Why are students so interested in this social justice stuff?!

In my experience, both as a former student and now working for a university, I know just how easy it is for college students to learn about and get involved with issues social injusticesurrounding social justice.  Whether it’s a club on campus, a special speaker, an article circulating through Facebook or Twitter, someone selling fair-trade products in the student center, or a service opportunity to volunteer for on a Saturday afternoon (sometimes even for extra credit!)…social justice opportunities and awareness are prevalent for the average college student.

However, this trend of being mindful of and getting involved with social justice is not just for students. Educating ourselves on social justice issues is just as important as the degree and education you will receive or have already received.  Added Bonus: it will prove priceless in the long run.

So maybe the question is less of why do they care so deeply about justice…and more of, how can I help with the social injustices in our world?

Here are some starting points:

Serve with those you trust: There needs to be an element of assurance and reliability between people who organize together for justice

Avoid blind allegiance: Never follow leaders without question, no matter what they claim to stand for. Just because someone with conviction dictates what they want you to do, you shouldn’t follow them blindly.

You can’t accomplish everything alone: Social justice and fighting for what’s right can start with one, but it doesn’t take just one person alone — it’s very much a group effort.

News sources aren’t always accurate: As you fight for what’s right, it is important to be a critical consumer of mass media and not just believe everything you read in the news. All human beings have bias and reporters aren’t any different.

Do your research: In order to know where you’re going, you have to know where others have been.  Gaining the full context can be crucial.

Follow your convictions: We all have instincts for a reason, and more often than not your own moral compass won’t steer you wrong.

Don’t give up: Even when it’s difficult.  There are plenty of hardships that change-seekers come up against along the way, but you have to push through to see the change happen.

Love & the Gospel are our most powerful agents: These are the driving forces behind social change.

Students care about social justice because it gives voice to the things that have been left unheard.  It gives them a purpose, a sense of belonging, and a calling to something greater and life-impacting.  But it’s not just the students who should care – everyone should care when injustice is present.  So, do your research, figure out what makes you unsettled in our nations, and go breathe life and hope into the world.

Ashton Rank cares for and interacts with university students regularly as a Resident Director at Indiana Wesleyan University. She also serves with our Child Sponsorship Team.