27 June, 2022

Through education to social justice

Two projects organised by SCI Poland

In June our branch completed two long-term educational initiatives: the School of Solutions Journalism and the School of Climate Justice. Both of them consisted of a series of workshops organized for people who want to work for social justice — either through journalism or climate activism. For five months we were meeting offline and online, listening to experts, participating in various activities, and sharing thoughts and experiences.

The first of these Schools, part of the project “It works! Good solutions for anti-discrimination”, focused on the idea of so-called “solutions journalism”. It is a branch of journalism that emerged in the United States at the end of the 20th century. Its’ main goal is to present the ways of solving social or economic challenges without ignoring their difficulties and limitations. Journalists find, analyse, and describe examples of solutions from the world. They suggest how to implement them in a local context and give voice to those responsible for them so that they can share their experiences directly. Thanks to this approach, solutions journalism helps to increase readers’ engagement, does not leave them alone with the problems presented, inspires and gives hope.

The second School, part of the project “Together for Climate and Peace”, revolved around the concept of climate justice. Participants of the school learned about the causes of the ecological crisis, how it exacerbates inequalities locally and globally and contributes to the escalation of ethnic or international conflicts, as well as what researchers advise us to do to prevent it from worsening. Through meetings with activists, they got to know why it makes sense to get involved in group initiatives and actions for climate justice, as well as how to organise them.

These projects reminded us of the importance of collective non-formal education. Creating opportunities to learn from practitioners, meet like-minded people, and giving access to educational resources are very rewarding activities. We believe that such grassroots initiatives are crucial to combat the spread of discriminatory acts and rhetoric, rampant climate denialism, and social injustices rooted in these social ills.

Now both projects will enter new phases. Aspiring journalists will be given opportunities to publish the work they created during the course. Together, they will also initiate a public awareness campaign on a jointly selected discrimination issue. Meanwhile, those who participated in the School of Climate Justice will spread their newly-acquired knowledge during workcamps. International volunteers will thus have an opportunity to participate in various climate-related workshops.

We are very proud of both these projects and would love to share their blueprints. Any SCI branch wishing to learn more about our initiatives — methods used, difficulties we faced etc. — is welcome to contact us. Finally, those wanting to participate in climate justice workshops can still apply for our workcamps: Forest Scout Camp in Masuria, Summer School for kids in Trzcianka, Summer School Camp for Ukrainian children in Poznan or Monar Gaudynki Therapy Center.

Project “It works! Good solutions for anti-discrimination” is implemented with a grant from the Active Citizens – Regional Fund funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Funds.

Project “Together for Climate and Peace” is implemented with a grant from the Active Citizens – National Fund funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Funds.

A huge thanks to Jan for this update on the work of SCI Poland.

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