Courageous Voices: Heeding the Call to Community

At the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), faculty-mentored community clinics set an example for students to respond to the needs of the community by active participation. UDM runs 17 community clinics (including law, dentistry, and counseling), making these services accessible to those who are unable to afford them. The Law School is one of the few programs in the country that require students to work in the clinic, directly carrying out the school’s mission of experiential learning and service to others.  In 2013-2014, the dental clinic provided 67,395 patient visits, including partnering with the Society of St. Vincent DePaul to run a free dental clinic, and providing services to underserved populations such as children in the foster care system and veteran.  The counseling clinic provides no-cost services to the community, including personal counseling, family and child counseling, addictions counseling, court ordered counseling, career counseling and group counseling.  In all of these clinics, students work directly with those marginalized by poverty, gaining a lifelong appreciation of the importance of ministering to those in your own community.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to release short stories about the courageous voices of our member colleges and universities.  Stay tuned to hear about how students, faculty, and staff are responding to Pope Francis’s call to social justice and a culture of encounter.  If you are still curious about how Catholic colleges and universities are promoting social justice on campus, read the original blog post on the Courageous Voices series, or check out ACCU’s inventory of promising practices, which includes many examples of our members engaging with Catholic Social Teaching.

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