Florida Student Justice Alliance promises a night of art, poetry and justice

Junette Reyes/Entertainment Director

The Florida Student Justice Alliance is an organization on campus that is focused on raising awareness on various issues related to social justice. Currently, FSJA is working on a campaign called “Concerned Students for a Better Nissan” regarding the unionization of Nissan plants.

“Nissan plants all over the world are unionized except for Mississippi so we’re trying to help their cause and get them unionized,” said Mariana Morell, a senior majoring in psychology and the president of FSJA.

According to the website on the movement, choosejustice.com, workers in the Mississippi plant are threatened and intimidated to the point of fearing they would lose their jobs if they were to speak up about the need of representation and the importance of health, safety and job security.

In order to bring awareness to the social justice issue and the denial of the workers’ basic human and democratic rights, FSJA has visited Nissan dealerships holding up signs regarding their cause and would hand out flyers, as well as have people sign a petition if they managed to gain their interest.

FSJA will additionally be holding an event this Wednesday, March 26 to further the cause and the fight for the workers of the Mississippi Nissan plant.

“They wanted us to do something different this year because they weren’t sure that was having any effect. So headquarters decided to do a Nissan Truth Tour,” said Morell.

The Nissan Truth Tour will be going all throughout the nation in association with other Student Justice Alliance organizations, with events planned to take place in Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee.

The Miami event will be a spoken word type of night, with performances of spoken word, poetry, rap, and comedy all on the topic of social justice issues. The performances themselves will be part of a competition in which the performer who receives the loudest shouts will win the promised prizes. In order to find these artists, FSJA previously held two rounds of auditions to determine which artists will perform at the night of the event.

After the performances, two workers from the Mississippi Nissan plant will share their stories to further educate attendees of the movement.

Additionally, a band is slated to perform towards the end of the event while attendees mingle.

“The ideal audience would be anyone who actually cares about it. Maybe that would ignite a type of fire in you to do something in social justice,” said Morell.

For the Nissan Truth Tour, a guest celebrity is expected to make an appearance. For the Mississippi event, for instance, artist Common will be attending. For the Miami event, actor and humanitarian Danny Glover, best known for the “Lethal Weapon” series, will be making an appearance.

Besides raising awareness to the social injustice done to the Mississippi workers, FSJA will also be raising money with cosponsors GlobeMed through a percentage of the drink costs for the creation of a school in Guatemala.

Additional cosponsors include Speakfridays, the Beta Gamma Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha, Amnesty International, SPEAK FIU, Alpha Kappa Delta at FIU, FIU’s Center for Labor and Studies Center, FIU’s Women’s Center, the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at FIU, the Global and Sociocultural Studies club, the South Florida Progressive Jewish Action and Progressive Rags.

“I expect it to be successful, that it turns out smoothly. But honestly, that it raises awareness. That is the main goal. That people leave there signing petitions. That it raises enough heat against Nissan that they decide that they need to do something about the issue,” said Morell.

“The ‘Art, Poetry, and Justice’ event will be an entertainment event themed for a night of social awareness that will hopefully work as a catalyst for community involvement. Events like this inspire and change people’s mentality towards taking action and this is what I’m most looking forward to,” said Esteban Wulff, a junior economics major and a member of FSJA.

The Nissan Truth Tour in Miami will be taking place on Wednesday, March 26 at 7p.m. in Gramps, a bar located in Wynwood. The event is free and available for audience members 18+ to attend.


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