RADNOR, Pa. (Dec. 13, 2010) — Peace in Sudan and a long-term commitment to reconstruction efforts in Haiti were among the issues of social justice for which 20 Cabrini College students lobbied U.S. senate and house members on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
On Dec. 3, 2010, students met with the foreign affairs aides to Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX), and Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA).
The students also lobbied for an end to human trafficking, immigration reform, women’s empowerment and fairer trade treaties. For the students, the trip to Capitol Hill was an integral part of Cabrini’s Justice Matters curriculum, which provides all Cabrini students with the knowledge, skills and experience to effect change locally and globally.
“As first-year students in 2008, these students began a three-year journey,” said Dr. Jerry Zurek, chair of communications at Cabrini. “Each year they immersed themselves in the study of international development, peace building, fair trade, migration, and women’s empowerment. They also worked with migrant farm workers in Kennett Square, Pa., and with refugees from the Congo and Eritrea, in Northeast Africa.”
Many students in Dr. Zurek’s “Working for Social Justice” course also serve in leadership positions in campus organizations, such as Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors. The students targeted specific issues of social justice to research and address, which led them to lobby on Capitol Hill.
“Lobbying our senators was so empowering,” said Alyssa Mentzer, a junior communications major from Marlton, N.J. “I think that everything just clicked for me when I realized that I can help make a change and be part of a change if I use my voice.”
About Cabrini College Students do extraordinary things at Cabrini College, a residential Catholic college welcoming students of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. Since its founding in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cabrini College has been a national leader among higher education institutions in social justice education.
Cabrini offers more than 30 majors, pre-professional programs, concentrations and minors to undergraduate students, and has graduate programs at 15 off-site locations. The College’s serene 112-acre campus is located in Radnor, Pa., 30 minutes from Philadelphia.