Commitment to the principle of social justice - King's Herald fall 2011
The following is an excerpt from the fall 2011 edition of the King's Herald.
"Students must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so that they can learn to feel it, think about it critically…and engage it constructively." ~ Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ
The commitment to the principle of social justice – in particular the work our students and faculty carry out in service to local and international communities – is a defining characteristic of a King’s education. This work emanates from our mission as a Catholic university and is in response to the challenges we face, collectively, here in London and across the globe. More than just charity or volunteerism, it is part of a considered education of the whole person in service to others. By marrying the classroom and research with the ‘gritty reality of this world’, King’s provides a learning environment second to none, one that touches the heart as well as the mind. Our purpose is nothing less than to provide students with an educational advantage: the skills and understanding required for ethical leadership in a world where global developments are inextricably linked to local realities.
As our immediate community struggles with persistent joblessness, the lingering effects of economic dislocation and changing demographics, our students are responding intelligently, strategically and compassionately.They are serving and learning in local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, youth addiction and employment centres, aging facilities, and with agencies welcoming new Canadians.They are working alongside members of First Nations communities, both here in Ontario and in northern Canada. Internationally, they are living in solidarity with people whose world has been shaped by political and economic turmoil and environmental degradation.
Innovative pedagogy and cutting edge research are a key part of this King’s advantage: Social Work faculty are leading researchers on the subject of child protection and domestic abuse and are sharing their program expertise with partners in Rwanda and China; our Childhood and Social Institutions faculty are building bridges of understanding with colleagues in Sweden.
Professors in Political Science and Sociology are studying the human implications of evolving North American border policies.Across disciplines, our Liberal Arts 101 program invites adult learners to discover what higher education might offer them and their children. And, of course, our Social Justice and Peace Studies program, grounded in the social teachings of the Church, has blazed the trail of international service learning in this province.
As King’s approaches its 60th anniversary, we have before us an opportunity to build upon this wonderful heritage, to explore more deeply the role of justice in the education of our students and in King’s contribution to the common good. In the classroom and in the world, King’s graduates should continue to be known for their ability to think, feel and act in justice and compassion.
To view the King's Herald fall edition in its entirety, please visit www.kings.uwo.ca/alumni/stay-informed/kings-herald/