Find about the unique experience a CB class is undergoing in order to better understand living in poverty. Poverty is a worldwide issue, but few of us really know what it is like to be homeless or to live without, what we consider, the necessities of life. Some Christian Brothers students, like those in Ms. […]
Find about the unique experience a CB class is undergoing in order to better understand living in poverty.
Poverty is a worldwide issue, but few of us really know what it is like to be homeless or to live without, what we consider, the necessities of life. Some Christian Brothers students, like those in Ms. Jennifer Lystrup’s Social Justice class, are taking an extra step in understanding poverty by participating in Displace Me.
Displace Me started about three years ago when Ms. Lystrup developed the idea of making a film about the homeless and those who are displaced from the rest of society.
“Being a social justice teacher, I wanted to make a film on a part of society that was disenfranchised,” she said.
She later met with an organization called Wind Youth where she was introduced to youth who are homeless. After meeting with this organization, Ms. Lystrup worked with CB student Mackenzie Long ’11 to work on a film called “Beautiful Youth” that documented the homeless youth they encountered. That same year, Ms. Lystrup and Mackenzie presented the film to the social justice class.
“My class [then] decided to do a mini immersion [experience]” says Ms. Lystrup. They wanted to further understand what it was like to homeless, but more specifically what it was like to be a homeless youth, which is why they created, Displace Me.
The Social Justice class covers a wide range of social issues including food insecurity, war/violence, and poverty. The main goal of the social justice class is to be the active change in assisting those in need.
“It’s important [for students] to understand the issues [we discuss in class],” says Ms. Lystrup, adding that “it is also important for students to be the catalyst for change.”
According to Ms. Lystrup, Displace Me is very much a “student driven” experience, but they also get wonderful support from our very own CB counselors Mr. John Riley-Portal and Ms. Blaire Moskat, who have participated in the program from its inception.
Starting November 5th, participants will spend the night on the Mary Lawn without their own food or water. As part of the experience, students are only permitted a cardboard box and a sleeping bag to shield them from the frigid temperatures. Participants are also required to wait in a soup line where they will be served soup and water.
Another important part of the Displace Me experience is asking for spare change from the CB students and staff during lunch with all of the proceeds going towards buying new socks for the homeless who live by the American and Sacramento River.
We keep in mind the students embarking on this journey next Monday and ask CB faculty, staff and students to contribute generously, for it is a good cause.