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Mary Jane Smith Honored by Justice Studies Association

Dennis Sullivan, Sam Shipherd and Deborah LeFond with the award presented to Mary Jane Smith

Mary Jane Smith, one of the founders of Unity House, was honored by the Justice Studies Association at their annual conference in Albany on June 1st.

In 1971 Unity House was founded by Regis Obijiski, Peter Calagahan and Mary Jane Smith. The trio were committed to the ideals of social justice and chose to live in a low-income neighborhood in urban Troy to better understand the needs of people living in poverty. It is Mary Jane’s lifelong commitment to the cause of social justice that prompted the group to honor her with the Social Justice Activist award at their annual conference.

The group hosted a luncheon and presented the award in honor of Mary Jane Smith. Mary Jane could not attend the ceremony so a future date is planned for local members of the group to visit Troy over the summer. The award was accepted on behalf of Mary Jane by Sam Shipherd of Unity House. Also pictured at left are Dennis Sullivan and Deborah LaFond, conference organizers for the JSA.

Many thanks to the JSA for recognizing Mary Jane Smith’s lifetime of work toward a more just society for all.


More about the Justice Studies Association Conference:
Each year the JSA meets at a difference location to discuss social justice. The group is made up of a diverse, community of  academics, activists, artists, researchers and practitioners who are committed to promoting transformative, restorative, social, economic and political justice in all areas of our lives – from the local to the global. Members receive the Contemporary Justice Review, an interdisciplinary journal for scholars, practitioners, and activists around the globe that explores issues of justice, peacemaking, and non-violence.