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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Social Justice Symposium Urges Students to Accommodate Diverse Identities

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In an effort to get students to think critically about key social issues and equality, the Counseling and Social Change Club hosted the Post-Modern Social Justice Symposium on the San Diego State campus.


With 150 guests in attendance including students from SDSU, Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College, and the greater San Diego community, the Post-Modern Social Justice Symposium provided insight as to why social justice must be addressed by students as soon as possible. With speakers from the Department of Counseling and School Psychology (CSP), students in attendance were able to ask the questions necessary to fully comprehend the importance of such social change in our society.

The six-hour event began with a welcome by Dr. Sarah Kahn, director of the Minor in Counseling & Social Change program at SDSU. Dr. Tanis Starck also led the beginning of the program with her knowledge of the importance of social justice. Dr. Starck is a lecturer in the department, Assistant Dean for Special Projects in the College of Education and also teaches courses for the Professional Certificate in Cultural Competence for Educators.

Among the other keynote speakers were Liz Roccoforte, who spoke on the LGBTQ movement’s future and breaking the gender binary society has in place. The second speech was given by Elisa Barnett, who spoke on the complexities of biracial identity issues and the way society takes away from those who identify as biracial. The third and final speech was given by Patricia Ruiz, who covered intersectional feminism and the many unknown factors of criticism that come with it.

Students in attendance were able to gain insight into what future school psychologists must take into account when evaluating students whose identities are just as complex as those of adults. It is through school-sponsored seminars such as these that school counselors – and the student community as a whole – can move toward a more balanced society in which social justice can be achieved.