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SoJust F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)
Occasionally people want to know what's up with SoJust? What are our events like? What are we trying to do by bringing people together? So we decided to put together a F.A.Q. that addressed some of the commonly asked questions. Enjoy!
"What does socializing for justice have to do with working for a just world?"
Socializing for Justice is all about building a progressive cross-issue community. We are trying to be a part of reforming the social justice movement and most immediately, organizing in Boston, to make it less like a network of "pockets" or "silos" focused on particular issues - the environment, immigration reform, education, etc - and more collaborative, more connected - and especially less difficult and more fun! It's been our experience - and we've already seen over the past year - that change can happen through social networking
"Okay, I get the socializing part, but what about the justice?"
The justice is you. There are numerous ways in which people in Boston are working for a more just world. We don't define that work, you do. And you are the ones who show up at SoJust events to promote your campaigns, find new hands and brains for your organizations, and use social networking to build a stronger, more integrated movement.
"Well, honestly, I'm too busy working for justice to socialize for it."
We understand. We were (are) too. But we were also finding ourselves approaching burnout, wanting to meet new people, seeking exposure to other issues and campaigns, and frequently having less and less time to spend doing fun social things. That's why SoJust was started. Cause sometimes you just wanna bowl with people you haven't met who are like-minded!
"It's not very easy for me to meet new people and I'm not really one for small talk at bars."
We hear you. That's why at SoJust events, in addition to traditional name tags, we have "Ask Me About" and "Looking For" tags [see an example]. That way you can slap whatever you're into lately up on your shirt and wait for fellow SoJusters to approach you. These seem to do the trick of moving past the basic "what do you do for work? where do you live?" questions to conversations that lead to more substantial connections.
"So, are you guys all talk? What do you DO?"
Ice and roller skate, bowl, play board games, knit, dance, go to art museums, camp, shoot hoops, and avoid the 8 ball. Basically, we're just trying to put the social back in social justice all over this town. (And sometimes this means things that require less energy, like drinking cocktails, chilling on the Common, and parties!) We DO whatever members WANT to do. Have an idea, tell us or help us plan it, and it's done.
"What actually happens at events?"
You'll always be greeted by friendly folks who can help get you socializing, introduce you to people, and chat with you about questions or wishes. It's likely a few people will be there promoting their campaigns and issues (yes, SoJust welcomes that sort of behavior). At our bigger events, there's always a literature table to toss down flyers, postcards, and other paraphernalia about events around town. Most importantly, we can pretty much guarantee there will be someone there you've never met before. As one of our members said, "You are bringing together people who might never get together otherwise - if that ain't a step towards justice I don't know what is."
"And what's with Meetup?"
We use Meetup for two reasons. One, because it's an easy way to organize more than 1300 members. And two, because Meetup's philosophy is grounded in the same philosophy as SoJust. Get together! Build! You can see pictures from past events there, see our upcoming calendar of events (not to mention a gaggle of social justice-related doings in Greater Boston). We'd like for SoJust's Message Board on Meetup to be sort of a progressive Craigslist. If you're looking for new staff, volunteers, a job, event attendees - toss it up there. Really. No joke. It's a free for all. Post away.
"I can never make the events. I think I'm just gonna leave the group."
No! Don't worry about it. That's why we schedule two a month and alternate between weekends/weeknights and different neighborhoods. So that hopefully, eventually, it will work out. And if you can't make these, help plan an event that you can make- we're always up for new ideas! But mostly, don't worry, we have new people at every event, so you're not missing out on getting "in." The next event is always a new opportunity to SoJust.
Edited by Alison Brill on Jul 8, 2010 11:35 AM