Is your campus advancing Catholic mission through a globally focused project? Apply now for a 2018 Global Solidarity Grant!
Campus initiatives addressing societal issues such as, but not limited to issues surrounding migration, human trafficking, or global sustainability may be eligible to receive a 2018Global Solidarity Grant.
Sponsored by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and Catholic Relief Services, Global Solidarity Grants aim to support projects that are innovative and high-impact, that combine prayer, spiritual development, and the examination of values with educational objectives. ACCU member institutions working creatively to advance Catholic mission through global solidarity are encouraged to apply now and be considered for an award of up to $3,000.
The deadline to apply for a grant has been extended to Friday, November 9! Visit the ACCU website for more details about how your campus can receive a Global Solidarity Grant!
On November 15-17 the Peace Studies Program at Manhattan College will be co-hosting an on-campus conference that will center on the “responsibility and roles of universities and other institutions in light of the Global Compact on Refugees emerging from the United Nations.” The network Refugees and Migrant Education (MRE) hosted the first conference in Rome last year. The 2017 program ended with a personal audience with Pope Francis, who recognizes the important role of universities in studying the underlying causes of migration as well as “educating consciences” on how to respond to the issues surrounding migration.
The programming will include leading experts from around the world who will present papers, participate in panel discussions or lead workshop sessions. Keynote speakers from Iraq, the United States, Lebanon, the Holy See and other parts of the world will reflect with participants on how to unite universities and NGOs in providing education and resources to, and about, migrants and refugees.
Along with the Manhattan’s Peace Studies Program, which is one of the oldest of its kind in the United States, the event is being co-sponsored by the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Center and the Catholic Relief Services Faculty Taskforce.
The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities welcomes applications for the 2018 CRS Global Solidarity Grants which awards up to $3,000 to ACCU member institutions to facilitate creative projects that advance Catholic mission through global solidarity. 2017 grants were awarded to Creighton University to raise awareness on the global refugee crisis and to the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University and John Carroll University for their work on preventing and combating human trafficking.
Deadline for grant applications is November 2, 2018 and grant recipients will be informed by mid-December. Please visit the ACCU website for additional details and the grant application process. For questions please contact email@example.com.
Modules include learning objectives, case studies, videos, articles, and discussion questions.
Content explores the complex root causes, current manifestations, and effective responses to the issue that Pope Francis calls “a crime against humanity.”
Material was curated and developed as a collaboration between:
Christine Cervenak, JD, of the Center for Human and Civil Rights at the University of Notre Dame
Lucy Steinitz, PhD, CRS Senior Technical Advisor for Protection
Modules are interdisciplinary, free to access, and are meant to be shared in the classroom as well as beyond it in order to form educated global citizens and student leaders and advocates for the common good.
DeSales University recently hosted Thomas Awiapo, a Catholic Relief Services employee and native of Ghana. Awiapo came to DeSales to share his story of hope and the power of CRS. Awiapo’s life was changed 40 years ago when CRS built a school near his village in Ghana. Growing up, his childhood was characterized by his continual hunger and the village he lived in had no access to running water and often times he would cry and fight for food. In addition to a lack of food, Awaipo’s parents died when he was a child leaving him and his three brothers as orphans.
Awiapo credits one single snack he received as a child as saving his life. When he entered the CRS school on the first day, they provided all the students with a snack to start their day and did this every day following. This was thanks to the CRS Rice Bowl Program. Because of his schooling with CRS, Awiapo found “food, education, faith and later earned his master’s degree in the United States.” Currently Awiapo is working to open a new school for children experiencing the same things he did. Awiapo notes that “Catholic Relief Services is a gospel of love, a gospel of justice, and a gospel of hope around the world. Assembling this box every Lent, we are actually assembling many, many broken lives around the world.”
Ursuline College recently hosted Carolyn Woo, former CEO of Catholic Relief Services. This lecture given by Dr. Woo was the concluding lecture of the college’s Global Perspectives series. Ursuline’s Global Perspectives: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Women Leaders series “brings current female thought leaders to campus to inspire the next generation of women leaders. The series is an outgrowth of the College’s 2017-2020 strategic plan, which calls for a renewed emphasis on women’s leadership development.” Dr. Woo is the perfect person to end this series thanks to her expertise and experiences working in academia and international human rights. Dr. Woo was CRS president and CEO from 2011 until 2016, and she now serves as Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development at Purdue University.
Dr. Woo’s presentation is titled, “God is speaking. Are you listening?” and aims to cultivate activism. Sister Christine De Vinne, president of the College, expressed her gratitude and joy in welcoming Dr. Woo by stating, “In her leadership role at Catholic Relief services, Dr. Woo used her strong intellect and compassionate heart to bring hope to countless people.”
As we enter the Advent season, we are reminded of our continual call to direct our hearts and minds to the coming of Jesus Christ. As we do so, we reflect on his eternal sacrifice and his life on earth. Christ came to us a “light to the nations” and was a true example of how to give yourself to those in need. As Catholics we are called to do the same, for “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 21:1-2).
For Catholic colleges and universities, partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) offers the opportunity to lead by example and follow Christ’s example to be a light in the world. CRS uses the message of Jesus to defend the dignity of all human life through charity, justice, and living out Catholic Social Teaching. CRS offers these university and college partnerships as a way of “joining in solidarity with the global poor through education, prayer, and action.” Campuses have the opportunity to partner with CRS in three ways: through CRS Student Ambassadors, CRS faculty learning commons, and as a CRS Global Campus.
Villanova University is using their partnership with CRS through the Student Ambassadors program to advance its mission of awareness and solidarity for those in need. According to CRS, student ambassadors “are trained by CRS to mobilize their peers and bring to life the mission of solidarity, [which then] allows for chapters to connect and build across the nation.” At Villanova, student ambassadors are bringing awareness to their peers of modern-day slavery. In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, student ambassadors set up a table in a popular campus building in order to engage as many students as possible. Ambassadors gave students blue duct-taped ribbons to wear throughout the week in order to spark questions and discussion among peers.
The table also provided pamphlets with information on quick ways to help human trafficking victims. These tips ranged from how to identify possible victims to how to become a conscientious and informed consumer. Human Trafficking Awareness Day concluded with a screening of the documentary “Indifference is Not an Option.” According to CRS, the film “chronicles the lives of three escaped slaves spanning three countries and calls people to fight and stop hiding behind the excuse of ignorance.” The screening ended with the audience signing 80 advocacy letters. “These letters urged senators and representatives to pass the Supply Chain Transparency Act, which would help combat forced labor by forcing companies to reveal steps in their supply chain,” noted CRS.
Professors at The Catholic University of America are using resources provided by CRS Faculty Learning Commons to put a human face on issues learned in the classroom. CRS explains how faculty learning commons “provides opportunities for faculty members and other academic leaders to enrich student learning experiences by tapping into CRS’s expertise in global development and humanitarian response through the world.”
Professor Maryann Cusimano Love leverages CUA’s partnership with CRS in her politics courses by using the CRS faculty learning commons materials as required readings that deal with issues such as war and peace, refugees, global poverty, climate change, human trafficking, fair trade, and moral responsibilities to global challenges. Students then have a chance to answer written questions, she explains, and use the materials as an “example of how a general topic discussed in class manifests in a specific circumstance.” She also invites students to use CRS materials for projects and gives them the “opportunity to partner with CRS to bring in a speaker to campus or engage with CRS programming.” Love recalled how one student group chose to look at the issues faced by Iraqi refugees and invited Hani El Mahdi, director of CRS Iraq, to speak at CUA.
Dante Orlandini, senior politics major at CUA, recalls that “through the implementation of studies, documentation, and techniques, Dr. Love effectively incorporated Catholic Relief Services’ mission into our Global Issues course at Catholic, which provided me with valuable lessons.” Dr. Love explains that by partnering with CRS, “students are taken out of their comfort zone and grapple with the real world consequences of global trends, and reflect on whether and how they are contributing to global problems or to global solutions.”
Love notes that “CUA, with its Washington, DC, location, is blessed to live and work at the intersection of Church and state. CRS works on this same intersection, bringing our values of faith to the global problems of the world.”
The final way that campuses partner with CRS is by becoming a global campus. Through this institutional partnership, CRS engages with the campus through all three core constituencies: students, faculty, and administration, with the support of campus ministry and social justice staff. As a global campus, the college or university participates in both the Student Ambassador Program and the Faculty Learning Commons Program and establishes an interdisciplinary CRS advisory group. Sherri Walker, the program coordinator at Marquette’s Center for Peacemaking, explains that “as a global campus, Marquette University contributes to and also learns from CRS’s work in peace building” by using CRS’s work and examples as a way to “help form men and women who can be instruments of peace building and champions of a more equitable world.”
Because Marquette is a CRS Global Campus, its faculty have the opportunity to engage with CRS by using “collaborative methods of teaching, learning, and research that connect Marquette classrooms with CRS’s world-class teaching resources and research that addresses world problems,” Walker adds. For instance, Marquette faculty and administrators participated in the Ghana Faculty Enrichment Program. Walker notes that this program “served as a pilot project aimed at creating a model for partnering with the CRS country program in Ghana, as well as local universities. This partnership was expected to lead to joint research programs and closer collaboration between the in-country program staff, local university professors, and U.S. professors.” During this immersion experience, participants “studied the integral human development framework that CRS uses to design its programming, and the country-specific academic research that leads to development programming decisions.”
Walker explains that as a Catholic institution, Marquette recognizes that “God’s love is not restricted to a select few, but is extended to all.” From this perspective, “students from all faith traditions understands CRS’s engagement with populations where the majority are not Catholic.”
The month of December is the perfect time to learn about how Catholic colleges and universities are seeking to empower others to fight for peace and justice throughout the nation and world. By partnering with CRS in a variety of ways, institutions are given the opportunity to enrich the classroom experience and foster a community willing and ready to serve
Saint Michael’s College in Vermont responded to topics addressed in Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s 2015 Encyclical, by hosting a diocesan eco-justice conference. “The Action for Ecological Justice: Celebrating a Year of Creation” was held on September 20th from 10 AM to 5 PM and included faculty, students and alumni. As part of the Year of Creation, St. Michael’s college co-sponsored the event with the Diocese of Burlington.
The keynote address was given by former CEO and president of Catholic Relief Services, Dr. Carolyn Woo. It addressed “the connections between human action, climate change, environmental degradation, and human suffering” through Dr. Woo’s perspective of working with those most effected by climate change and environmental degradation.
Breakout sessions followed each address and covered a variety of topics found in Laudato Si’, from eco-spirituality to immigration and activism. The day closed with song and praise and included new music from the Diocese, including their new ‘Our Common Home’ collection. This event served as a reminder that we are all called to be global disciples who advocate and care for all of God’s creation.
Join Catholic Climate Covenant for a webinar to explore international security issues and climate change on Thursday, June 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Key questions that will be addressed include:
How are food and water scarcity, extreme weather events, poverty, political instability, and social tensions, exacerbated by climate change, particularly upon the most vulnerable peoples around the world?
How do these impacts affect international security?
How is the Catholic Church seeking to address them?