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Social Work News

Social Work Person of the Year 2022

Dr. Dana Smith, and ursela whetstone Alumna in Social Work.

Robin Cole is founder and president of The Society of Justice & Equality (S.O.J.E.S.) for the People of Sugar Land is an independent, non-profit community organization dedicated to historic preservation and educating the community about the contributions of African Americans in the creation and progression of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County, Texas. This includes commemorating and memorializing the Sugar Land 95.

S.O.J.E.S. believes as a community, it is imperative that we all do the difficult work of confronting our history of racial injustice. S.O.J.E.S. is committed to giving a voice to the voiceless seeking justice for the Sugar Land 95. The organization also aims to educate and celebrate the vast contributions of African Americans to the creation of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County.

The Sugar Land 95 refers to the remains of the 95 men - and one woman - unearthed by a heavy machine operator on February 19, 2018, on the site of the James Reese Career and Technical Center in the Fort Bend Independent School District. Today, the Sugar Land 95 are internationally synonymous with the dehumanizing, long-overlooked and unfathomable system of modern-day slavery known as convict leasing. The Sugar Land 95 helped build Fort Bend County.

S.O.J.E.S. seeks to honor and memorialize the Sugar Land 95, heal the community and also educate the world about the atrocities of convict leasing, and other related historical racial and social injustices that led to the racial oppression and exploitation of people of color across the south. S.O.J.E.S. seeks to advance truth telling through the construction and operation of a national convict leasing museum and educational center designed by MASS Design, and named in honor of Reginald Moore, the former prison guard, historian and legendary community activist who sought to share the truth about convict leasing with the world. The S.O.J.E.S. has a podcast on various platforms: “Black Sugar Not SO Sweet” is now playing on Youtube, Spotify, and Iheart Radio. Also, go to THE SOCIETY OF JUSTICE & EQUALITY FOR THE PEOPLE OF SUGAR LAND to learn of our progress and to participate in upcoming events.