The logo for CSUF's Social Justice Summit
The logo for CSUF's Social Justice Summit

Ron Thomas Among Confirmed Speakers At CSUF's Social Justice Summit

One of the world's deadliest cities lies just south of El Paso, Texas: the border town of Ciudad Juarez. For nearly two decades, murder and rape have rocked the town, especially its women, leaving an estimated 10,000 unsolved and uninvestigated murders since 2007.

The violence in Juarez is one of the workshop topics at Cal State Fullerton's seventh annual Social Justice Summit this weekend. Karley White, a fourth-year women studies major, will attend the workshop, which is titled "Women of Juarez."

"People aren't really informed about it," she said. "It gets thrown under the rug and is not really investigated. It's hundreds of women that have been killed. And this issue kind of gets ignored."

Thus, the theme of the one-day summit this year is appropriately titled, "Unite to Rise Above Apathy." White is one of 15 students who've organized the event, which consists of over two dozen workshops that touch on a range of issues from higher education, immigration policy, and animal rights in the food industry to the struggles of transgender folks, U.S. Foreign policy in the

Middle East

and the



Ron Thomas

, father of slain

Kelly Thomas

, will also lead one of two workshops on homelessness in

Orange County

. The more popular workshops, White said, are "Human Trafficking 101" and LGBT-related topics.

But don't expect the earnestness to end with the workshops--there's eating to be done!

"The whole day is vegan," explained Amy Mattern, CSUF's Volunteer & Service Center coordinator in reference to the day's lunch hour. "The shirts [we pass out] are sweatshop-free and the centerpieces [at the lunch tables] will be tomato plants people can take home and plant in their own backyard."

The summit will open with a speech by Dr. Jeb Middlebrook, who teaches sociology at the University of Southern California, and closes with spoken word artist and community activist Abraham Medina, who's described as "undocumented, unapologetic, and unafraid" on the event website.

Both speakers will address the importance of caring about social justice issues, which Karley White and her fellow organizers feel is a sentiment lacking among friends and family. "Social justice, to me, means being there for your fellow human beings," she said. "[It means] knowing and caring about what's going on in the world and taking an interest in ensuring equality around the world."

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