Activism/Social Justice

Amnesty International (amnestyinternational.vsa@vassar.edu)

The Vassar chapter of Amnesty International is affiliated with the national human rights-based organization. Our group discusses and educates both ourselves and the wider Vassar community on issues of human rights throughout the world. We take actions such as letter-writing, fundraising, petition signing and lobbying in response to the issues we discuss.

Healing 2 Action (healingtoaction.vsa@vassar.edu)

Our goal is to unlearn the concepts of Healing and Action and instead allow ourselves to define these terms at an individual level, using our own experiences and needs. Healing and Action are inseparable, and we as an org work will help others determine what they look like for themselves. In doing so, we seek to dismantle the systems of white supremacy, carceral logics, racial capitalism and all other systems of oppression by challenging institutional power and reimagining co-existence.

LiNK (Liberty in North Korea) (link.vsa@vassar.edu)

LiNK at Vassar is a chapter of Liberty in North Korea, a nonprofit organization that works to help North Korean refugees resettle and raise awareness for North Korean human rights issues. LiNK at Vassar works to raise money to donate directly to LiNK and increase awareness on Vassar’s campus. We meet weekly and host campus-wide and community events such as benefit concerts, open mics, and food deliveries.

Students for Justice in Palestine (sjp.vsa@vassar.edu, sjpvassar@gmail.com)

Students for Justice in Palestine at Vassar supports the Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism. We believe that while the Palestinian people must be able to determine their own future, we have a duty to organize around calls for an international solidarity movement in opposition of Israeli state and settler violence. We meet on a weekly basis and hold a variety of events and actions throughout the year. Vassar SJP stands behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement’s demands of the full decolonization of all Arab lands, the implementation of the right of return and the end to systemic and open Israeli racial discrimination. We reject all forms of discrimination and racism and are open to anyone interested in working towards a free Palestine.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (ssdp.vsa@vassar.edu, ssdpvassar@gmail.com)

The Underground (underground.vsa@vassar.edu)

We are Vassar’s Human trafficking awareness organization — we attempt to educate the Vassar and greater Poughkeepsie community about modern slavery. We put on lectures, screenings and events pertaining to human trafficking awareness. Our most attended event is the Red Sand Gala where students and community members pour red sand in the cracks of surrounding sidewalks to symbolize those who slip through the cracks of society into human trafficking.

Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC) (animalrightscoalition.vsa@vassar.edu, varc@vassar.edu)

The Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC) works to combat species-based violence and encourage people to reflect upon the societal paradigms that support the objectification of non-human animals. VARC addresses multiple layers of animal rights issues, including animal exploitation through the food, medical, and cosmetic industries, and the human rights issues associated with these industries. VARC works on a number of ongoing campaigns and activities; in the past, these activities have included film screenings, discussions, conferences, and direct work with rescued individuals.

Students for Equitable Environmental Decisions (SEED) (seed.vsa@vassar.edu)

Vassar’s Students for Equitable Environmental Decisions (SEED) is an environmental group on campus that aims to further sustainability and environmental justice through activism, advocacy, and increased communication between students, faculty, and administration. We also work with CASC (The Climate Action and Sustainability Committee) in the administration to advocate for dramatic sustainability reform on campus at an administrative level. We believe climate justice is not an independent issue, and has strong ties to the fight against racism, classism, and imperialism. Join us in furthering the conversation on climate justice, carbon neutrality, Vassar fossil fuel divestment, and environmental sustainability at Vassar.

Vassar Greens (greens.vsa@vassar.edu)

Vassar Greens is committed to fighting for a livable planet through environmental and social justice. We promote a greener lifestyle by promoting zero-waste education and sustainable initiatives. We encourage translating personal sustainable habits to larger campus initiatives.

Vassar Organizing Israel Conversations Effectively (VOICE) (jstreetu.vsa@vassar.edu)

VOICE (Vassar Organizing Israel/Palestine Conversations Effectively) aims to engage the Vassar community in rigorous dialogue examining the harmful ways in which the western states perceive and oversimplify ethnic conflict, specifically in Israel/Palestine. We also aim to encourage progressive activism that prioritizes human rights, coexistence, and sustained justice for all peoples in the region, as well as all historically and currently marginalized identities around the world. We facilitate this through open community dialogue, centering those in the middle of the issues, comparative international analysis, and occasional educational programming. In doing so, we advocate against the white Christian hegemonic influence in our approach to understanding this conflict.

Vassar Prison Initiative (prisoninitiative.vsa@vassar.edu)

The Vassar Prison Initiative (VPI) is a non-hierarchical organization committed to raising awareness about issues related to the prison industrial complex. Our activities include an annual publication, film screenings, book drives, and engagement with local activism. In addition to these initiatives and general education efforts on campus and in our community, the VPI works in conjunction with the academic prison programs on campus and responds to pressing prison-related issues as they arise. It is our hope that through our programming, educational outreach, and activism, we can contribute to the fight for justice for incarcerated people and the de-carceration of America.

Vassar Voices for Planned Parenthood (actout.vsa@vassar.edu)

VVPP aims to facilitate a community organizing relationship between members of the Vassar community and PPMHV centered around reproductive justice. In order to accomplish this, we have six major functions:
-Get members of the Vassar community who say they stand with PP to commit to taking direct action.
-Act as a fundraising and advocacy source for PPMHV
-Pop the Vassar bubble; use our motivation to extend outreach in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, Marist and other schools in the area
-Gain institutional support in order to acquire reproductive health resources
-Support, unite and collaborate with other student organizations
-Organize on-campus and off-campus informational events about reproductive health and justice

Vassar Disability Coalition (VDC) (access.vsa@vassar.edu)

The VDC is a student organization dedicated to improving campus accessibility for students with disabilities (Access branch) and providing a space to discuss disability issues (Inclusion branch).