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Social justice approach to community service


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n this workshop, we will engage in open dialogue about the importance of drawing a line between a charity-centered approach to community service as opposed to a social-justice approach. Primarily, it is imperative that we begin by establishing a working definition of the word volunteerism to be used as a reference during our conversations and to foster a moment of reflection about our experience, thus far, as Bonner leaders. At the conclusion of this workshop, we should be able to walk away with a deeper understanding of the importance of ethical, social-justice centered community service.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Social justice approach to community service

  1. 1. Social Justice Approach to Community Service By: Joyce Malanda Bonner Congress 2018
  2. 2. Icebreaker: -Name -Year & Institution -What is something you would try to do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?
  3. 3. Follow-up Questions •How did this activity make you feel and why? •What parallels can be drawn between this activity and our work as Bonners? •What greater meaning can we take away from this activity?
  4. 4. What does ‘volunteerism’ mean to you? Volunteerism: an altruistic activity in which an individual works alongside an organization to promote the well-being of their community.
  5. 5. What does Social Justice mean to you? “Achieving social justice is about identifying and attempting to address structural disadvantage, discrimination and inequality.” - From Chapter One of Working for Change: The Irish Journal of Community Work (2013) by Dr. Sinead Gormally
  6. 6. Charity Social-Justice
  7. 7. Charity Social-Justice
  8. 8. Two main approaches to Social Justice 1. Redistribution of goods and resources 2. Recognition in policies (Fraser, 2009) Should these two "approaches” to social justice be separate? No
  9. 9. Scenarios of Non-Profits •Pick a societal issue of your choice and work together with group members to figure out ways to create a non-profit organization that works towards addressing the issue with a social-justice approach.
  10. 10. Prompting Questions • What would be the mission statement/goal of the organization? • Who has the power to make final decisions concerning the functioning of the organization? • What community will you be working in? • How will you work towards achieving this goal? • What training/skills sets will be required for volunteers/interns/employees?
  11. 11. Follow-up Questions • How did this activity make you feel and why? • What are some things you realized during and/or after completing this activity? • What were some things you found difficult during this activity? • What are the tensions that arise between our service-oriented work Bonners and the goal of social justice?
  12. 12. “We are so worried about making those who do us wrong uncomfortable, but the reason they’re wrong is because they’ve kept everyone else uncomfortable.” – Fakira
  13. 13. • Why is language important to our everyday lives and in our experience as Bonners? • What words evoke negative emotions? Positive emotions? • How can our language influence the way we view others? Quote by Lilia Watson
  14. 14. Reflection Time: -How can I actively participate in dismantling the power structures that exist in the communities that we work with? -How has my definition of community service evolved throughout my Bonner experience? -How can I restructure my language in a way that does not disempower others? -How will you apply what you’ve learned at Bonner Congress at your campus, partner site, and Bonner community?
  15. 15. Helpful Resources • Social Justice Approach to Community Development • Social Justice Phrase Guide • Community Service & Orientation Portfolio • Skill-building workshops “"Nothing about us, without us is for us.” – James Charlton