COLLEEN LAKE '23
SUA Social Justice: Women of Alabaster
Saint Ursula’s community is full of clubs and organizations that build sisterhood and community within and beyond school walls. One such organization is the Social Justice Club, which focuses on educating and engaging in global issues while looking at these problems through a local lens. This organization emphasizes the importance of impact, using our opportunities at Saint Ursula to build up other communities and support causes that are important to local communities. The Social Justice Club has a dual mission balancing the club’s efforts between education and action.
The Social Justice Club has collaborated with local organizations to bring attention to many systemic issues including climate change, mass incarceration, and food insecurity. Recently, the Social Justice Club hosted Scarlett Hudson, founder and director of Women of Alabaster.
Women of Alabaster is an organization that exists to care for victims of sexual trafficking and substance abuse by providing alternatives to street life. This non-profit provides many services for women attempting to get off the streets including day ministry which serves as a place of rest for women still on the streets. In addition to the day ministry, the organization has a street ministry where volunteers drive the streets offering assistance to vulnerable women and men. Here they initiate relationships by giving food, water, and hygiene products to those living on the streets and offer the care provided by the day ministry.
In addition to the service aspect of the Women of Alabaster, the non-profit is additionally rooted in education. Scarlett spoke about the importance of providing dignity and care to these women who are treated poorly on the streets and judged for their roles. However, Scarlett notes that what many do not realize is that many women are held into lives of prostitution through sex trafficking or addiction. Her goal is to educate young women about the signs and dangers of sex trafficking while advocating for the struggles women on the streets face with empathy and compassion.
Saint Ursula has connected with the Women of Alabaster by supporting them in previous mission collections and personal care drives. Partnering with organizations that truly uplift women in the Cincinnati community is an example of the goal of the Social Justice Club. If you are looking to get involved with the Women of Alabaster, they have various volunteer opportunities and supply needs on their website (https://www.womenofalabaster.org/volunteer.html). Learning about the struggles women on the streets face and the dangers of sex trafficking and addiction provide the tools to be able to take actions and use our privileges at Saint Ursula for positive change.
The Social Justice Club has many other opportunities for impact involvement coming up in the spring. March 3 the club is hosting a celebration for International Women’s Day and next month there is a March Madness competition for mission collection. The Social Justice Club is just one of many ways to enable positive change in the Saint Ursula community and in your local communities, so look for other opportunities to facilitate change in your own lives!