WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — More than 140 middle and high school student leaders from across central New Jersey gathered at Monmouth University on June 5 to learn how to foster equity and justice in their own schools. They were participants in Monmouth University’s Central Jersey Consortium for Excellence and Equity (CJCEE) fifth annual student forum.
“The concept is to bring together students from a number of school districts to provide diversity training for students in K-12,” said Tina R. Paone, associate professor of educational counseling and director of CJCEE. “Hopefully, this training will teach students how to become social justice advocates.”
The experiential conference provided attendees with new awareness related to social justice, learning that even small actions can yield potentially significant impacts at their schools.
Paone said that she hopes by learning how to stand against injustice students will become stronger leaders in a more just society.
In addition to teaching the secondary school students, Paone said that the student conference provided a valuable educational experience for Monmouth students. Approximately 20 graduate students in the university’s social justice-based educational counseling graduate program helped facilitate the session. The university offers both school counseling and college student affairs counseling tracks in its comprehensive K-16 counseling program.
Two student conferences bookending the upcoming academic year have already been scheduled. They will allow students to implement concepts learned at CJCEE and to report on their social justice advocacy work at the end of the year.
Committed member school districts for 2016-17 included:
- Hazlet Township Public Schools
- Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District
- Middletown Township School District
- Monmouth Regional High School
- Red Bank Charter School
- Toms River Regional Schools
- Township of Ocean School District
- Wall Township Public Schools
- Woodbridge Township School District
For information on the consortium, contact the School of Education at CJCEE@monmouth.edu or 732-571-7518.