By Caliesha Comley
The GC Fairness-sponsored Nexus event yesterday featured guest speaker Carla Wallace, co-founder of Louisville’s Fairness Campaign and active member of Louisville SURJ – Showing Up for Racial Justice.
Senior Jamie McClard, student representative for GC Fairness, introduced the event by giving a history of GC Fairness. The group of faculty and students, formerly known as the Non-Discrimination Work Group recently became a SGA-recognized organization and adopted GC Fairness as the name most indicative of their goals. The group seeks to honor the college’s commitment to diversity and make Georgetown a more inclusive place to work and study.
As you may recall, the group sustained a lot of energy in the spring of 2013. Students, faculty and staff collaborated to petition the Georgetown College Board of Trustees to amend the faculty non-discrimination policy to be inclusive of sexual orientation. The group held many events exposing the campus to their mission, including a widely-attended rally on Giddings lawn.
GC Fairness continues their commitment to the yet-to-be-approved non-discrimination policy for faculty, as well as social justice issues of all characters that affect Georgetown. Their first campus-wide event of the fall semester, “Fairness = Everyone,” which took place in the Chapel yesterday was co-sponsored by the Student Women and Gender Society, Sociology Club, Campus Spectrum and Ambassadors of Diversity.
Carla Wallace spoke on the necessity of using an intersectional approach in social justice issues to win equality for everyone. Though the term “fairness” is often associated with LGBT rights in particular, Wallace emphasized the inherent connections between all minority groups and their allies. The keys to success in any equality issue, she explained, are the “relationships built across the lines of difference.”
Wallace talked about her work with the Louisville Fairness Campaign and Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice. She describes both organizations as taking an intersectional approach in their mission. The most recent projects of these movements were lobbying for living wages in local establishments, protesting racial discrimination in a Louisville bar, as well as overturning discriminatory legislation in the state against immigrants. In the struggle for immigrant rights, Wallace described the organization of community dialogue between immigrant rights proponents and Fairness staff to help each side understand the importance of alliance in achieving both organizations’ goals.
Wallace shared many anecdotes of the challenges she faced while working for social justice and doing so in a collaborative, intersectional way. She explained that the struggle for justice was a part of history and that “pressure is the history of change.” Wallace assured the audience, “I join my heart and mind to your struggle here.”
To learn more about GC Fairness or to engage in their mission for equality and inclusion, join the group at their next meeting on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. in LRC 150.