Posted by Ira Schor
I was both surprised and intrigued recently by a call from a colleague asking that I participate in "The 2nd Annual SoJust Leadership Forum" at Brandeis University. I quickly learned that SoJust is short for social justice and that the program would feature five panelists from government, corporate, and nonprofit organizations each with a commitment to improve the world. In my role as a table leader, I was asked to share information about JF&CS and my own career in what was described to me as a ‘speed dating' forum.
The event took place two weeks ago, each participant bravely navigating the mountains of snow and the lakes their melting spawned on the Brandeis campus. The panelists provided an inspirational rendition of their particular professional journey; their stories emphasized the values of persistence, vision, passion, receptivity to learning, and humility. I was most struck by a paradox expressed and shared by all; each speaker mentioned the need to integrate their work and personal life while simultaneously creating a balance between the two. It was a challenge to which I could readily relate.
The students who visited my table during the speed sessions impressed me in a host of ways. Many had already embraced the notion of practicing social justice, to a degree remarkable for their ages. Many had taken the time to explore the work of JF&CS on our website, coming well prepared with thoughtful questions. All were polite and thanked me for my time. As a group, they sought careers whose reward is making a better world. How fitting then that event was sponsored in part by the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice. The legacy they hope to leave is SoJust.
Ira Schor, now in his twenty-first year with JF&CS, is currently the Senior VP of Operations. A licensed clinical social worker, Ira earned his MSW from Syracuse University. Prior to JF&CS, he was the director of out-patient and emergency services at a community mental health center in central Massachusetts. When not at work, Ira enjoys reading history and non-fiction, travel, and outdoor activities.