The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which is the domestic,
anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops, work together to
encourage partnerships between Catholic colleges and universities and
CCHD. Here are some examples of successful partnerships that help
Catholic colleges live out their mission, while increasing CCHD's
capacity to fulfill the Gospel mandate to bring good news to the poor
(Luke 4:18). If you would like to pursue a partnership, contact us.
Solidarity Day at St. John's University (NY) Features CCHD-Funded Community Organization
St. John University's multi-year relationship with the Don Bosco Workers (DBW), a local organization funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, has helped the university live out its Vincentian charism. DBW is a ground-up community organizing group that advocates for workers and economic justice. Each year, workers associated with DBW visit students in the Catholic Social Teaching course, engaging them around issues of wage theft and local worker justice. In 2016, the class presented their research on fair trade initiatives in major industries at SJU's inaugural Solidarity Festival. The Festival entailed a full day of presentations, featuring DBW in a panel on wage theft, social justice artwork, SJU Fair Trade, SJU CRS Ambassadors, and GLOBE, SJU's academic program on microfinancing, and economics students' research on forced labor in Brazil. The day ended with a Mass for worker justice. According to Dr. Meghan Clark, assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at SJU, the campus-community partnership helps students conceptualize the answer to the Vincentian question, "What must be done?" with respect to wage theft and exploitation of day laborers.
Journey to Justice Day Connects University of Dallas Students to Poverty
For many, poverty can seem like a distant problem, something that does not affect our daily experiences—yet it is a daily reality for at least 47 million people in the U.S., or about one in every six people. To help students understand this reality and local work to address it, diocesan CCHD staff worked with the University of Dallas to offer a Journey to Justice (J2J) Day, or experiential retreat, to help students learn about poverty in Dallas and our Catholic response. The J2J Day incorporated resources from Poverty USA and featured the Texas Tenant Union (TTU), which receives funding from CCHD. TTU is a community group that seeks more and better low-income housing. It provides free legal counsel and rights education for low-income tenants, and organizes those tenants to seek changes in legislation around low-income housing. The J2J Day helped students become aware of and involved in local efforts to address poverty, providing one avenue for them to live out their Catholic identity and commitment to social justice.
Community Blend – Connect Campus Expertise to Real, Local Needs: Xavier University (OH)
the collaborative efforts of Xavier University students and faculty,
along with CCHD-funded group Interfaith Business Builders, Cincinnati is
preparing to welcome its first worker-owned cooperative coffee shop.
IBB works to develop and promote co-ops in low income Cincinnati
neighborhoods, such as Evanston, where Xavier University is located.
Xavier students and professors partnered with IBB, the community and the
members of the co-op to develop Community Blend. Students helped to
develop portions of the business plan as part of their coursework, while
Xavier’s Community Building Institute helped promote community
participation. Community Blend will serve Evanston residents and Xavier
students, selling Fair Trade and locally made products, ensuring a
living wage for workers, artisans, and farmers. The venture also gives
Xavier business students an opportunity to gain experience and give back
to the community. This partnership serves the good of Cincinnati,
embodies the Jesuit and Catholic mission of Xavier, and promotes
solidarity across communities locally and globally.
Supporting the Community and Enhancing Learning: St. Thomas University (FL)
The St. Thomas University Center for Justice and Peace leverages the
university’s teaching and research resources into community-led social
justice projects in their region. As part of this work they have
developed a strong relationship with groups funded by the Catholic
Campaign for Human Development - both locally in the Archdiocese of
Miami, as well as in the farmworker communities of Central Florida.
Locally, a partnership was created with People Acting for Community Together (PACT), South
Florida’s largest faith-based community organizing coalition. The
university has offered for-credit internships in faith-based community
organizing, has integrated introductory ethics and theology courses to
PACT’s work, and has recently begun to put the social-science research
capabilities of the university at the service of PACT’s policy advocacy
efforts. With the support of the university, PACT has established the
Mentoring and Induction for New Teachers (MINT) program, has gained the
City of Miami’s pledge to improve its drug problem, has increased
security at inner-city schools, and more.
Similarly, in Central
Florida, the Center has partnered with the Coalition of Immokalee
Workers (CIW), a long-time CCHD funded group, and one of the leading
grassroots farmworker organizations in the United States. The Center has
supported full 3-credit immersion courses focused on the intersection
of Catholic Social Thought, immigration and farm labor, as well as
integrative course-units where faculty address farm labor issues from
the theoretical lens of a variety of disciplines. In one example from
this Fall 2012, students from two communications courses are partnering
with the CIW to produce radio and video public service announcements
that will be used to further the farmworkers’ advocacy campaigns. These
successful projects have built a strong relationship between the
university and its surrounding community, educating students on Catholic
Social Thought and their ability to initiate social change, while also
supporting social-justice initiatives in a concrete way. By integrating
class-room learning with community-identified needs, they have been able
to enhance their learning while putting Catholic Social Thought into
action for a better world.
Have a Campus Collection to Join in CCHD’s Mission: University of Portland (OR)
When someone makes a donation to the annual CCHD Collection, that
person connects to the Campaign’s mission to feed the hungry, clothe the
naked, and let the oppressed go free (Luke 4:18). Because of the
efforts of Edith, a former intern for the Archdiocese of Portland, the
University of Portland now participates in the CCHD Annual Collection at
the campus Mass on Sunday before Thanksgiving. Promoting the
Collection at Catholic college and university chapels is a great way to
connect Catholic higher education to the Church’s mission of fostering
life and dignity, justice and peace.
Host an Event to Get the Word Out about CCHD: The Catholic University of America
Faculty members at the Catholic University of America, Dr. Linda
Plitt-Donaldson of the National Catholic School of Social Service and
Rev. Anthony Pogorelc, S.S., of Theological College, hosted an event
aimed at connecting students and faculty with the community organizing
work of CCHD. The event featured an overview of CCHD’s history, a panel
of local community organizers from CCHD-funded groups, an address on
the current challenges to community organizing, and a time for
participants and community groups to network and discuss possibilities
for future collaboration putting Catholic Social Thought into
action for a better world.
Enlightening the Heart Through Catholic Social Teaching: Loyola University Maryland
Working with CCHD in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the campus ministry at Loyola University Maryland sponsored a 7 part speaker series on the themes of Catholic Social Teaching in action. The speaker series connected the themes of Catholic Social Teaching to a broad range of topics, from the rights and responsibilities of youth in inner city Baltimore, to the life and dignity of victims of human trafficking, to unemployment and the rights of workers. The series featured speakers from community groups, including those supported by CCHD, and successfully raised student awareness on the themes of Catholic Social Teaching and the ways to incorporate those themes into their own lives. "May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call," Ephesians 1:18.
Fighting to Break the Chains of Sexual Exploitation: St. Cloud State University
Hands Across the World, a CCHD-funded group committed to teaching and aiding the newcomer immigrant populations of St. Cloud, hosted a human trafficking awareness event detailing the atrocity of human trafficking, which enslaves more than 30 million people worldwide. Shocked and astounded by this reality, a group of St. Cloud State University students decided to form a student group to raise awareness on campus and in the community about human trafficking, prostitution, and the negative effects of pornography. Students give presentations on human trafficking at the university, in high schools, and at conferences and churches. The students are also involved in legislative advocacy to end trafficking. Through their education and advocacy work, the students at St. Cloud State University are fighting to break the binding chains of sexual exploitation in the spirit of Luke 4:18.