Last Friday and Saturday the Center for Justice and Sustainability (CJS) at William Jewell College sponsored their first annual Justice Summit. The leaders of the conference were Ellis Jones and Brett Johnson, two of the three authors of The Better World Handbook: Small Changes that Make a Big Difference (New Society Publishers, 2007).
Dr. Andy Pratt, the Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Sustainability (as well as Dean of the Chapel and Vice President for Religious Ministries at William Jewell College) was the primary planner and facilitator of the Justice Summit, and I think he is probably pleased with the outcome. There was a good mix of Jewell students, faculty and staff members, and people of various ages from the community, some coming from quite a distance. (I talked with one participant who lives in Branson and teaches at MSU in Springfield.)
One of the main goals of the program leaders was to get people to be more active in working for justice and sustainability. To a limited degree, they succeeded with me. Though June and I have been fairly involved in justice and sustainable activities, since the close of the Summit on Saturday, we have become a members of Peace Action, “the nation’s largest grassroots peace network,” and ordered checks from www.messageproducts.com with the Peace Action logo on them.
In keeping with my previous posting about injustice, June and I also joined the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. HRC “envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.”
We also made (small) loans through www.Kiva.com to a group of twenty-one Cambodians who needed the money to buy piglets to raise and to a man in Kabul, Afghanistan, who needed money to expand his general store in order to better support his six children. If you are interested in learning more about micro-lending, check out the Kiva website.
I have also become a follower of the CJS blog, and I encourage my readers to do the same (as long as that doesn’t interfere with your reading my blog!).
The top quote on page one of The Better World Handbook is one of the oft-cited statements made by Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” As I have written before, we each one may not be able to do much, but we can do something.