October 22, 2009

Program offers students leadership development

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Calling all Southern Illinois University Carbondale students who want to make a difference.

Now is the time to apply to be part of something new and special at SIUC -- the Social Justice Leadership Institute. It’s coming to the University for spring 2010 but the application deadline is Nov. 16. The Social Justice Leadership Institute, or SJLI, is designed to develop leaders and citizen scholars at SIUC.

Student Development, along with departments and individuals from across the campus, worked together to create this program to enhance the educational experience and social consciousness of students, according to Student Development’s Amanda Phillips, coordinator of Leadership and Involvement Programs and Carl Ervin, leader of Multicultural Programs and Services.

“Through workshops, reflective and interactive exercises, small group dialogues and the development and expansion of critical thinking skills, participants will acquire the knowledge and skills to realize, examine, question, communicate with, understand and ultimately influence the systems of power, privilege and oppression that are part of every individual’s life whether consciously or unconsciously acknowledged,” Ervin said.

Applicants will go through an intense interview and selection process to select the 50 participants for the program. Phillips said the training will require a major commitment, as the program will “teach individuals how to be an even better agent for improvement.”

The training program will include implementation of “P2O: Privilege, Power and Oppression.” This interactive program involves the study of power, privilege and oppression and how to bring about change. SJLI participants will also get to meet with renowned social activist Tim Wise prior to his public lecture on campus April 6, 2010. And that’s just part of the SJLI program.

Any SIUC student in good standing with an interest in social justice and improving the world around them is encouraged to apply, Ervin said.

“When the training is complete, we’ll be asking them to commit to a project that will improve the world around them,” Ervin said.

Additional information and application documents are online at www.stddev.siu.edu. You an also call 618/453-5714 or e-mail Phillips at phillips@sdev.siu.edu or Ervin at cwervin@sdev.siu.edu for more information. Or, you can stop by the Student Development office on the third floor of the Student Center.