It’s Friday, and in honor of World AIDS Week here at LAF, we spoke with one of the people responsible for that powerful and informative programming. For Matt Linas, a Housing Advocate in the Housing Practice Group, critique is a major part of motivating and implementing positive change. A feeling of social responsibility is contingent on social consciousness, and that is only as strong as the ability to self-reflect and self-analyze:
“Be critical of your privilege if you have one, or have some, or many. Think about how you can be cognizant of that and change it. Act on it. To me, social responsibility is using the platform that I have, working with others, and learning from others as to how to use it in its most effective manner.”
Matts sees his position at LAF as an opportunity to educate and to empower, but also as an opportunity to learn. In an environment like LAF, where people from varied professional and personal backgrounds work under the common goal of equal justice, the potential for ground-breaking teamwork is considerable. That teamwork is essential to how Matt sees – and practices – equal justice.
“Equal justice is a team-oriented approach where the person who is affected and the person who is the advocate are learning from each other. In that, equal justice transforms and adapts into a love for community; it creates community, in that sense.”
The merging of community and consciousness becomes movement towards change. “I don’t think you can raise consciousness without having a really critical education,” Matt says. “Personally, I view raising consciousness as what serves as the catalyst for making some sort of change that we want to see.”