Combating Inequality in the New Year

The year of 2011 was marked by Time Magazine as the “Year of the Protester”. From Egypt and Libya to New York City and Boston, people took to the streets to protest various injustices in a diverse range of cultures, often leaving people both motivated and questioning . While global protesters may have been acting for many different reasons, there is one specific evil every protestor was motivated to combat – inequality .

Wounded anti-government protesters march through Tahrir Square. While it may be hard to label the various protests around the globe as successes or failures, they have all undoubtedly thrived in one aspect: they have sparked conversation about inequality. And that is where the Wheelock community is similar to Time’s 2011 ‘person of the year.’ The “Protester” fights inequality—something the Wheelock community has been doing since 1888. We at Wheelock are a group of students, faculty, staff and alumni who are dedicated to helping our communities, pursuing positive change, and inspiring a world of good where people are treated fairly and compassionately. Lucy Wheelock saw the long-term effect education could have on inequality. Today, Wheelock continues to focus on serving and helping children and families and the underlying theme of social justice connects all categories of study.

In the past year, we at Wheelock have served communities around the world, we’ve refurbished and reopened a local community center , we’ve launched a center dedicated entirely to military children and families , and we’ve participated in over 100,000 hours of community service. As the world protested, we served. And while it may be hard to measure the impact of these demonstrations against inequality, we’re getting people talking about what we care about: fairness, justice, equality, and hope. As we all return to Wheelock in 2012 let’s remember to keep up the fight against inequality as we engage in world service, field experience, youth advocacy and service learning. Inequality exists across the globe. It is up to us to use our passion, resources and service skills to fight against it.

For an interesting overview of 2011 protests and the “Occupy” phenomenon visit Wheelock’s Policy Connection .