Justice Matters: Reflection from Provost Jeff Gingerich

Dr. Jeff Gingerich, Provost of Cabrini College, shares the following reflecting on the Justice Matters core curriculum:

Since my arrival at Cabrini College, I have experienced transformative dialogue about the meaning and value of “social justice” in higher education. This conversation has taken place with students, faculty, staff and community partners. Cabrini has given me the opportunity to talk about peace, justice, and solidarity with people in Mexico, New Orleans, and New York City through faculty study immersion trips. As a result of our family ties with the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our deep partnership with Catholic Relief Services, and our many other community partners, our campus community has been empowered to learn from folks all around the world about why a commitment to social justice is necessary and how it can happen in systematic ways. Amidst valuable discussions and disagreements, we have progressed beyond the constraints of needing to force a common definition of social justice to working together as a community to integrate peace and justice throughout our curriculum in creative ways that provide the hands-on, problem solving experiences that our world expects of a college graduate.

I am so grateful to the faculty, staff, alumni, students and partners at Cabrini College for their commitment to keeping the mission of the College off of the shelves and central in our lives as an academic community. We strive, in all of our imperfection, to live out a deeper commitment to academic excellence, leadership development and a commitment to social justice. The Education of the Heart is only possible through community – and we see it in beautiful ways within our classrooms, residences halls, athletic arenas, and throughout the campus community.

Why does “justice matter” at Cabrini College? It matters because we have heard, and we KNOW, that we are a part of the global human fabric. It matters because we are part of a Catholic Cabrinian legacy that is filled with so much love for God’s people that we feel the pain of hunger, of violence, of homelessness, of sickness, of insecurity and of depression when others feel it, whether they are in the office or residence next door – or whether they are halfway around the world. The Cabrini education is instilled with a drive toward justice and peace because of the Cabrini sacred heart of love. It is a burden that does not lead toward guilt, but rather toward hope. As we sit on our beautiful campus amidst a resource-rich Philadelphia mainline community, we know that we are connected in solidarity to those who are less privileged and who strive for a better world for their families. And after our students cross the graduation stage, we can be confident that the academic rigor that we have provided for them will make them leaders in their vocations not only because they will have the strongest professional skills and a deep liberal arts knowledge, but also because they are committed contributors to a more fair and just world around them.

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