Loyola Marymount Professor Uses Graphic Design to Promote Social Justice

A professor at Loyola Marymount University is using art to promote social justice throughout her classes. Saeri Cho Dobson, associate professor of graphic design, teaches her students that graphic design is a medium that has the opportunity to persuade its viewers. When Cho came to LMU she was inspired by their Jesuit mission of promoting social justice so she began to partner with the Center for Service and Action which connected her with nonprofits in Los Angeles.

Cho centered her design entrepreneurship class on a final student project that incorporated social justice work. She explained how a group of her students “worked with the Lamp Community in downtown Los Angeles, which has art and music programs for homeless people. The students developed a project to design a portable, solar-paneled cell-phone charger for homeless people, who aren’t always welcome in cafes or restaurants as a place to charge their phone.” Cho hopes that her students learn they can foster community and a commitment to social justice through their designs.

To read more about Cho’s class, visit LMU news.

Peace and Justice in ACCU’s Summer Newsletter

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

  • ACCU President’s Letter: Celebrating 50 years of Populorum Progressio
  • Rivier Students Participate in Day of Service: In April, Rivier University held its fifth annual First-Year Student Day of Service, contributing hundreds of service hours to Greater Nashua, New Hampshire non-profit organizations.
  • Mount Marty Students Volunteer at Rosebud Indian Reservation: Eighteen students from Mount Marty College recently participated in an annual service opportunity that sends nursing students and non-nursing majors to the Rosebud Indian Reservation to work with Tree of Life Ministry in Mission, South Dakota.
  • Newman Students Focus Art on Syrian Conflict: The atrium in Newman University’s Dugan Library was home to a student-created art exhibit in April, with art designed to depict the conflict in Syria.
  • Emmanuel Students Raise Funds for Children’s Hospital: The sixth annual Emmanuel College Dance Marathon for Boston Children’s Hospital set a new fundraising record this year.
  • Benedictine Holds Social Justice Teach-In: This spring Benedictine University held an all-day “Teach-In on Social Justice and Race” to promote greater understanding of people and issues affecting local communities.
  • Aquinas Awarded Early Childhood Ed. Grant: Aquinas College in Michigan has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to address the shortage of qualified teachers of color available to lead local early childhood education classrooms.

To subscribe to Update, please email Paula Moore.

President of Trinity Washington University Honored with Faith Doing Justice Award

The Ignatian Solidarity Network honored Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, with the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award.  The Holstein Award honors one individual each year “who has demonstrated a significant commitment to leadership for social justice grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).”

Patricia McGuire was named the president of Trinity Washington University (then Trinity College) in 1989. She helped to rebuild the college by reaching out to black and Hispanic women of Washington, transforming the college into a multifaceted university. Today, Trinity serves as an example of how to widen collegiate access and welcome students who have lived on the margins. Over 2,000 students are enrolled in degree programs and 3,000 are in Trinity’s continuing education programs. School enrollment is 67 percent African American, 21 percent Hispanic, 6 percent white and 6 percent international.

McGuire is an advocate for women and social justice, committed to the transformative power of education. To learn more about McGuire and the award, read the full article from the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Rockhurst University Supports Child Mobility

Rockhurst University students have formed a chapter of GoBabyGo!, a non-profit focused on child mobility. Students transform motorized toy cars into mobility vehicles for children, tailoring to their individual needs whether from a visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, or a condition that limits a child’s mobility, like spina bifida.

Child mobility is linked with cognitive development. As children are able to move freely, they are more able to develop decision-making skills and experience new things.  These cars are significantly less expensive than many traditional mobility aides.

Rockhurst’s chapter of GoBabyGo! involves students who study physical therapy and engineering. In March 2015, they delivered their first vehicles to the Children Center for the Visually Impaired which was covered by local media, spurring more support for the project.

Cole Galloway, Ph.D., PT, founder of GoBabyGo, visited the Rockhurst chapter last fall, noting that the work is connected to the Jesuit values of social justice: “When you unpack this project, you see both sides–the science and the social justice. They go hand-in-hand. I think social justice is about listening to communities and getting behind them and fighting with them.”

To learn more about GoBabyGo! on Rockhurst’s campus, read the full article.

Saint Joseph’s University Using Social Media for Social Justice

At Saint Joseph’s University, a research collaborative called Beautiful Social is using social media to affect social change. Beautiful Social offers local and national nonprofits free consulting and content creation to strengthen their online presence. What started as a free elective has grown into an integral organization to the communications studies department involving a dedicated faculty director, four paid undergraduate fellows and 40 student consultants each year.

Beautiful Social  has worked with more than sixty clients, including the American Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia. Smaller nonprofits and community organizations benefit from a significant return from the work of Beautiful Social.

Bill Wolff, director of Beautiful Social, reminds his students that “our entire reason for being here” is “to use our skills and our time to build relationships and to make the world a better society”.

Read more about Beautiful Social at Saint Joseph’s University here.