Fr. Privett discussing income-generating projects with Veronique Kayoya, a resident of Busekera village.
The University of San Francisco is teaming up with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international relief and development agency of the Catholic Church in the U.S., for a new initiative to advance social justice for marginalized communities around the world.
Scholars in Global Solidarity (SGS), as the program has been named, aims to cultivate faculty expertise on international social justice issues, create curriculum focusing on social justice as part of college courses, and develop social justice-related research. USF was one of three Catholic universities and the only Jesuit university chosen to take part in the program pilot, in which USF faculty will lead the way in cultivating expertise and curriculum that can be shared with other colleges and universities once SGS expands in 2014. The University of Dayton and St. Johns University are also part of the pilot.
USF was selected for its demonstrated leadership and excellence in applying Catholic Social Teaching — with its social justice mission and focus on addressing the causes of poverty. That leadership and excellence are exemplified by USF’s work through the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought and the Arrupe Justice immersion program led by University Ministry and the Center for Global Education.
“In launching this new program, we have looked for institutions who are walking the talk of faith doing justice in very concrete ways, supported by their institutional charisma and strategic initiatives,” said Susan Walters, spokeswoman for CRS.
USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., welcomed the alliance, calling it a tribute to the serious and effective efforts of the university’s faculty, staff, and students to blend academic rigor with social responsibility.
“As an expression of this partnership, I was part of a mid-January CRS-sponsored delegation for Catholic university presidents to Rwanda and Burundi,” Fr. Privett said. “The experience was an eye-, mind-, and heart-opener, as well as an inspiring introduction to the people and work of CRS and to the possibilities of our new partnership.”