Peace and Justice in ACCU’s Fall Newsletter

ACCU recently released the fall edition of Update, our quarterly newsletter. Read Update in full here. Peace and Justice highlights include:

Global Solidarity Grants Increase Awareness of Catholic Social Teaching at Benedictine University, Cabrini College, Dominican University, St. Norbert’s College, and the University of St. Thomas (TX).

Catholic Colleges Bring Higher Education to the Incarcerated: Saint Francis College, Donnelly College, Holy Cross College, University of Notre Dame, and La Salle University implement programs to bring higher education to those incarcerated.

Spring Hill Alumni Participate in Inaugural Service Trip to Belize where they worked building homes.

Loyola Chicago Students Donate Care Packages to Soldiers serving in Iraq through a partnership with Aramark by using the remaining balance on meal plan to purchase care package materials

Loras Student Wins Interfaith Leadership Award- Recent graduate Samantha Eckrich was awarded the Mike Hammer Interfaith Leadership Award, which recognized her effort in promoting interfaith cooperation on campus.

To subscribe to Update, please email Paula Moore.

University of Dallas Journeys to Justice with Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Diocesan Catholic Campaign for Human Development staff in Dallas, TX partnered with the University of Dallas to educate students about the reality of poverty in the United States.  Working together, they created the Journey to Justice Retreat (J2J) to teach students about poverty in the local community and throughout the country. Participants learned about local and national poverty through resources such as Poverty USA, CCHD’s online poverty resource.

To increase awareness of CCHD and give concrete witness to its work, CCHD-funded organization Texas Tenant Union (TTU) was featured throughout the retreat. TTU is a community organizing group dedicated to fighting for more and better low-income housing through legislation, free legal counsel for low-income tenants, and rights education and counseling for tenants. The 2015-16 CCHD intern Colleen says the retreat showed students the importance of CCHD in that TTU “wouldn’t have been able to do nearly as much without the CCHD resources” available to them, which inspired many students to get involved with anti-poverty organizations. Journey to Justice is just one way in which the University lives its Catholic identity and increases student awareness and involvement in social justice in their local communities.

Learn more about CCHD and other successful campus partnerships here!

 

Food for Thought Friday: Healing in Worship

Food for Thought Friday: The death of a college student, a friend, classmate, and community member, brings great grief to a campus.  During these difficult times, campus ministry staff, faculty, and other campus staff provide care for students and help them process their grief.  In an article published in the July 2016 issue of U.S. Catholic, writer Jessie Bazan, Director of Retreats and Social Outreach at Saint John’s University explores the impact of the liturgy, both memorial services and the Mass, on campus communities after the death of a student. In her own experience, she finds that although the liturgy does not reverse the situation, it often helps in the grieving process. She writes, “Our liturgy didn’t take away the hurt, but it gave us a safe space to hurt. It didn’t bring our dead classmate back to life, but it honored the life he had – and his life to come.”  Read the full article here.

Dr. Carolyn Woo Reflects on Laudato Si’ Anniversary

For Catholic Relief Services, Pope Francis’s call to ‘Care for Our Common Home’ has become ingrained in their every day work. In the anniversary month of the release of Laudato si’, President and CEO of CRS Dr. Carolyn Woo wrote a reflection on the impacts the encyclical has made around the world. She outlines the various Laudato si’-inspired acts around the world, including the increasing investment of business leaders in environmentally-sound practices, adaptation programs in Ethiopia, and the introduction of ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ across Africa and Latin America, where the effects of climate change are at their worst.

In addition to the global impacts of the encyclical, Woo shows that the response has been particularly robust in the U.S. as well. Referencing the impact of Laudato si’ in the world of higher education, she writes, “At Catholic Relief Services, our I Am Climate Change campaign has energized students on college campuses across the country, inspiring them to look at their own behaviors and speak out for others, especially by advocating with government leaders.”

Reminding us of the message of the encyclical, she concludes, “God is so generous and bountiful. He has given us a precious gift—our natural world—that will more than take care of our needs. But we must be the stewards of this gift, cherishing and nurturing it, not exploiting it selfishly.”

Read more of Dr. Woo’s reflection here!

How has your college or university been impacted by Laudato si’? Let us know! 

Three Catholic Colleges Awarded Second Chance Pell Grant

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education awarded 67 colleges and universities with Second Chance Pell grants, to be used to off-set or even cover the costs of tuition for incarcerated individuals pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the pilot program is meant to “build on existing research to examine the effects of restoring Pell eligibility.”

The Second Chance Pell grant pilot will have a significant impact on the students receiving the grants. According to a 2013 RAND Corporation study, offenders who participate in education programs while in prison are 43 percent less likely to return to prison within three years. In reducing re-incarceration or recidivism, RAND estimates that every dollar spent on prison education programs will save four to five dollars on re-incarceration costs.

Knowing that prison or correctional education programs have this kind of effect on offenders, over 200 institutions of higher education applied for Second Chance Pell, Inside Higher Ed reports. Of the 67 that were chosen to receive the grants, two Catholic colleges were chosen: Holy Cross College and Villanova University. Among the two institutions, the grants will be awarded to a total of 125 students.  Congratulations to these two institutions and their students!

How does your college or university educate incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals? Let us know! 

Food for Thought Friday: Catholic Relief Services Releases Video Featuring Refugees

Food for Thought Friday: On June 20, the world celebrated World Refugee Day in honor and commemoration of the 65 million refugees and displaced persons around the world. As a way of making sure those whom we celebrated were actually heard, Catholic Relief Services released a video, featuring the question “What will you be doing in 17 years?” 17 years is the average amount of time a refugee will wait to be permanently resettled. Watch the video here!

How does your campus support refugees? Let us know!