Appalachian State University currently does not have a formal center dedicated to addressing social justice or human rights issues. There are 20+ student organizations on campus looking for a space to call their home. This Center would provide these clubs with a space and resources necessary for them to further their work independently and collaboratively. Additionally, the Center would be the entity responsible for organizing Appalachian's Social Justice Week (http://amnestyinternationa6.wix.com/sjw2013) and other speaker/film series (such as the Death Penalty speaker series hosted last fall and this spring).
Goals of the Center:
The overriding goal of this petition is to establish the Center for Social Justice and Human Rights at Appalachian. This would be a mechanism on campus and in the community to achieve social justice and defend human rights. The primary functions of the Center would be to bring awareness to and engage in meaningful work on social justice and human rights issues through teaching, research, and service.
The Center for Social Justice and Human Rights would serve as a body that would not only lend support to and collaborate with other agencies and bodies on & off campus doing work in areas related to social justice and human rights, but could also serve as a coordinating body for these other entities. Essentially, the Center would spotlight issues touched upon by others and serve to amplify their voices.
Functions of the Center:
The functions of the Center for Social Justice and Human Rights would include:
1) Creating and housing a cross-disciplinary library or reading room on social justice & human rights (SJHR)
2) Organizing cross-disciplinary SJHR classes and workshops on and off campus
3) Encouraging scholarship in SJHR from cross-disciplinary perspectives
4) Conducting and publishing meaningful research in SJHR using cross-disciplinary perspectives
5) Encouraging and participating in grant-writing related to SJHR
6) Writing regular columns and editorials in local and regional papers on SJHR issues
7) Establishing contacts with and reaching out to media on SCJR issues
8) Attracting nationally & regionally recognized experts on SJHR issues from various disciplines and areas of expertise to deliver Center-sponsored key note speeches
9) Attracting nationally & regionally recognized experts on SJHR issues to present workshops
10) Working with local and regional organizations on a volunteer basis to address SJHR issues
We are also interested in encouraging service learning opportunities for students, partnering with existing agencies on and off campus, and providing assistance with recruiting and retaining a more diverse student and faculty population.