Careers in Social Justice Panel
by Julia Moen ’14
This past October several Carleton students gathered for a pizza lunch to learn about ways to stay engaged with the community and social change work post college graduation through a panel series entitled, “Careers in Social Justice.” The Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE), the Chaplain’s Office, the Career Center, and EthIC—all offices of Carleton College—sponsor these panels yearly to promote the idea that one’s vocation lies in, “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s great need,” (Buechner, 1993).
The first of this four part series featured Riahl O’Malley, a graduate from Trent University, who worked in Nicaragua and Honduras with Witness for Peace, an international organization that engages with U.S. policy in Latin America. Anna Richardson, a graduate from the University of Wisconsin, spent a year working with FoodCorps in Jackson, Mississippi and had the opportunity to share her passion for eating and producing healthy food with the kids. Finally, Betsy Cannon, a Carleton grad from 2011 shared her experiences with Lutheran Volunteer Corps where she served as the Outreach Coordinator for Earth Ministry, doing faith-based environmental advocacy.
Each of these panelists shared both the successes and the challenges from their time with their prospective service corps. The joys included forming relationships with a wide cross section of people, having new experiences in new places, and feeling the satisfaction of being able to devote their time to work they believe in. One of the struggles included interacting with traditionally marginalized groups coming from a place of privilege. One panelist in particular stressed the importance of listening and learning from those we engage with and checking both privileges and assumptions as we work.
With so many students searching for opportunities Post College in public service, in fact, Carleton ranks 6th nationally in number of alums working in public service, these panels provide a valuable opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on the skills needed and gained when pursuing a career path in social justice (according to Washington Monthly, Dec 2013). The series will pick up this winter with two more panels on Mental Health Access and Equity and Education Access.