As a Vincentian University, Saint John’s University (SJU) has long been committed to the pursuit of justice and charity, and has successfully combined the two in its three-year long partnership with the Don Bosco Workers (DBW), a Port Chester, NY based organization funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). DBW is a ground-up community organizing group that advocates for worker and economic justice.
Thanks to the leadership of Meghan Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at SJU, the campus-community partnership has blossomed into a fruitful relationship where DBW representatives visit Clark’s students in her course on Catholic Social Teaching. The representatives engage with students around issues of wage theft, local worker justice and the DBW-CCHD relationship.
This year the class presented their research on fair trade initiatives and forced labor in Brazil in SJU’s inaugural Solidarity Festival. The Festival entailed a full day of presentations, featuring DBW, the social justice artwork of Sol Aramendi, SJU Fair Trade, SJU CRS Ambassadors, and GLOBE, SJU’s academic program on microfinancing. DBW participated in a panel on wage theft, and the day ended with a Mass for worker justice celebrated by Fr. Patrick Griffin, the director of SJU’s Vincentian Center for Church and Society.
Dr. Clark comments that the partnership flows from the Vincentian concern for charity and justice, and helps students conceptualize the answer to the Vincentian question “‘What must be done’ with respect to wage theft and exploitation of day laborers.”
Read more about Saint John’s University and other CCHD-campus partnerships here!
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