The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center has launched a Social Justice Collective. The Collective will work with other local organizations devoted to social justice through action and engagement. Roz Brown attended the kick-off meeting for the Collective and says it was the brainchild of Brittany Gutermuth through her environmental leadership degree at Naropa University.
“When I was doing my assessment of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, I noticed that they really care about people,” said Gutermuth. “Everything they do has a people aspect yet there wasn’t a group working just on social justice issues – so we want to reach widespread communities to incorporate social justice into the Boulder culture.”
Chris Allred is the coordinator for the Nuclear Guardianship Collective at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center where there is also a Nonviolence Education Collective, Middle East Collective, Economic Justice Collective and the Citizens for Pesticide Reform Collective. He says it’s timely that the Social Justice Collective is now activated because it will help strengthen solidarity at the grassroots level.
Brenden Ackerman attended the kick-off because he feels the left is split into factions and it would be good to find commonalities among people working on the same goal.
“I moved here from Ann Arbor, Michigan where there were more groups devoted to social justice and it’s more pertinent that ever that we need to join together because whether it’s doing more volunteer work because funding is being slashed or physical/emotional support or turning advocacy into action – this is how it happens.”
Michael Benko says radical politics is at the center of what he’s tried to do with his life and the Social Justice Collective is a new avenue for him to do more of that whether it’s homelessness, poverty, race or class.
“It wasn’t necessarily inspired by the new Trump administration but it certainly bolsters my commitment to be involved and I want to stay involved and fight for things I care about it.”
Susie Belmont attended as a representative of the group – Showing Up for Racial Justice Boulder (SURJ).
“It important for me to see how people are taking on these issues now,” said Belmont. “The White community seems to be waking up to the negative things that go on in the Black and other marginalized communities and realizing that their humanity is tied to what happens to them and the policies we make that shape them. This is the America that we’ve been living in for a long time but I think now people see it more clearly – we’re a country built on genocide, slavery and patriarchy and those are part of our values as much as independence and patriotism and we’ve put Band-Aids on that and now people are ready to look internally into how we’re working as a community across racial lines to make changes.”
For more information about the new Social Justice Collective through the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, go to rmpjc.org.