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Rockets reflect on ‘Race and the Criminal Justice System’ on MLK Day

“We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.”  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Twenty-one Rockets celebrated Martin Luther King Day by participating in a service learning opportunity through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Ozanam Center.  Led by St. Vincent de Paul staff member Kate Sampson, students learned about and reflected upon "Race and the Criminal Justice System.”

Sampson taught the 61 total participants from various communities about the biases embedded in the justice system and how to initiate productive conversations about these injustices.

Senior Olivia Rohling said, “I was really shocked at how much I learned within the hour…My biggest take away is that the justice system is built on racism and implicit racial bias, and it's up to us to move away from that. I also realized the importance of ‘doing’ not just ‘saying’…For example, it is more impactful to go out and do service with the Ozanam Center than to post a black screen on social media.”

Sophomore Autumn Strebel agreed that the experience was very eye-opening. “Mrs. Sampson taught us how to listen, but also inform others, while remaining calm and collected. Her message rang very close to what I hear in my theology classes. We are all created equal, both under God and under the law of the United States. Just as Jesus stood up for those being persecuted and treated unequally, so must we.”

The service learning opportunity was sponsored by the McNicholas St. Vincent de Paul Conference and Hands Across Campus.

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