Justice & Our Future Together
Who We Wish To Become: Creating Our Future Together
- University Ministry
- School of Business Administration
- School of Education
- School of Law
- School of Medicine
- School of Nursing
- School of Social Work
- Institute of Pastoral Studies
- College of Arts and Sciences
- Mundelein College
- Center for Urban Research and Learning
- Center for Ethics
- Center for Faith and Mission
- The Center for the Advanced Study of Christianity and Culture
- Gannon Center for Women and Leadership
- Literacy Center
- Rogers Park Youth Network
We have just presented a sample of the initiatives for justice presently practiced at Loyola University. It seems important to recognize and celebrate these activities not only for the concrete good they contribute to society but also because, in the process of doing so, we achieve a clearer and more forceful institutional identity. At the same time, this inventory may assist us in the discovery of areas or dimensions of our institutional life where justice needs to be significantly enhanced. Perhaps there is mush more, both quantitatively and qualitatively, that we could and should be doing.
In the current climate of fiscal crisis, however, when the capacities of the University to financially support its basic activities are under strain, a conversation on the place of justice in the mission of the University might seem inopportune if not irrelevant. Perhaps, however, this is precisely the time to re-examine our institutional identity in light of our history and originating objectives. More than anything else at this time - more than new revenues, more than cost-cutting efficiencies - we need a renewal of confidence in what makes Loyola distinctive, we need an infusion of collaborative spirit. One way to find this is by searching out Loyola's usable past, the pioneering ethos that sprang not from ideological a prioris but from a fearlessly honest reading of the immediate human environment and from a faith that saw beyond financial constraints.
Our founding story and tradition cannot make the decisions for us but they can help us to frame the pertinent questions and to foster within ourselves the proper sensitivities. Even though Chicago - the context for our educational efforts - has dramatically changed, new groups of poor and excluded peoples have emerged and these comprise the invisible but very real backdrop of all our activities as an institution. Similarly, Loyola's own internal reality has changed considerably: we are located on five campuses instead of one; Loyola offers a total of 144 programs of study leading to 27 different academic degrees; research and specialization, leading to increasing autonomous departments, have become much more central to who we are as an institution. But the fact remains that justice has been part of the Loyola story from the days of Arnold Damen. As we contemplate "restructuring" the university in time of financial crisis, we should ask ourselves if and how this constitutive element of Jesuit identity could serve as a major organizing principle for decision making.
The purpose of this report was never to provide simple answers. The goal, rather, has been to raise questions and to foster conversation about our Loyola's institutional commitment to social justice. Some of the questions that most frequently emerge at Loyola University Chicago in connection with justice are:
- Regarding teaching: Could and should justice be woven more coherently and consistently into our curriculum? Should justice be treated as a general "core course" or is it better for each department to find the most appropriate ways of incorporating justice into their upper and lower division offerings? How do we assist the faculty themselves so that they can be better role models for justice?
- Regarding research: As Loyola's research strengths evolve, can we find reasonable and realistic ways for justice to become intrinsic to this crucial aspect of our institutional activity here? Might we consider creating a well-concerted and interdisciplinary research center devoted to the analysis, critique and transformation of unjust practices, structures, habits and conceptions? Building on and expanding from already existing programs, would such a research center allow Loyola to have a greater institutional voice on vital issues relating to justice, human rights, poverty and global ethics?
- Regarding service: Although the number of Loyola's service initiatives is indeed impressive, it would seem that these often operate in an isolated or disconnected manner. Can we bring these efforts together into a more visible mosaic? And might it be necessary or fruitful to find ways to insure that the experiences of social service constitute a more integral part of the over-all intellectual formation that the students receive at Loyola? How can we make "service learning" more central to the curriculum than it presently is?
- Regarding admissions/financial aid: Despite the generally favorable reading of Loyola's practices with respect to poor and minority students, in light of our current fiscal restraints, how can we find ways to enhance our need-based financial assistance in such a way that Loyola can continue to be a school and a home for the poorer segments of our population?
- Regarding institutional climate: Even though Loyola has grown into a large multicampus entity, it is important that the institutional climate promotes and sustains mutual respect, communication and collaborative activity. How might we best foster better relations between administration, faculty, students and staff so that everyone working at Loyola, including part-time faculty, staff and students, can share a sense of belonging to a common enterprise?
- Regarding the relationship between vision and structure: Presumably the mission statement is the document in which the university expresses its self-understanding, its character, and its dreams. But, realistically, no mission statement can adequately contain or express the fullness of our vision. In what ways can we regularly articulate, celebrate and evaluate our vision? How can we guarantee that no segment of out institutional structure remains outside of that vision?
Although we do not possess answers to all of these questions, certain "optics" have emerged from our study and, particularly, from the Forum on Justice which was held on March 18, 1999. Some of the more salient proposals would be as follows:
- More decisive commitment to service learning: Pedagogies for justice generally begin by fostering a greater awareness of injustice, on the one hand, and a deeper bond of solidarity, on the other. Service learning not only makes these connections possible but it situates them within the educational process. Consequently, "service" ceases to be an extra-curricular activity and slowly becomes a key part of the learning process. Over the years, Loyola University has experimented with different models of service learning. CURL and University Ministry, plus a host of individual faculty members, have displayed enormous leadership and creativity in this regard. But it would seem as if the time has come for the university to make a more serious institutional commitment to service learning, devoting the material and human resources towards making this educational modality a key element within Loyola's operative philosophy of education.
- Encourage and support justice related research: Many of the social challenges facing the world today (e.g., the globalization of the economy, the inadequacy of health care systems, the psychological and social impact of media culture, etc.) are not susceptible to quick fixes but require for their solution careful and prolonged research. Unfortunately, social justice has all too been often associated almost exclusively with activism, while the research dimension of justice gets overlooked. But as research occupies a more significant place at the university than it once did, it too can contribute to the promotion of justice. In order for this to occur systematically, Loyola, as an institution, should provide incentives for justice related research and consider the creation of an interdisciplinary center devoted to this analysis, critique and transformation of social injustice, a place where the poor themselves can have voice and participation.
- Revise decision-making procedures so that they are more consistent with the promotion of justice: If our promotion of justice is to have credibility, we must practice justice in our own institutional relationships and dealings. Recently, an ad hoc Committee on Governance has recommended ways to improve communication and decision-making processes within the university such that these stand in better alignment with Loyola's vision and mission for justice. The committee is working in a concentrated way on two of its recommendations: a University Budget Committee and a Faculty Senate - both aiming towards a greater climate of shared responsibility. Eventually, a University Senate appears advisable not only as a way of enhancing communication between Loyola's different constituencies but also as a means toward eliciting the creative imaginations of everyone who has a real stake in Loyola.
The responsibility of University Ministry is to make visible the religious identity of the institution and to nurture the faith life of the students, faculty, administrators and staff. At Loyola University Chicago, Ministry activities are integral to the nature and mission of the university. In 1971, with the intent of strengthening the religious character of Loyola, President Raymond C. Baumhart, S.J. proposed the creation of a division of University Ministry under the direction of a vice president. The Board of Trustees amended the by-laws of the university to approve this proposal and stipulated that the position of Vice President for University Ministry be filled only by a Jesuit. Since that time Loyola has supported a strong ministry presence in each of its schools, on every one of its campuses and in all of its residence halls.
Ministry is a partner, from a religious vantage point, in the education of those it serves. Ministry is dedicated to educating "persons for others" who put their learning into action in the pursuit of justice. The climate and context of justice is evident in the welcoming hospitality and personal care Ministry provides to all members of university community as they seek to grow in their own particular religious tradition. Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Orthodox Christians and others are at home alongside Roman Catholics as they seek to integrate faith and life in practical ways.
Examples of specific justice-related endeavors sponsored by University Ministry include the following:
- Hunger Week, begun in 1973, is a university-wide week-long mix of educational efforts and fund raising to address the issue of global hunger. More student organizations take part in Hunger Week than in any other event in the academic calendar. Each year approximately $35,000 is raised and distributed to local, national and international agencies directly engaged in combating hunger.
- Early in the first semester of each academic year Ministry sponsors a Community Service Fair with representatives from nearly 40 agencies seeking committed student involvement. Hundreds of students dedicate themselves to year long service. Hundreds more become involved on a project centered or short term basis. Faculty rely on University Ministry to serve as a broker in placing students in appropriate sites for service learning. Ministry's annotated guide to over thirty-five service sites is updated each year.
- Incoming students who have a background of service in high school may apply to take part in the Freshman Urban Plunge the week before school starts in August. In addition there are many opportunities for alternative break immersions-locally in Chicago neighborhoods, nationally in Appalachia, internationally in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. Each of these programs combine immersion in another culture with direct opportunities for service to the poor. The programs are sequential so that students ordinarily would begin with a local program and progress to an international site. The same possibilities are open to Loyola's graduate and professional students. Students at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine have the opportunity to put newly developed skills into service in Guatemala and Peru.
- Loyola4Chicago provides intensive leadership development for a core of seasoned students. In addition to leadership training, these student leaders commit themselves personally to four hours a week of community service at a designated site. The student leaders in turn recruit cohorts of students to join them in service at that site for four hours a week throughout the academic year.
In addition to promoting service for students during their years at Loyola, Ministry is instrumental in assisting students who wish to give a year or more of their lives in post graduate volunteer service. From an information fair at the beginning of the year to a commissioning ceremony at the time of graduation, Ministry facilitates the placement of students with Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the Peace Corps and many other agencies.
In each of these varied outreach programs, one constant component is the incorporation of reflection upon one's experience of community service. Only through reflection do the students move from direct confrontation of public problems to realizing the need for well-grounded complex political action. Only through theological reflection do students develop the religious motivation and sustained resolve to integrate justice into their lives and careers.
The School of Business endeavors to have a broader horizon than other business schools, a horizon which stresses ethics and service. In its MBA program, all core courses can be waived (based on previous courses completed) with the exception of the Business Ethics course. This course has as its goal the increased awareness of ethical problems in business situations and emphasis on learning ways to solve these problems. Within economics, justice surfaces as an equity issue. Notions of distributional equity are central to every principles and intermediate theory course, as well as courses that make use of welfare economics, such as environmental, labor, and urban economics. In the Strategic Management course, in place of the common practice of having students put together a "mock" company and running it through a simulated environment, students are required to work with an actual community client or non-profit organization to craft a complete 3-year business plan for that client. Client are able to obtain extremely valuable business expertise they would not otherwise be able to afford. Complimenting what has just been mentioned, there are several other expressions of Loyola's ongoing concern for social ethics in business: the Raymond C. Baumhart, S.J. Professorship of Business Ethics, the Center for Values in Business, and finally the Business Partners Program. Each of these efforts makes sure that an ethical horizon remains present throughout the formation program. A recent outreach initiative was the establishment of a warming shelter within the lobby of the Business School for vendors of "Streetwise", a local newspaper produced and sold by homeless people. The Summer Enrichment program brings outstanding Hispanic high school freshman and sophomores to the campus for six weeks of instruction in science, math, business and computer classes.
In the Fall of 1997, the School of Education began a process to identify a new conceptual framework for all their programs. Two possible theoretical frameworks emerged: 1). reflective practice and 2). education for justice. After a careful period of dialogue and discernment, in March of 1998, education for justice was selected and, henceforth, this will constitute the unifying theme for all teaching, research and service activities. Although the specific syllabi are still in the development stage, courses and seminars will certainly focus on the different dimensions of injustice (class, race, gender, etc.) and on how these correlate with the educational process. The goal is to develop a pedagogy for social justice that is truly liberating and one that rests firmly on principles of caring service, active solidarity, multi-cultural recognition and learning across the lifespan. Financial resources of the School are being directed towards the implementation of this new pedagogical design.
But concern for an education that does justice is not something entirely new in the School of Education. Faculty and students have long engaged in a variety of service projects aimed at promoting social justice. A cable TV math enrichment program called "Countdown" has been developed to provide advanced mathematics skills to Chicago children from diverse economic and racial backgrounds. "Sciene 2001", an inter-departmental effort of the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences, teaches science to urban elementary school children. "Science Leaders", an outgrowth of the Science 2001 program, involves Loyola students in the educational process of urban grade school students. These students, in turn, act as "science ambassadors" for their classmates, families and communities, especially through "Family Science Nights". Furthermore, the "City as Resource Project", begun in 1993, Loyola student teachers work with local high schools to recruit culturally diverse students into teacher education, to fashion an educational program that uses urban resources to produce higher levels of competence in English, mathematics, history and science, and to develop a curriculum focusing on the cultural resources of the city. Finally, through another project called "SMART" (Science and Math Achiever Teams), fifth and sixth grade pupils are paired with undergraduate volunteers in an after-school math and science mentoring program whose goal is to encourage students to devote themselves more totally to their studies while, at the same time, providing them with hands-on experiences in science, math, and computers. Loyola University, in conjunction with Roosevelt University, has collaborated on a program to provide training for Chicago Public School system principals when an early retirement program resulted in a serious shortage of qualified principals.
In a very real sense, all of the education at the School of Law is focused on justice, since its graduate will, for the most part, be engaged in the actual practice of law. Within this context, the School of Law demonstrates specific commitments to justice in at least five areas: specialized centers, curriculum innovations, service learning, co-curricular activities, and student-initiated activities.
Specialized Centers: The Loyola University Community Law Center provides representation to persons who cannot afford an attorney. More than 2,000 indigent persons in the Chicago area have been served there. The center combines an exceptional blend of education and service, two of the primary goals of LUC. The Loyola Childlaw and Family Law Center, on the other hand, is designed to train law students in the area of children's rights. The Childlaw Clinic employs law students, under the supervision of clinical staff attorneys, to represent children in Cook County Circuit Court. It also publishes, with the American Bar Association, the Children's Legal Rights Journal. The Childlaw Society, a student organization open to all Loyola law students, organizes volunteer activities, discussion roundtable's and field trips for those who share a common interest in the welfare of children and families. The Center for Public Service Law presents students with a range of options for career opportunities to serve the public and to secure the achievement of justice. It seeks to promote in students their professional responsibilities as a lawyer in society. The Employment Rights Clinic provides students with the opportunity to represent clients in disputes involving employment benefits, and the Federal Tax Clinic allows students to represent clients in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service.
Curriculum: Of the 180 law schools in the United States, 37 of which are religiously affiliated, only 12 emphasize ethical values in their courses. Loyola University Chicago's School of Law is one of those 12. The School of Law expects each of its teachers to include in every course instruction in issues of justice and professional responsibilities. In fact, all students are required to take a course in Professional Responsibility in their last year of school, focusing on ethical questions in the practice of law. In addition to the courses in the Childlaw curriculum, important courses are available in Law and Poverty, Law and Aging, Law and Theology, Contemporary Approaches to Law and Justice: The Catholic Social Tradition, and Public Interest Law.
Service Learning: There are many opportunities for service learning in several law school legal clinics. The Community Law Center supervises students representing financially poor clients in matters involving family law, government benefits, and landlord-tenant disputes. The Childlaw Clinic provides students with the opportunity to represent children in various matters, in the Employment Rights Clinic students represent clients in disputes involving employment benefits, and in the Federal Tax Clinic students represent clients in disputes involving employment benefits, and in the Federal Tax Clinic students represent clients in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. In the law school's externship program, students work with either the State's Attorney or Public Defender offices in criminal justice externships. Students brief and argue appeals for otherwise-unrepresented clients in the Practicum Program. The Street Law Program trains law students in the substantive law and the methodology to enable them to teach law in the city high schools. The Minority Enrichment Program brings high school minority students to the School of Law for a semester in which they are exposed to aspects of the legal profession and trained in critical thinking and writing skills.
Co-curricular Activities: The School of Law supports a number of academic journals, three of which are specifically devoted to aspects of justice: the Children's Legal Rights Journal, the Public Interest Law Reporter and the Consumer Law Review. Additionally, the School of Law sponsors an annual Public Interest Convocation, with mandatory participation by first-year law students. This convocation acquaints students with the urgent need for legal representation by poor and middle-class citizens and their professional obligation to fulfill a public interest commitment.
Student-initiated Activities: The Public Interest Law Society sponsors programs every year to acquaint the law school community with issues involving the public good. A Public Interest Auction is held yearly, sponsored and run by law students, the proceeds of which are used to support law students in unpaid legal positions in public interest agencies during the summer months. Salisbury Grants, provided by a law school alumna, pay the tuition for part-time summer courses for students who wish to gain additional academic credit while they devote their working hours to serving the public interest. Law students also undertake projects with the School of Law chaplain or the Director of Student Services, projects such as painting and cleaning senior citizens' center and working at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Students staff booths at child advocacy conferences, participate in the Juvenile Court's annual holiday party and adoption fairs, tutor at Cook County Juvenile Detention Center.
In 1993, the entire medical school curriculum was substantially revised, moving from a predominantly lecture approach to a problem-based learning curriculum. This process was followed by the construction of a new medical school building to support the requirements of this new curriculum. The implication from a justice perspective would seem to be that, with this new curriculum and facility, the Medical Center is better able to provide an education based on the virtues of caring and solidarity with a special emphasis on the dignity and uniqueness of each patient as an individual.
In the course of their medical training, students are provided with several opportunities to bring health care services to impoverished areas whether these be in the Chicago area, in Appalachia or in Guatemala. To underscore the need and just obligation to serve the poor, students are provided with multiple opportunities to serve the poor through the Maywood Clinic. One example can be found in the "Special Friends Program" which links medical students with pediatric oncology patients in the big brother/big sister support structure. Likewise, students participate in the "Shadow Mentoring Program" which links them to members of the pastoral care staff so that the students learn to provide care, beyond the clinical, to the whole person. The Children's Hospital of Loyola recently launched a Mobile Clinic, a 40-foot truck equipped with two examining rooms and a laboratory, which brings a range of medical services to children in underserved neighborhoods. Within a 5 mile radius of the Medical Center, lack of prenatal care, drug use and poor nutrition are significant problems. The Mobile Clinic also visits local schools, churches, and park districts where prearranged testing and exams are provided. Finally, students participate in a variety of community service programs that include AIDS Walk, Genesis House, Pilsen Homeless Health Center, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Sarah's Inn (for victims of domestic violence).
The Medical Humanities Program offers students the opportunity to explore the social, historical and religious dimension of their profession. Among others, students can choose a significant number of courses in medical ethics, including Ethics in Medical Practice: Competing Rights of the Individual and Society, Women and Medicine, Ethical Issues in Pediatric Care, Ethical Dilemmas in Medical Genetics, and Wrestling with Life Choices. Furthermore, a "Ethics Grand Rounds Program" invites students to grapple with complex ethical dilemmas such as Physicians Against Land Mines, Domestic Violence and the Physician's Response, Ethical Issues in Human Gene Therapy, and Orchestrating Death: Doctors' Duties and the End of Life.
The Neihoff School of Nursing, established over 65 years ago, educates nurses not only to address the patient's need for physical care, but emphasizes concern for the patient's spiritual and psychological well-being. A concrete manifestation of this multi-dimensional view of health is the existence of a master's degree program that combines pastoral theology and nursing. It is the first program of its kinds in the nation to integrate (or re-integrate) the vocations of nursing and ministry.
The Loyola University Nursing Center and Home Care Services was established over 15 years ago to serve free of charge the needy members of the local community. This care is provided by community health care nursing students under the supervision of faculty. In the same spirit, home care is made available to the elderly, the chronically ill, the medically unstable or disabled persons, and to new mothers and their babies. The Center performs screenings on a variety of health problems and conducts health fairs directed towards vulnerable sectors of the population. Two years ago, the School of Nursing established a health clinic in conjunction with a new Jesuit high school, Cristo Rey, located within Chicago's Hispanic community. This clinic functions inside the school, providing health services for these high school's students, the majority of whom have very limited access to good health services and their families have little or no health insurance coverage.
In 1994, the Nursing School began a "Healthy Teens 2000 Program", a health advocacy initiative for teenagers from a lower-income area of Chicago. In addition, nursing faculty and students regularly organize activities in support of a shelter for abused women and children, for pediatric AIDS research, for improved nutrition at local food pantries, and for periodic blood pressure testing. These "practica" are chosen by the faculty for their "justice potential" and because they instill a spirit of solidarity into the professional training of the students.
The mission of the School of Social Work is congruent with the mission of Loyola University. This mission is expressed in terms of respect for the person, caring for and with others, and action in the service of faith and justice. The School of Social Work prepares students for service to others as professional social workers and scholars of social work practice. The mission of the School of Social Work is a characteristically urban one which educates students to understand the diversity of the city and to respond to human needs within that context.
This mission is articulated at three program levels: at the baccalaureate level, the School of Social Work prepares students for generalist social work practice in order that they may work competently within systems of various sizes and complexity, be these individual, group, community, organization, or institution; at the master's level, the School prepares students for advanced practice in clinical social work with individuals, families and groups but within a particular focus area such as children or the mentally ill; and at the doctoral level, the School prepares clinical social workers, through scholarly research, for leadership and administrative roles.
Social work practice at Loyola also includes the assessment of community needs, participation in the development and evaluation of community services, and the learning of skills for the purpose of advocacy and social change. Each student participates in one or more field placements where students learn social work by doing it. Placements include child welfare agencies, mental health placements, hospitals and other medical settings, school social work settings, older adult facilities, domestic abuse settings, and courts and legal clinics - all providing multiple opportunities for reflection and action on behalf of justice. In 1994 a new graduate course entitled "Seminar in Social Work and Social Justice" was created and taught by a Jesuit professor from Loyola's Department of Theology. The course has strong enrollments and is frequently audited by faculty.
In 1983 an Alumni Minority Recruitment Committee (MARC) was formed to recruit, enroll and support persons of color in the School of Social Work. Due to the fine work of this committee, the enrollment of minorities during the past 16 years has increased by over 350%. In the undergraduate social work program, nearly 50% of the program's 142 students are students of color.
Faculty and students of the School of Social Work are regular participants and contributors to university-wide programs on social justice such as the 1997 Welfare Reform Symposium, the Forum on the Child, and the 1998 symposium on Altruism, Charity and Social Change. An annual essay contest for social work students focuses on the critique and application of innovative programs concerning social policy and social justice, particularly in the Chicago metropolitan area.
The Institute of Pastoral Studies has been educating adults for ministry within a social justice perspective for over thirty years. Since social justice is so very prevalent in the Institute's self-understanding and formation of pastoral ministers, it is hard to isolate a few examples.
In addition to it Master of Pastoral Studies and Master of Divinity Program, it has recently instituted two dual degree programs: M.Div/Master of Social Work and M.Div/Master of Nursing. Both of these programs encourage students to pursue social justice, human dignity and the common good. A simple list of courses being offered in IPS indicates how strong the social justice dimension is: Ethical Issues in Race and Gender, Justice and Belief in God, Justice in the Gospel of John, Social Justice in the Catholic Tradition, and Passing on the Values of Jesus. Field placements for ministry students include the Chicago Archdiocesan Office of Social Justice, Howard Area Community Center, Bonaventure House for HIV/AIDS patients, and St. Benedict's African Parish.
The "Instituto Hispano", a creation of Mundelein College, now forms part of the Institute of Pastoral Studies. The Hispanic Institute is designed to prepare persons to minister in the Hispanic community, providing courses, seminars and workshops both on campus and at different parishes around the city. Moreover, the Institute has served as participant, organizer and host at several local, regional and national forums regarding social justice for Hispanics. By contributing in these ways to the education and training of Hispanic ministers, the Hispanic Institute helps the Hispanic community to assume its rightful role within the church.
The College of Arts and Sciences is the undergraduate setting where students develop a deeper awareness of history and the human condition, confirm their dedication to others, and strengthen their courage to build a more just future for the human family. A large number of courses are taught all across the curriculum to help students become personally informed and invested in matters of social justice.
To begin with, the "core curriculum" encourages all Loyola students to reflect in a systematic way upon basic human questions, including those directly and indirectly related to social justice. Theology core requirements are taken from one of four concentrations. Biblical: Courses focus on the centrality of justice in the Bible, with special emphasis on the prophets and on the gospels. Doctrinal: Courses focus both on the church's teachings and on the church's concrete record in responding to human rights violations, third world hunger, debt, poverty, disease and the plight of refugees. Special attention is given to "heroes" in the area of justice such as Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Desmond Tutu, Helen Prejean, Jane Addams and Nelson Mandela. History and Traditions: Courses are notably inclusionary, including offerings that deal with the Catholic tradition but also with others on Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and the African American religious experience. Life and Practice: These courses discuss "moral problems" such as violence, war, human rights, ethical business practices, sexism, racism, sexual ethics, bioethics, economic exploitation, hunger. Similarly, many of the core courses in Philosophy touch upon social justice, especially the course in social ethics (e.g., Action and Value: Society), which focuses specifically on issues of poverty and wealth, just distribution of health care resources, and ethical questions of foreign policy. The students pursuing an M.A. in Social Philosophy, in addition to their courses in moral and social philosophy, are required to work in social service agencies each semester. Among these agencies are the Catholic Worker House, American Indian Health Service, St. Francis Hospice, Asian Human Services, and Cook County Jail.
Several departments provide a notable range of courses with a strong service-learning component: in the Communication Department, faculty have developed a process-based and praxis-based curriculum that focuses critically on the relationship between communication, culture and social justice; in the English Department, faculty have participated over the past two decades in the discovery of a new vision of what constitutes literature, expanding the reading lists to include voices and texts that have previously been submerged; in the Psychology Department, a special sensitivity towards just relationships and human dignity is emphasized, focusing attention on problems such as violence toward women, the psychology of race relations, and the impact of mass media on psychological development; in Sociology, students focus on inequality, homelessness and social welfare policy as they prepare themselves for a life of social service.
The Center for Interdisciplinary Programs (CIP) of the College of Arts and Sciences offers several undergraduate minors encompassing course work in the humanities and social sciences with a focus on social justice: Environmental Studies, International Studies, Peace Studies, Women's Studies, Black World Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies and Latin American Studies. These interdisciplinary programs make it possible for students to pursue course work across departmental lines and to make inter-connections. Each of these programs sponsors lecture series and special events during the academic year that raise issues of justice and fairness for the entire university community. In these and other important ways, the Center for Interdisciplinary Programs helps students frame and prioritize certain social sensitive issues as well as to explore theoretical and practical alternatives.
WLUW, Loyola's own radio station, deserves special mention because its broadcasts clearly reveal a social justice orientation. Priority is given to programs that raise social consciousness by asking difficult questions about the distribution of wealth, power and knowledge in society. The Lake Shore Community Media Project provides the opportunity for community organizations to gain access to the airwaves; students, faculty and community leaders work together to produce programs highlighting community issues.
Many of the service options available to undergraduate students are coordinated though University Ministry or through Student Affairs. Other initiatives, however, emerge from within specific departments. For example, the Athletics Department participates in a program called "Athletes Committed to Educating Students", an after-school tutoring-mentoring organization for inner-city children. The program involves student athletes and also staff. Although their contribution may sometimes be overlooked, coaches work hard to instill the virtue of solidarity in the student-athletes by creating an environment where teamwork predominates over individualism. Sports can certainly contribute to the formation of character and values.
As the adult education and continuing studies division of Loyola, Mundelein helps working people to complete their undergraduate studies or to otherwise enhance their professional development. Recognizing that adult learners have demanding lifestyles, Mundelein organizes its offerings around the needs and possibilities of the adult learners. More recently, Mundelein College has developed a program called "The Emeritus Connection" which attempts providing stimulating courses especially for retired persons and senior citizens from the neighborhood.
The Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) is a non-traditional university research center. It promotes an innovative model of teaching and research through the development of equal partnerships between the university and Chicago's communities. By working closely with activists outside the university, the Center recognizes and values the knowledge and experience found in non-academic settings, challenging the deeply held idea that superior knowledge is held within the university. At CURL, community practitioners sit down at the same research table with faculty and students. Community practitioners are involved in all stages of research, from developing the research questions, based on the needs of their neighborhood, to the design of projects, the analysis of information and, finally, the reporting of findings. CURL projects are developed in coordination with community -based organizations across the city. The projects relate to a wide range of issues: care networks for homeless people, the impact of welfare reform upon children, housing security in low-income housing developments, a day-care feasibility study, the effectiveness of job training programs, the prevalence of domestic violence, etc.
Within the University, CURL seeks to alter the way in which faculty and students think about community research. Within the community, it seeks to change the way the community approaches the resources of the university and the way activists see themselves impacting social, economical, and political inequalities. CURL helps community groups to arm themselves with the research they need to effectively lobby for change. At the government level, CURL seeks to alter the way government sees community problem solving.
An Urban Semester Program provides an excellent context for service learning by placing students into areas where they learn first hand how the city works, how people daily negotiate life in an urban environment, and how solutions are created to meet pressing urban problems. Students not only become aware of the complexity of community issues but they also learn to discover the resources and hope present within the community. The program consists of 9 credit hours (three courses).
CURL is also the home for PRAG (Policy Research Action Group), a collaborative partnership between faculty from four local universities: Loyola University Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, De Paul University, and Chicago State University. PRAG has become nationally recognized for its collaborative focus and publishes a quarterly journal (PRAGmatics) which reports on the entire range of research conducted.
The Center for Ethics was founded in 1991 and has become a recognized leader in promoting ethics education both within the university and throughout the local business and professional community. Prior to its founding, an extensive inventory of ethics activities and programs across the university was conducted in 1990-91. The focus of this inventory was academic - pertaining to teaching, learning or research. The inventory revealed a few hundred courses at Loyola containing ethics material.
Within the Center for Ethics, the Faculty Fellow Program awards a semester relieved of teaching duties to Loyola faculty, during which time the fellows engage in cross-disciplinary research in the application of ethics to their respective fields. Former Faculty Fellows have also been surveyed with a goal of developing self-contained Ethics Modules that will be made available to faculty for use in their classes throughout the university. Each spring, Faculty Ethics Workshops are conducted on such topics as Ethics Across the Curriculum, Professional Ethics, Social Justice, How to Address Your Students' Moral Relativism Effectively. Annually, a short course in Health Care Ethics is taught for health care professionals serving on institutional ethics committees in the Chicago area. A series of Corporate Values Breakfasts are hosted at the Water Tower Campus with notable speakers addressing current issues in ethics. Closely related to the Center for Ethics is the Frank W. Considine Chair in Applied Ethics, established in 1994. The Considine Chair is appointed for two years with a mission of addressing current ethical issues with outreach activities directed toward the Chicago community as well as within the university itself. Recent chair-holders have held a symposia on welfare reform issues, on political campaigns, and on social justice in higher education. Moreover, the Considine Chair, in cooperation with Loyola's Information Technology Department, has made possible a program of computer classes for the surrounding community.
The Center for Faith & Culture was established in 1992 (and changed its name to Faith & Mission in 1997) to focus on the Jesuit Catholic mission and identity of the university with faculty and staff. Its goals are to assist faculty and staff to grow in the appreciation of the diverse Ignatian heritage, to develop a sense of community, to foster appreciation of the diverse contributions of faculty and staff and to support lectures and conferences on issues of faith and culture. The Center presents Jesuit Orientation Seminars for staff and faculty, as well as a wide variety of lectures and meetings throughout the academic year. A sample of topics presented in recent years: Loyola's Service to the Chicago Community, Paradigms of Justice and Love, Being a Person for Others, Aspects of Welfare Reform, Hiring for Mission, Is Tolerance Enough?, and Faculty/Staff Relationships.
The Center for the Advanced Study of Christianity and Culture was founded in 1997 to stimulate, coordinate, and accomplish interdisciplinary research on the relation between the Christian heritage and key issues of contemporary society and culture. It endeavors to help scholars recover a sense of the mutual relevance of Christianity and Western thought and to nurture a new generation of scholars capable of relating their Christian faith to their academic pursuits. Since its founding in 1997, which was preceded by two years of discussion among interested faculty on the relation between Christianity and academia, the Center has organized symposia on Christianity in Academia (1997) and Altruism-Social Change-Charity (1998); monthly seminars on the mutual relevance of Christian faith and various academic disciplines; and research groups on Mysticism, Health/Faith/Well-Being, Philosophy and Theology, and the Relations between Israel, Greece, Christianity and Islam.
Created in 1993, the Gannon Center began full-time operation in July 1997, as an outgrowth of the affiliation of Mundelein College with Loyola University Chicago. Mundelein College, the last all women's college in Illinois, joined LUC in June 1991. The Memorandum of Agreement signed by the institutions brought justice related programs from Mundelein College to Loyola, in particular the Hispanic Institute and the Peace Studies program. Faculty and staff who joined the Loyola community brought their commitment of justice to their new academic setting. The Gannon Center's mission is to celebrate, research, criticize, and nurture the roles of women in positions of leadership - past, present and future. It's focus is one of justice, of right relationship: women's place in society. The work of the center moves forward through its component parts: Loyola's Women's Studies program, the Women and Leadership Archives, and the Institute of Women and Leadership which provides the direct programming of the Gannon Center. At present, the centerpiece of programming is the annual women's conference whose 1999 theme is "Environmental Justice: Women's Experience." The center reaches out to students, faculty, staff and women off campus through its various courses, research projects and activities. At Thanksgiving, Gannon Scholars provide low-income neighborhood families with packages of staple food for the holidays and, in that process, foster a sense of connection and caring within the community.
There are many adults in Loyola's bordering neighborhoods who basic skills in reading and writing make everyday functioning difficult. The Literacy Center, opened in 1992, provides free qualified tutoring to this population. The tutoring, which involves a considerable commitment of time, is provided by Loyola students and faculty from the English Department. Course credit is available to those who participate in a literacy internship. The Literacy Center periodically publishes essays written by the adult learners who have benefited from the program.
The mission of the Youth Center is to provide a space for youth that fosters knowledge, respect, self-determination and well-being (economic, physical, emotional, cultural and academic). Different schools and departments within the university are exploring ways to support the activities of this center. The work will be undertaken in partnership with several other social entities of Rogers Park.
- Commitment to Justice
- Who We Were: Loyola's Founding Story
- Who We Are: A Multi-Storied Institution