Justice Camp expanded from April 2nd to 6th with the purpose of discussing a range of issues from LGBTQ+ rights to the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Justice Camp was entirely student-run and started after a Posse Plus Retreat (PPR), a weekend long event where Posse Scholars and invited students and professors discuss societal issues.
Maggie Rocha, senior and student volunteer for Justice Camp said, “we wanted to bring these issues [discussed at PPR] back to DePauw with Justice Camp and create events that you want to create and put them on for the campus. You don’t have to be part of an organization to talk about these issues.”
Rocha said that Justice Camp was entirely student run and organized with the help of student volunteers and Director of Assessment and Compton Center for Peace and Justice, Matt Cummings, who is at the Hartman House and helped in the more logistical aspects of the events.
Peace Camp took place in the fall, and is a similar version of Justice Camp. Essentially, Justice Camp is a revamped version of Peace Camp and is a way to keep the conversation going on campus. These events are interactive between the student volunteers and leaders and the ones that go to these sort of events. Students are encouraged to participate and share their perspectives and experiences.
Rocha explained the thought process behind Justice Camp, saying that they take into account problems that occur in the real world and bring them back to DePauw to discuss them.
“When people think about DePauw, they think of it as a liberal school, but there are still problems here. A lot of those are not being addressed, so Justice Camp came out of here because we didn't want to be repetitive and we wanted to give it a twist. When you talk about peace it’s this kumbaya feeling but with ‘justice,’ we hit the ground running,” Rocha said in regards to how Justice Camp got its name.
First-year Jazmine Kers thinks that Justice Camp is a way to begin conversations. “But ultimately it is up to the other attendees to bring the information they learned back to their respective organizations,” Kers said. “I would truly enjoy having more events like this and I think that events surrounding hard discussion topics are immensely important.”
Sophomore Tabitha Sotomayor said that students who wish to hold events that will continue conversations on campus about issues that are important to them should talk to their peers and any leader they see on campus. “They are willing and more than happy to extend their knowledge, resources, wisdom and help,” Sotomayor said. “You don’t have to be affiliated with any organization because we’re having these conversations.”