In 2013, twenty 6th grade classmates in Kansas City started, with the help of their parents, the Social Justice Club (SJC), a bi-weekly after school program. Initially, the program was guided by parents to develop the framework for the SJC. Three years later some of these students, already in 9th grade, began to offer their own SJC, as an after school activity, to 3rd and 4th grade students in their school. Encouraged by the example of their high school peers, students participating in the 7th grade SJC started leading the Club for the third grade students in 2018. Now in its sixth year, more than 60 children and youth have attended the Club and hundreds have been positively affected by its outreach and community service activities.
The goal of the club is to challenge the youth to strive for excellence in the context of cooperation and mutual care. With the help of group discussions and activities, we seek to develop a critical consciousness of the shared humanity that binds all people together. Through service projects, we are able to nurture and give purpose to the diversity of talents that make for a thriving community.
In this context, students are challenged to think about the requirements of the human drive to excellence, such as:
1. Avoiding shortcuts and choosing the right means to our goals
2. Moral courage
3. Finding one’s passion
4. Thinking independently
5. Mutual care
6. Social cooperation