The Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University
Guided by the mission, history, and traditions of Carlow University and its founders and sponsors, the Sisters of Mercy, the Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University aim to facilitate systemic change by informing practice and educating for social justice. The SJI will support the University’s strategic plan by serving as an incubator for faculty research, providing opportunities and securing partnerships for community-based learning, and serving as a conduit for community engagement.
THE GRACE ANN GEIBEL INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. The Grace Ann Geibel Institute for Justice and Social Responsibility develops approaches that advance knowledge in an effort to challenge systemic oppression locally, nationally, and internationally, by engaging students, faculty, staff, and community in research education, and outreach.
THE WOMEN OF SPIRIT® INSTITUTE. The Women of Spirit® Institute informs practice in communities through public scholarship/programming. Programming involves leadership and advocacy training, as well as public education and outreach.
THE CENTER FOR YOUTH MEDIA ADVOCACY. The Center for Youth Media Advocacy empowers teens to express their own voices, with a focus on education reform and improving the school environment, through the identification and analysis of the problems and the creation and distribution of high-quality media to advocate for change.
THE CENTER FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGED LEARNING. The Center for Community-Engaged Learning provides Carlow University students with the opportunity to apply disciplinary knowledge to contemporary social problems through partnerships with local nonprofits.
The SJI exists because of generous donations from people just like you. Please consider giving to the SJI -- even a small gift can go a long way.
The 2017-2020 EDUCATING FOR JUSTICE ISSUE: Gun Violence Prevention
In 2016, the American Medical Association declared gun violence a “public health crisis.” In 2017, Carlow University put gun violence prevention at the top of its social justice agenda. It is the inaugural “Educating for Justice Issue" of Carlow’s Social Justice Institutes.
I’m hoping that by telling John’s story, I’m hoping that people will stop with the violence, stop with the guns. Children need their fathers and mothers, and their uncles and their own children. I just want it to stop. - Stephanie
The most important thing to say to someone is that they’re not alone. You can feel extremely isolated when this happens to you, no matter how big or small your family is. Your individual pain is different from everyone else’s but you’re going through the same situation. - Cheyenne
There are those students we lost, and there are those who are the survivors. Each for different reasons: suicide, a fight with a loved one, a fight with a stranger, a fight over something, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or for no reason at all. The impacts of guns and gun violence on my students as student survivors are also many and varied. Sometimes they stop being students entirely. They might disconnect from classes and friends, leave, come back, rally, become activists, become quiet, become angry, or take on new studies or projects informed by their experiences. All of these students have left indelible marks on how I educate.
Carla, Health Services Director
My colleague lost her teenage son to gun violence.
There were many sorrowful days, and I felt her grief daily;
experiencing the life damaging effects of gun violence. It is
my hope that this launch enlists our community members to recognize
the urgent need for us to intervene. It is my understanding
that prevention must begin early to be most effective; funds and
efforts in teaching our youth how to resolve conflicts and problems
without resorting to gun violence is essential.
I lost my cousin to gun violence in 2015. He was shot in the
back of the head by a man he once called his friend. He was rushed
to the hospital and died there shortly after midnight. Gun violence
had always been an issue that I was passionate about, but now it
hits closer to home than ever. My family was forever changed
in the split second it took my cousin's murderer to pull the
trigger. It's quite possibly one of the worst ways to lose a loved
one, and I don't want anyone else to ever have to lose someone
Jessica, Social Justice Institutes Director
It's hard to find words to discuss the impact the death
of my cousins has had on me. These men were sons and
fathers. My heart aches when I think of how their mothers,
siblings, and children have had to adopt a new normal without them.
It is hard to learn from experiences like these, but it is
critical. I have learned to value my loved ones, to remind them as
often as I can that I love them. I say all of the things to
them that I would say if I had five more minutes with my
cousins. I am committed to ensuring that fewer families have to
experience this pain. We can reduce gun violence in our communities
if we each do our part.
Lachelle, Alumni Engagement Director
I wrote this after my cousin died two years ago. It's just as
No one should have to find out that a piece of them is gone from
this earth because another person decided to use a gun. Mothers
shouldn't have to bury babies, and families shouldn't have to lose
faith in humanity. Please pray for our communities! Pray for our
sons and daughters who don't believe, who don't understand that
life is a gift, who walk every day in fear. They say it takes a
village to raise a child. We all have the tools to build the
village, but we choose to keep them in the toolbox. We all feel the
effects when that village is shaken. It's time to start building
stronger villages. Without those villages, a child has nowhere else
"It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would
have been if it had never shone." -John
Steinbeck. As a student and advisee, I remember the
passion and honesty of her arguments and her clear sense of good
and evil. I remember her indomitable spirit, boundless energy, and
positive outlook. I can see the sparkle in her
eye, the bounce in her gait, and the goodness in her soul. I
can hear her infectious laugh as it echoed in the
hall, the commitment in her voice - ne'er a complaint, excuse, or
anger - only the determination to rise above life's next hurdle to
succeed. I can feel her authenticity, generosity of
heart, and her unbridled warmth and compassion. In these - I but
glimpsed the immeasurable treasures of a life senselessly lost. In
these - I was touched by her humanity. Because of gun
violence, all the lives she touched - and all those she had yet
to touch - are darker.
Gun violence impacts multiple layers of society as it claims
victims. As a crisis responder who works with public safety
providers (dispatch, EMS, fire, and police) following critical
incidents, I have witnessed the impact of violence on the men and
women who answer the calls for help. The victims and their families
become a part of a provider's history and are carried in their
memory long after the call is over. The toll of the work becomes
even harder when the loss of life is a colleague, killed in the
line of duty, or a self-inflicted act when cumulative stressors
overwhelm. The time has come to recognize the burden of emotional
responsibility placed on public safety providers and to create a
culture of self-care and safety.
Sheila, Sister of Mercy
Violence is one of the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of
Mercy. We stand with victims of violence and work against the
escalation of violence, whenever and wherever it occurs.
We work for peace through prayer, education, and personal
and communal practices of nonviolence. We support nuclear
disarmament, reduction of arms, and the use of dialogue instead of
armed conflict. We work to prevent domestic violence and abuse of
women and children, stop human trafficking and reduce violence in
our communities. That leads us to advocate for commonsense gun
violence prevention legislation, and an end to the death penalty.