Georgia Tech

Practicing Daily Justice

Nov 1, 2011

For More Information Contact

Rachael Pocklington
Parents Program
Contact Rachael Pocklington
404-385-3920

Alison Sillins
First-year, Environmental Engineering Major

On a semi-daily basis, I find myself correcting the ignorant remarks of sheltered young adults on campus. While I had never seen myself as a minority, my uniqueness from my Jewish heritage and gender becomes not only a part of me that is frequently noted in conversations, but also one of which I must justify and defend through my discussions with others. I am the first Jew that many of my friends and classmates have ever met, which forces me to listen to remarks such as “No you can’t be Jewish, your nose is small” and “Oh my god you’re Jewish, that’s so cute” and realize that these comments don’t stem from racist or prejudiced backgrounds, but merely from people who remain thoroughly misinformed about diversity.

While Tech students are either outright or closet geeks (myself included), everyone clings to their own personal superiority complex. Those in the Greek system claim to be “cooler” than non-Greeks, computer engineers look down upon the “intellectually inferior” liberal arts or management majors, men judge intelligence based on outward reproduction organs, and exchange students wonder how those dumb southern hick Americans got into such a prestigious college as the Georgia Tech in the first place. While Tech may appear to be a school filled with diversity in every possible meaning of the word, high school never ends, and stereotypes prevail.

Does that mean that these seemingly harmless slurs with racist undertones are okay and should be disregarded? No. I was thoroughly inspired by Associate Dean of Students Stephanie Ray’s GT1000 lecture about Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight defending social justice. In every essence of her speech, she was right. It’s not enough to just agree with social justice movements, but it’s my, your, and our duty as human beings to fight against every single form of injustice we see. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in supporting the rights of all suppressed peoples, whether or not you can relate. Even though these examples of social injustice that I face on a daily level cannot compare to the intolerable segregation of the pre-civil rights America, it is my duty to spread understanding every time it is opposed. To follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., I will use every joule of energy in my being, every last breath of air I take from this earth serving as a drummer for justice.

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