The university’s Center for Social Justice launched the program in 1997 in response to Congress’s passing of the America Reads Challenge Act, a law intended to improve literacy in elementary schools across the country and engage college students in volunteer and federal work-study programs, that same year. Local chapters on college campuses formed in response.
Students from among the Davis United World College Scholar Program partner schools are selected to carry out their proposed projects. The program, which is coordinated at Georgetown by the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service (CSJ), has allowed Georgetown students to engage with affected communities on issues that range from environmental education to improving respiratory health. The most recent awardees in 2016 and 2017 hoped to promote peace in very different places.
A Georgetown delegation of 16 students, faculty and staff joined hundreds of representatives from U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities last week to explore how institutions can best use their resources for the common good. Members of the Georgetown community provided an overview of the university’s racial justice initiatives during one of the conference sessions.
On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech, speakers called for a greater awareness of the university’s role in addressing racism in the United States in a series of events hosted by the Program on Justice and Peace and the Center for Social Justice.
Fr. Matthew Carnes, S.J., has one word of advice for anyone trying to understand the Jesuit values upon which Georgetown University is built.
That word is: “Stop.”
Not that he would actually do this, but sometimes, Carnes, a much-honored Georgetown political science professor and Jesuit priest, feels like shouting out that simple instruction: to harried undergraduates rushing across Healy Lawn; to busy professionals racing up and down the stairs of the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) after a long day of work; to all those who find themselves exhausted from chasing after … something, even though they may not know quite what it is.
While in Washington D.C. with the first delegation from Red Cloud High School ever to attend the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice, four students from the Jesuit-run high school located on the Lakota reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota visited with students, faculty and staff at Georgetown Prep and Georgetown University.
The university has won the White House’s Interfaith Community Service Award for fostering meaningful relationships among its community members of differing faiths and backgrounds. The award, recently announced by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), landed the university on the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor an educational institution can receive for its commitment to volunteerism, community-based learning and civic engagement.
40 percent of the students who participate in programs offered by the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service come from Georgetown College. We sat down with Justice and Peace Studies professor and CSJ director Andria Wisler to learn more about the important work they do in the summer.