What is Conversation on Justice Week?


Nicole Valentino spreading the word about Conversation on Justice.

Sam Schaffer, Managing Editor

The Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) will host its yearly Conversation on Justice this week, bringing together faculty, community leaders, special guests and students to discuss the hot button issues of today in a safe space.


The event will run from Monday, Jan. 29 until Thursday, Feb. 1. During that time, various faculty members and guests will be hosting discussions on everything from recognizing the signs of PTSD to Kaepernick and the national anthem. Events will be held on most campuses and in some community centers.


“It is a chance for students to learn about justice issues in our society and give students a safe space to talk about their beliefs with out feeling shut down,” explains Nicole Valentino, East Campus Coordinator of the Peace and Justice Institute. “It’s a place for them to be heard.”


The events generally avoid a lecture format says Valentino. They typically focus more on small group discussions, watching short films or documentaries and some panel discussions with professionals from the community.


“We’re having a celebration breakfast on Thursday morning with prominent African American leaders of Central Florida” to kick off Black History Month, says Valentino.


But Conversation on Justice isn’t just about conversation, “we also do a lot with the arts, and sometimes we have featured poets or singers and writers,” says Valentino. “For this particular year, we are having an open mic with two slam national poet competitors who also are hosts of open mics in the city.”


The goal of Conversation on Justice resembles the goal of PJI, “the ultimate goal of the Peace and Justice Institute overall is to promote a culture of peace and understanding and mend the fabric of our humanity.” Valentino went on to explain, “through education, through these wonderful programs throughout these workshops like Conversation on Justice, we are always seeking ways for students to have acceptance of differences.”


To see the Conversation on Justice schedule for each campus, visit https://valenciacollege.edu/PJI/programs/documents/JusticeWeekSchedule-Jan2018.pdf