Loyola University New Orleans Receives Recycling Grant!

Congratulations to Loyola University New Orleans! They were one of only fifty institutions nationwide to win the 2017 Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Grant. The funds from this grant will be “used to purchase 30 new recycling bins to be placed in all five residence halls.” This initiative is expected to recycle an additional 45,000 gallons of waste per year.

The grant is thanks in part to the Student Government Association who wrote and won the grant as part of its sustainability initiative titled “Maroon, Gold, and Green.”  Loyola’s SGA is now planning an event on campus “to promote recycling and create awareness of the grant and new bins, which will collect paper, plastic, and aluminum.” The sustainability efforts taken by Loyola have only increased over the years. In addition to the recycling bins, Loyola has implemented solar paneled outdoor charging tables earned them the title of being one of the 2017 “Green Colleges” by Princeton Review.

To read more about Loyola University New Orleans’ initiatives, visit Loyola news.

Loyola University New Orleans Partners with Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Through the Office of Community Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship, Loyola University New Orleans students partnered with Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), a Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) funded organization. FFLIC advocates for children incarcerated in the juvenile system, gives a voice to parents when their children are taken from them, and works to reform the practices and culture in juvenile facilities to provide a nurturing and rehabilitative environment for incarcerated children. Members of FFLIC utilize collective action and solidarity to reform the system as they are directly involved in the justice system. The Office of Community Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship shares this model for social change and strives to work “with and for” its communities. Students volunteered 842 hours of service in total as a part of a capstone course on Public Relations and Advertising. The ten students enrolled in this course produced a comprehensive strategic communications plan for FFLIC.  Students were able to capitalize on the skills they learned in class to meet the needs of those in their community. Incorporating working for justice into courses is one way that the University lives its Catholic identity and involves students in issues affecting the local community.

Hope for Creation: Awaiting the Encyclical

As the release date for Pope Francis’s new encyclical draws nearer, researchers from various fields and interests share their predictions and hopes for the care of creation. A recent National Catholic Reporter article features thoughts by theologians and other experts from 10 ACCU members: Fordham University, Duquesne University, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, University of Dayton, Boston College, Loyola University New Orleans, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Loyola Chicago University, and Georgetown University. Both ACCU member academics and activists from partnering organizations voiced their expectations regarding the connections Pope Francis will make between care for creation and other themes, such as option for the poor and vulnerable, solidarity, and answering the call to family, unity, and participation.

Academics are also engaging the topic of climate change in other ways.  Last month, Cabrini College hosted “Faith Climate and Health: Creation Care for a Greener Future,” a half-day, interfaith conference focusing on care for creation. The keynote speech by Dr. John Burke treated predictions and hopes for the upcoming encyclical, especially focusing on care for creation through a lens of social justice. Additionally, an address by Rabbi Arthur Waskow compared the current environmental situation with other histories of oppression. The conference was also an ideal time for everyone to share their efforts toward sustainability. Learn more about the conference here.

ACCU member colleges aid refugees

ACCU member colleges have been responding to the current child refugee crisis even before signing the recent Statement on Child Refugees. Recently, university presidents have been speaking out about the role of Catholic Higher Education in this crisis.

Students in the interpreting program at Loyola University New Orleans have been volunteering their time, interpreting for lawyers and immigration advocates serving unaccompanied immigrant minors in the New Orleans area. Not only are these students assisting in a current humanitarian crisis – they are also learning about the daily struggles and lives of these new immigrants.

The Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College has been working with community partners in order to develop a toolkit for recent immigrants. The toolkit is called “Know Your Rights – English for Speakers of Other Languages.” This toolkit innovatively merges English language learning and rights literacy so that toolkit users can improve their English while simultaneously learning their basic human rights and practical applications for difficult situations they may encounter as immigrants.

Within the past few weeks, Villanova CRS Ambassadors ran a letter-writing campaign to address the crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the border. They used resources from the ACCU blog (like the USCCB video ) to educate ambassadors on the situation and to help them write an advocacy letter with CST as the driving force.

What is your campus doing to aid refugees?  Let us know!