I was challenged recently in a discussion with some of my students, who shared that they felt the faculty at our university were not involved enough in advocacy related to social justice. After the conversation, I spent some time thinking about my own actions regarding advocacy and social justice, and I came to an uncomfortable conclusion: I like to be involved in advocacy for social justice, but only if it’s convenient for me.
For example, last year the students in our department organized a Black Lives Matter protest, and invited the faculty to participate. I thought about attending, but it was scheduled on a day where I didn’t have to go into work. I have a 90-minute commute each way, and it felt inconvenient to make the trip for the protest.
In other words, it was inconvenient advocacy. So I didn’t do it.
I believe one measure of how much you value something is the extent to which you make a commitment to do it even when it is inconvenient. I thought about the things I do regularly, even when they are inconvenient. Work, church, CrossFit, small group, call my parents, etc. All are things I highly value, and all are things that I do consistently, whether they are convenient or not.
My tendency to skip advocacy if it is inconvenient for me probably says something about how much I truly value social justice. And that’s something I need to take a look at.
Discussion: How much do you value advocacy and social justice? Do you participate in these activities even when they are inconvenient for you?