In Dr. Zurek’s Engagements with the Common Good 300 course, Working for Global Justice with CRS, students don’t just learn about the world. They help to change it. Over the course of the spring semester, students develop a social justice framework to understand poverty and its consequences throughout the world and in this country. They fully live out the Cabrini mission statement by becoming “engaged citizens of the world.”
In 2014, the class worked with Catholic Relief Services to lobby Congress on international humanitarian aid funding. Cuts were expected, but a national lobbying effort, with Cabrini students participating, ensured funding was maintained.
On June 18, 2014, CRS released a statement sharing that they were “pleased that the House Appropriations subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations maintained funding for lifesaving and life changing humanitarian work around the world for FY 2015. Early indications suggest that the Senate will also protect humanitarian funds.”
In response, Dr. Zurek sent the following email to his class:
The headline: Congressional Subcommittee Maintains Humanitarian Aid Funding for 2015
Did you think your ECG 300 lobbying trip to DC in May was just a class project? Well, it wasn’t. You were part of the effort that will maintain needed help for millions of people — mothers and children, orphans, refugees, migrants, people displaced by war.
The key subcommittee DID NOT CUT Poverty-Focused International Assistance. Your voice counted!
I hope you continue to advocate for our brothers and sisters around the world!”
It should be noted that Cabrini students AND alumni were involved in this effort. The press release was written by Melissa Stevens, Class of ’07, who serves as CRS’ media strategist.