A Monday Chapel presentation from humanitarian photographer Esther Havens served as the unofficial opening for ACU’s annual Justice Week.
Every year, the week-long event features prominent guest speakers, groups and events attempting to raise awareness about social injustices around the globe.
Several organizations sponsor Justice Week including: International Justice Mission, Wishing Well, ACU Fair Trade, Locavores and The Red Thread Movement.
IJM vice president Sarah Ratliff, junior marketing major from Lake Kiowa, helped organized the week’s events. She said she wanted to make this year’s Justice Week different than past year’s.
“I’m really excited about the speakers we have,” Ratliff said. “They are all different. There will be a little bit of something for everyone.”
During Monday’s Chapel in Moody Coliseum, Havens showcased some of her artwork and spoke of her experiences while visiting third-world countries. Havens has worked on social-awareness campaigns with organizations such as TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker and Concern Worldwide.
Ratliff said many people are familiar with Havens’ photography.
“This gave people a chance to put a face to her art,” she said.
The first of four Chapel forums took place in Moody Coliseum Monday evening. Heidi Burkey of Discover The Journey, a nonprofit organization, led the forum.
Burkey is an international documentarian. She is among a group of photographers and journalists helping DTJ raise awareness for children in crisis internationally, through media and art. The title of her forum was “The Role of Storytelling in Social Justice.”
“This group is good at putting stories together about people and their unique situations,” Ratliff said.
Immediately after the forum, an art exhibition in the Shore Art Gallery gave students a chance to see Havens’ work.
Jessica Goudeua and Kelsi Williamson (’11) of the Hill Country Hill Tribers visited campus Tuesday. This group works with refugee communities in Austin by providing them with skills for supplemental income.
Williamson, a graduate of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, currently serves as the communications associate for the organization.
“It started four years ago with Burmese people who wanted to learn to speak English,” Williamson said. “Now we teach refugees both English and life skills.”
Williamson said Hill Country Hill Tribers focuses mainly on women because they become isolated after having to stay home to take care of their children.
“One of my goals in coming to ACU was to inform people of the flexibility involved with a grass-roots organization,” Williamson said. “The things you have planned aren’t always what God wants. We also wanted to educate students about the situation in Burma.”
The schedule for the rest of Justice Week is as follows:
-Chapel forum featuring Wishing Well’s theater presentation of “The Many Faces of Justice” followed by a Slam Poetry Concert both in Moody. The forum begins at 3 p.m.
-Chapel forum with the ACU Locavores and the Bryan Oliver Band. The ACU Locavores promote eating local foods. The Bryan Oliver Band is a group from Oklahoma City. The forum begins at 5 p.m. in Moody
-A local market around the concourse of Moody follows the forum. The Bryan Oliver Band will also be playing.
-The In The Red Fashion Show will take place at the Winsor Hotel. To learn more visit their website http://intheredfashionshow.wordpress.com/