Students Seek Justice for Others

The Calcutta group, made up of Collegedale Academy students, converges at various times during the month at CAYA Central; their purpose is to seek opportunities in which they can relieve pain and pursue justice for others.


This group began in the spring of 2013 as an offshoot of a Week of Prayer led by the Litchfields. Each day of that week, Mrs. Litchfield shared stories of justice heroes. Inspired by the stories of courage and boldness in the name of justice, the idea was born to create a group, here at CA, devoted to preventing injustices in the world.


One of the main purposes of the group is to get informed. “We learn about events and problems need solutions,” senior Connor Strawn said.


Part of the group’s drive is to raise awareness about things happening around the world by writing letters, lobbying congress, signing petitions, and presenting issues. After meeting twice over the summer, they gathered on August 23rd for their first meeting of the new school year and have taken baby steps to fulfill their mission.


“Right now we’re signing petitions and making phone calls to the Sheriff’s department of Frederick County, Maryland and the Maryland’s governor’s office. This is on behalf of a 27-year-old man with Down’s syndrome who died, unnecessarily, under the hands of policemen,” explains sophomore Isabelle Kaneza. “We are also planning to start working with refugees here in Chattanooga who are new to America.”


As for what the members of the Calcutta group hope for the upcoming school year, sophomore Elizabeth Dodd says, “I want it to become even more the family that it already is while working together to reach out to the suffering people of the world and reviving justice.”


Mrs. Litchfield, the group’s sponsor, was personally inspired by the Invisible Children movement and the difference CA made in that mission. This opened her eyes to other issues in the world and the injustices that can be reversed – small and large alike.


“Compassion is like pulling drowning people from a river,” says Litchfield, “and justice goes a step farther and goes upriver to see why the people are falling in. Is someone pushing them in? What can I do to stop it?”


The Calcutta group’s ultimate wish is to do their part to not only show compassion but to actively stand for justice.