Courageous Voices: Giving Voice to the Voiceless

More than 900 people were murdered in Chicago in 2011 and 2012. Seeking to raise the victims of violence beyond mere statistics,  English professor Miles Harvey and his students from DePaul University set out to collect their stories. With the help of faculty, the students’ efforts resulted in a documentary play, “How Long Will I Cry? Voices of Youth Violence.” It premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre and toured through several Chicago neighborhoods, reaching thousands of Chicagoans.

A book of victims’ oral history narratives was later published, with over 13,000 copies printed by Big Shoulders Books press.  Big Shoulders engages graduate students in DePaul’s Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing program to publish books that engage the Chicago community and contribute to discussions around injustice and inequality.  To order the free book, let the editors know how you are helping fight youth violence in Chicago or your local community.  To learn more about Big Shoulders Books, visit their website and follow their blog.

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.

Marygrove College Calls on President Obama to Resolve the Refugee Crisis of Children Fleeing Violence in Central America

In the first-of-its-kind statement by a U.S. college president since this crisis began, Dr. David J. Fike, the president of Marygrove College, stated that Marygrove College is committing college resources to provide education, shelter and other assistance to the refugees. About this crisis and the College’s decision, Dr. Fike says, “Jesus does not call upon us to respond to our fellow human being’ needs from a position of fear and selfishness. And, fundamentally, I believe the Marygrove community views our response not as something being taken from us but as an opportunity to offer leadership that lifts up this country’s most cherished values and an opportunity to experience the joy and love of serving those in need.” Read more on Marygrove’s Refugee Crisis webpage.