-justice issues on and off campus, they saw something lacking in Georgetown’s social-justice resources.
Tambe thought Georgetown’s social-justice opportunities and groups were too disparate and needed a source of unity, while Fong wanted to create a forum for individuals to discuss matters of social justice.
As a solution to both problems, Tambe and Fong launched JUST, the university’s first social-justice publication, in December.
“Though motivated for different reasons, we both came to the conclusion that a social-justice publication on campus could be a space to thoughtfully discuss social justice, one of the cornerstone values of Jesuit ideals,” Fong said.
Tambe, who is the Georgetown University Student Association secretary of social justice, and Fong, who is executive editor of the new publication, received $250 from GUSA to make these two visions a reality.
The creation of JUST marks the culmination of a long series of efforts by students involved in the Center for Social Justice and other related campus groups to spark a university-wide discussion about social-justice issues.
“We challenge our readers and writers to think critically and constructively about social inequality in our communities,” Fong said.
The publication aims to build bridges between student groups and academic departments, as well as between students and faculty. JUST seeks input from all individuals and groups.
Contributions thus far have focused on education, highlighting students’ experiences with D.C. Reads and the D.C. Schools Project, social-justice work in schools around the world, Georgetown’s approach to teaching social justice in the classroom and the use of art in education. A wide variety of campus groups, including the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, the CSJ and GUSA, have contributed to the magazine.
“It’s the connection of articles altogether that represents JUST’s goal: to connect social justice on campus and spark discussion in our community,” Fong said.
JUST staffer Sarah Mock (SFS ’15) said that the publication is important because it highlights social-justice efforts that may otherwise go unnoticed. She argued that the publication has the potential to shape people’s understanding of such issues.
“[It is] a way to show the larger Georgetown community that the idea of social justice is a fluid complex that is molded to our interests … and to reach out to students that are intimidated or feel like they don’t fit quite right into more traditional service options,” Mock said.
With this initial success, the JUST staff recognizes the publication can and should grow moving forward.
“We feel as though we’ve only scratched the surface of the many pockets of social justice on campus, so we’re really excited to tap into more of them,” Fong said.