Earlier this fall, four Boston College students came together to conceptualize a new on-campus student organization to serve as a formalized space for representatives from other social justice organizations to come together and discuss social issues from an intersectional lens. As active members of the BC community, Aman Ali, CSOM ‘23, Naziha Bugazia, MCAS ‘22, Urwa Hameed, MCAS ‘22, and Patrick McMahon, MCAS ‘21, were able to leverage the support of their respective communities to generate enthusiasm for their proposal. Currently, the students are working on refining their goals, mission statement, and structure to create a strong presentation that will be reviewed by the Office of Student Involvement in the coming months.
The team began by researching whether organizations like this have been established at other colleges and universities. Its members found that, while few schools have a centralized social justice group, it provides a great opportunity to amplify and connect existing initiatives on campus. By collaborating with groups such as FACES, Climate Justice at BC, and the AHANA+ Leadership Council, Aman, Naziha, Urwa, and Patrick hope to strengthen and unify BC’s commitment to social justice.
To bring their vision to life, the students began the process of becoming an officially recognized club on campus. This involved creating a detailed set of goals and objectives, as well as a clear statement that illustrates why Eagles for Social Activism is specifically needed at BC. With dozens of social justice-focused groups on campus, Eagles for Social Activism seeks to provide students from different organizations with a seamless way to engage with one another.
“One of our biggest struggles so far has been trying to differentiate ourselves from other social justice organizations,” Aman said. “What makes us unique is that, as an umbrella organization, we can unite student leaders from social justice organizations all across campus.”
To facilitate these centralized conversations on social justice, the founding members plan to adopt a meeting structure that balances both discussion and action. “Since many people have more than one identity, it’s important to talk about larger themes of social injustice because it reaches and speaks to more people. We believe that it is necessary to examine how different identities and circumstances interact,” Patrick explained. Each meeting, E-Board members will prepare a presentation on a certain social issue and facilitate conversations between club representatives. Additionally, Eagles for Social Activism will encourage students to engage in real-world social activism by providing resources such as links to donation websites and petitions, as well as logistical information for protests and rallies to amplify the current social justice movements happening right now.
“We want to provide a space for students of all backgrounds and beliefs to voice their opinions on progressive issues,” Patrick said. “By forming strong relationships with other student organizations on campus, we can better see how different social justice issues intersect with one another.” Through this intentionally intersectional lens, Eagles for Social Activism plans to unite the expertise and perspectives of student groups across campus to generate a collaborative effort to promote equity and inclusion at BC. Given the recent hate crimes on campus and the broader issue of racial injustice across the U.S., an organization that promotes collective student action is needed now more than ever before. “As a community, we need a voice on campus that can focus the efforts of other social justice organizations into a concentrated beam of dialogue and social action,” Patrick added.
Once the club is up and running, the student leaders hope to welcome a wide range of individuals, including administrators, professors, and local community activists, as guest speakers during club meetings. Their hope is that by providing an avenue for students of all academic interests and future career paths to learn about how different social issues are connected, they will be more inclined to participate in actionable steps against social injustices in the future. “Ultimately, we hope that Eagles for Social Activism will encourage more students to actively engage with BC’s mission of men and women for others,” said Aman.
As Aman, Naziha, Urwa, and Patrick continue to navigate the application process, they are working on sharing their vision with the greater BC community. To encourage members to join the club once it’s created, the founders are working on building up Eagles for Social Activism’s presence on social media and are eager to engage their classmates from other student groups to participate in conversations about social justice.
For future updates, be sure to follow @eaglesforsocialactivism on Instagram