Students symbolically threw away social injustices occurring around the world on Monday as part of the United Nations’ Social Day of Injustice.
UT’s branch of GlobeMed, a group aimed at strengthening the movement for global health equity, united 14 student organizations at West Mall to spread awareness on various worldwide social injustices. The group distributed clean pieces of trash to students on which to write their opinions on injustice for the fifth anniversary of United Nations’ declaration of the Social Day of Injustice.
Posted on the display board were student responses to a wide range of issues including corporate greed, religious persecution, hate crimes and the lack of equity in college education.
“We were inspired to treat the injustices as trash because of something mentioned by our partner in El Salvador, Cliniica Ana Manganaro,” said GlodbeMed co-presdident Michelle Truong, a former Daily Texan staff member.
Truong said the medical clinic, who the group frequently works with, came to GlobeMed because there were no dumpsters in their area and trash was piling up around the clinic, creating unsanitary conditions. GlobeMed raised $4,000 this semester and purchased dumpsters that were placed by the clinic.
This year, GlobeMed’s headquarters at Northwestern University has also initiated a “Teach-In” program where professors voluntarily dedicate five minutes of their lecture to speak about social injustices in their field, Truong said. She said University professors in the public health and nursing ethics fields participated in the ‘Teach-In’ this year.
Truong said many responses touched on issues that went beyond typical thoughts on social injustices.
“We had a girl write ‘defense in the criminal justice system,’ and that is not something people frequently think of as a social injustice,” Truong said.
Biology and sociology senior Andrew Johnson said Face Aids was eager to participate in the Social Day of Injustices to spread awareness on the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“The fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic is not new, but it is necessary to make everybody aware that this fight is far from over,” Johnson said. “There are mutations of this disease that are affecting more and more people, there is a lack of resources in various regions in the world and we could possibly become the generation to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
Johnson said by participating in the event, they were not only allowed to spread awareness on an underrepresented topic, but they were also given the opportunity to showcase their plans to build a health care center in eastern Rwanda.
History senior Ramon Mejia said the unity between different organizations was great to see at a campus event.
“It’s great to have events like this because there is so much going on in the world that we are not aware of,” Mejia said.
Printed on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 as: Event underscores social justice