Brandywine campus to hold annual Social Justice Fair

MEDIA, Pa. — Penn State Brandywine’s annual Social Justice Fair will be held April 9-11. The event combines guest lectures, educational videos and hands-on activities to raise awareness about social issues and equip students to become active, civic-minded leaders in their communities.

“There are three central aims of the social justice fair,” said Kristen Goessling, assistant professor of human development and family studies and coordinator of the Social Justice Fair. “We seek to call attention to and raise awareness about the many social injustices people are experiencing in their daily lives; to provide resources and opportunities for students, faculty and staff to take action to fight injustice in their lives and communities; and to build a sense of community that fosters connection and belonging grounded in principles of equity and justice.”

This year’s lectures range from local social issues to pressing national dialogues. The events on April 9, for example, were chosen in acknowledgment of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an awareness campaign promoted every April by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

“We wish to encourage reflection on the importance of reducing sexual assault and domestic violence and the related importance of reducing silence on these issues and supporting those who speak up,” said Peggy Signorella, distinguished professor of psychology and women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

The social justice fair also offers general seminars about civic engagement strategies, encouraging students to become social advocates in their own communities.

“The events on Tuesday will highlight students’ passions, skills and gifts to help them engage in effective, sustained work in community activism and social justice,” said Daniela Martin, associate professor of psychology.

The three-day fair will include the following presentations. For more information about the event, email Goessling at

April 9

“You’re a Sexist and So am I: Defining Abuse and Sexual Misconduct in a Brave New World” with Brenda Russell, professor of psychology at Penn State Berks. Interactive panel discussion to follow. (11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., Tomezsko 103)

“The Problematic Emphasis on Resilience in the Aftermath of Trauma: Insights from African Cinema” with MaryEllen Higgins, associate professor of English at Penn State Greater Allegheny. (4 to 6 p.m., Main 216)

April 10

“Find Your Passion.” Students will check out campus clubs and organizations, hear from peers engaged in their communities, and write postcards to their state representatives about social issues. (Noon to 1:25 p.m., Tomezsko Lounge)

“Community Engagement 101: Find Your Fit and Make it Happen” with Ellen Morfei, professional mediator and coach at Progressive Conflict Solutions in Media. (2 to 4 p.m., Tomezsko Lounge)

“A Chester Story” film screening. Discussion to follow with filmmaker Ulysses Slaughter. (4 to 6 p.m., Student Union 114-117)

April 11

“What Do These Letters mean … and Why Do We Stereotype Them? Understanding the Spectrum of LGBTQIA+” with Bridget O’Donnell, Penn State Brandywine assistant director of student activities, and Jade Hollis-Jones, Penn State Abington coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion. (12:15 to 1:15 p.m., Tomezsko 209)

“LGBTQ+ Resource Fair” (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tomezsko Lounge) 

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated April 09, 2018