What People are Saying about the Social Justice Institute

The following comments are from students who took part in the Social Justice Institute in previous years.

“I truly enjoyed this experience and it fulfilled my highest hopes of what the workshop could be. It confirmed my belief that Oberlin is the right place for me.”

“I think the activities and discussion were amazing and it helped me become a lot more aware and motivated to work towards social justice.”

“I loved being in the open environment of this workshop and being able to talk about all these issues with people both willing to share and willing to listen. This workshop reminded me why I came to Oberlin in the first place.”

“I learned a lot form all these activities. I’ve been in the US for a couple of years now, but this training has been an eye-opening experience for me. I now feel that I’m ready to go out there and make a difference.”

“All the activities were very powerful and they managed discussion well; the second day was less active but we tackled deeper issues, so discussion was good.”

“It blew me away. This is more than I expected!”

“This fit my expectations of Oberlin in the tolerance, progressive approach and breadth of concern.”

“It was a great representation of Oberlin and made me really excited for the years to come.”

“I was a little concerned upon arriving here that Oberlin was not the mecca of activism I had expected. This was a heartening experience.”

“It affirmed my preconceptions of the school and of the types of people who attend.”

“It exceeded my expectations of how Oberlin regarded social activism.”

“I found these two days to be extremely valuable to me. I think that the S.J.I. has taught/prepared me to be more of an ally and more outgoing so that I won't fear offending and talking to people who are different from me. I found the gender/sexual orientation discussion most valuable because it is something I have never really talked about in a large group.”

“I very much enjoyed my experience with the institute. I learned to think about issues in different ways than I had before, i.e. "Look to the Bottom".”

“This was AMAZING! I found discussing gender, etc. issues more enjoyable than racial issues because there is a lot more tension at home (town/area…) about race.”

“I thought it was great to start off the year with something like this. It was extremely enjoyable and interesting. I especially liked the second half of the last day – talking about racism sparked some interesting debate.”

“It was a thoroughly fun experience, allowing dialogue among new and returning students. It encouraged everyone to be open-minded and to deal with injustice in the world. Despite being tiring, it was more than worthwhile.”

“This has been an incredible welcome and introduction to Oberlin and Student Activism. This really has oriented me in terms of talking any racist, sexist or classist issues I have, while breaking the ice for me to feel comfortable with my ignorance and my knowledge.”

“The institute was an experience that I shall surely remember. An interesting opportunity to interact with fellow Obies, the institute also raised my awareness regarding certain issues I was unlikely to think about, such as trans-sexuality, and reverse racism. A thought-provoking yet recreational activity!”

“A lot of things I could recognize or relate to… especially racial and gender discrimination/ privilege…I liked the open discussion on these issues.”

“The most meaningful/interesting/educational/enjoyable part of the institute for me was the Gender Binary and Racism discussions/activities because for some of the first I was completely open to sharing my thoughts & feelings without judgments.”

“This was an amazing experience – especially in the small discussions, but also in the large groups, there were so many interesting and different ideas that came up. Especially on the issues of race and sexuality – there were some really great and open talks.”

“I hope to be active in ensuring social justice on campus and throughout my life.”

“A better understanding of the problems surrounding Social Justice and some ideas about how to deal with them.”

“Friends and thoughts and lots of questions. I look forward to addressing - a network of socially charged people ready to incite and inspire change.”

“I'm likely to speak up more for myself, but especially for others. I've learned a plethora of new information about just how different (and similar) college students can be.”

“I feel that some of the thoughts regarding inclusion, tolerance, and individuality that the institute has spurred are ones that will stay with me for a long time. Though not changed immediately, I certainly do intend to become a much more tolerant individual & student.”

“I'd try to communicate on issues that were discussed and this institute means a lot to me because it made me realize these difficult issues have rooms of understanding.”

“I am likely to walk away from SJ and into my college experience is the idea that there is always room for challenging myself and others, and that I can choose how I am represented.”

“I definitely have a better sense of other people involved and dedicated to social justice around Oberlin. These will be good friends to know when confronting these struggles in the future. I also have a much better sense of how deeply each of these "isms" are ingrained by institutions and what sort of discussion and dialogue is necessary to address it.”

“I met a ton of great people, had a great time (today more so than yesterday) and got to see a range of ideas/thoughts/ comments I have not experienced before.”

“Together we were able to fully discuss or explain a lot of misconceptions and awkward feelings that we have.”

“If there is any way that you can bring this workshop to middle schools, high schools, and other colleges, that would be great.”

SJI participantsParticipants in the Social Justice Institute