MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Area high school students learn about the ins and outs of activism through a new summer program at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
MSU’s Diversity and Inclusion department held the free four–day long camp that teaches students all about social justice, while helping them to find their voices.
Founder of Indivisible St. Peter and Greater Mankato Yurie Hong is one of several people who taught a seminar.
“Social justice means to me that people are working together in order to ensure equity, and to make sure that things are fair, it also means working towards undoing some of the injustices,” said Hong. “That have taken place in the past, and that keep people that from attaining their goals.”
Students participated in different sessions that got them moving, taught them about different activist organizations, social issues and more.
Soon to be senior Jada Neri said she has learned so much in just two days.
“I’m meeting a lot of cool people that I would not normally meet at my school, or the daily things that I do," said Neri. "And I just think it’s a really welcoming and like you can grow a lot here as a person.”
Director of African American Affairs Kenneth Reid said bringing discussions of social justice to students at this age is beneficial.
“When they see something happen in society, they can go out and speak out against it, use their voice," said Reid. "And guess what? Create change so that way it doesn’t happen again for the next individual, and that way they can know that their future can be brighter.”
The program also pushes for a call-to-action.
“They can lobby politicians, they can speak out against injustices, they can use social media on their own everyday, just to talk about what has happened.”
The camp began Monday and will end on Thursday. Reid said each of the 27 students who registered, participated because of their strong interest in the subject.
As they continue throughout the week, advisers hope they will walk away with a few things in mind.
“Even if it never feels like enough, it’s still better than nothing, and that can build on itself and have the momentum," said Hong. "That would carry other people along with them,so I would hope that they feel empowered and inspired to act and get involved.”