in Japan

Juniors and Justice

Nelle Potter, Grade 11 Humanities

Grade 11 Humanities is a combined History and English class in which students study principles of justice, charity, agency, and solidarity. After a semester of studying these concepts in history and literature, students research and propose topics to bring more justice to our own campus and communities. Research this year culminated in small improvements on campus (such as period products in girls' bathrooms, fair trade coffee available in staff work areas) as well as an on-campus event with food, games, and informational booths. Some of the food at the event was provided by local businesses as part of one of the projects to increase market share for local businesses struggling economically after COVID.

Here are some of the reflections and summaries from the groups in 2023:

Fair Trade Group: We first set out to ensure that coffee bought by CAJ administrators was fairtrade-certified --made by workers paid decently for their labor-- but we also ran several events to educate the community about the benefits of fairtrade products and the power of consumer behavior.

Ukraine: The Ukrainian war started exactly one year before we formed S.U.R.J. (Support Ukrainian Refugees in Japan) to help Ukrainian refugees adjust to life in Japan. In collaboration with the grade 6 class, we folded origami sunflowers for donors and sold sweets at the event. It was a wonderful experience to contribute to the refugees' lives and bond with classmates.

Ocean Conservation: For our Junior Project, we came together to help ocean conservation efforts (regarding plastic trash clogging oceans around Japan). Although it was chaotic since we were dealing with a lot of things, including different games as well as selling food, we had a great time engaging with different people and being able to raise awareness within the community of CAJ.

Period Poverty: Our group decided to create discussions about and raise money for the alleviation of period poverty. Thanks to the generous CAJ community, we were able to raise a sizable amount to give to those experiencing period poverty first-hand and unable to to afford sanitary products. Overall, the Junior Justice Project has pushed us to become strong communicators and collaborators while helping us contribute to a good cause. 

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