School offers refuge to victims of ‘social justice crises’

The Massachusetts College of Art and Design is set to combat “social justice crises” by hosting a “Social Emergency Response Center” for students on Friday.

“Social Emergency Response Centers (SERCs) are pop-up spaces for artists, activists, and community members to come together to re-imagine how we respond to the social emergencies (social justice crises) we live in,” the Facebook description of the event reads. “At this SERC we will reflect, create, learn, share, and relax.”

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The April 6 event is being “organized by the students of MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships (CACP)” and co-hosted by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

The organizers pledge that the pop-up center will feature “designated spaces for Making, Plotting, Cooking, and Healing,” as well as “workshops, critical dialogue, nourishment, and fun!” 

“We intend for our SERC to be a space for the Boston community to take part in meditative, creative, motivating, activities that will ultimately help us find ways to respond to the social emergencies we all face,” the organizers explain.

According to its Facebook page, the CACP is designed to match the school’s students, faculty, and staff with outside organizations “to create mutually beneficial, sustainable partnerships in the visual arts,” noting that programming “includes faculty projects, linking the classroom and curriculum with the community, community based work study, and community collaborations.”

“At MassArt art, design, and art education have dynamic, transformative roles to play in building community,” adds the CACP page on the school’s website. These values are driven by the public nature of the college, its stated mission, its diverse population, and its location.

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The organizers of the Social Emergency Response Center also give “many thanks” to a CACP partner, the Design Studio for Social Intervention, “which first conceived of the SERC model and continues to support groups locally, nationally, and internationally in creating their own SERCs.”

The Design Studio for Social Intervention describes itself as “an artistic research and development outfit for the improvement of civil society and everyday life” with a mission to change “how social justice is imagined, developed and deployed here in the United States.”

The Center for Art and Community Partnerships did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment. 

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