By Angie Tinker, Matrix Co-Editor

Laura Johnson, co-editor of The Matrix, writes on a chalkboard for inspiration for The Matrix. Photo by Hai Doan.
Laura Johnson, co-editor of The Matrix, writes on a chalkboard for inspiration for The Matrix. Photo by Hai Doan.

It’s been a busy week in The Matrix office now that the deadline for submissions has come and gone. “Stop & Listen,” this semester’s theme of our social justice magazine, is in full gear.

We’ve had all sorts of submissions that have latched onto the idea of “stop and listen.” There are a lot of misconceptions that our authors have wanted to dispel about a variety of social justice issues.

This issue covers topics as widespread as justice for undocumented workers and positive community justice. Just like the student body of Pacific Lutheran University itself, the social justice passions of the community are diverse.

Authors used a wide variety of approaches to discuss social justice. For instance, Thomas Kim, senior, approached the question of immigration from an economic, mathematical viewpoint.

In contrast, senior Kyrie Benson tackled the issue by discussing her experiences in Mexico through the perspective of a poem.

Senior Kristen Hayes wrote about the significance of taking time to pause and recharge in order to be an effective activist for social justice causes.

Luke Gillespie, junior, wrote about the constant pull of social justice in queer identities.

It wasn’t just individuals that submitted to The Matrix, though: organizations around campus were represented as well. For instance, first-year Millie Pacheco and junior Caitlyn Dawes both submitted pieces on the importance of pursuing social justice on behalf of the Residence Hall Association. They are both social justice directors, Pacheco for Hong Hall and Dawes for RHA as a whole.

Senior Carly Brooks submitted a piece for the Center for Community Engagement and Service that takes a very local perspective on social justice and community service by focusing on the relationship between PLU and the greater Parkland community.

As co-editor, Laura Johnson and I have worked through the layout and formatting of The Matrix, it has been nothing short of astounding to see what we’ve gotten from the community. We’ve toured classrooms, posted reminders and tabled to promote submissions this year.

That’s perhaps where one of the most unique submissions comes from.

This semester, while tabling, we asked interested people to let us take a picture of them holding a sign that says, “I want people to Stop & Listen to…”

The responses came from all corners of the community as people asked for others to listen to empowering music, the environment, victims and the Black Student Union.

he expected release date for the “Stop & Listen” issue of The Matrix is Friday, Dec. 5, with a celebration planned to be held in the Cave. ◼︎

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