by Bjorn Krondorfer
Director of NAU’s Martin-Springer Institute
and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies

A new year brings with it the hope for peace, equality and justice, not only in our communities but throughout the United States and around the globe. But the sobering reality of daily news reports can be overwhelming, and often I am prompted to ask myself, “Does justice for all exist? Does it also exist here in the U.S.?”

As a nation, we like to aspire to this ideal. But if we take a hard look at our overall social welfare, we know that the reality is different. Discrimination and abuse need our attention. At Northern Arizona University’s Martin-Springer Institute, we are attentive to issues of injustice in view of the legacies of the Holocaust and totalitarian ideologies. What we do locally has implications globally: I know this from working with a diversity of students here at NAU and from working with groups in conflict in Europe, Israel, Palestine and South Africa. We must start somewhere, and no action is too small to have some positive effects.

I would like to invite the NAU community to join us in examining the question “Does justice for all exist?” as NAU’s Martin-Springer Institute hosts Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is committed to redress shortcomings in an educational system that continues to fail a disproportionate number of minority children, many of whom end up in the juvenile justice system. It supports migrants that have little workplace protection and remain vulnerable to exploitation. Extremist groups continue to spread messages of hate. The SPLC also advocates for legal protection of the LGBT community.

“With Justice for All: An Evening with Morris Dees,” takes places at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Ardrey Auditorium.

The event free for NAU and CCC students/staff/faculty and $15 for the public. Tickets may be purchased through the NAU Central Ticket Office at (928) 523-5661.