Reflecting on SLU's Role in the Pursuit of Peace and Justice
The Saint Louis County suburb of Ferguson is just a twenty-minute drive from SLU, but from a comfortable hammock on the quad, it's easy to feel as if the early August clashes between angry protesters and heavily-armed officers might as well have happened on the other side of the country -- even on the other side of the world.
We know SLU students are busy students, but it is also a priority of a Jesuit education to maintain concern for members of our extended communities who may be struggling with wounds of the mind, body and spirit. If current events have you pondering how to live the mission and you're looking for ways to be a man or woman for others, this page will keep you updated on the University's continuing efforts to support Ferguson and the surrounding areas in the Jesuit tradition of caring for the whole person: mind, body and spirit.
Experience. Reflection. Action. These are the tenets of a Jesuit
Body: Donate toiletries & canned goods to residents unable to access basic items.
Recently, Saint Louis University and other area organizations were contacted by the Fellowship Outreach District of Ferguson seeking toiletries and other items for its residents. Given the ongoing struggles in the community that have shuttered businesses, many residents do not have access to reliable transportation and are unable to access basic items.
SLU community members interested in helping are asked to donate any toiletries, especially toilet paper and diapers, as well as canned goods, by dropping them off at any of the following locations:
- The main lobby of the Center for Global Citizenship (Contact: Bobby Wassel)
- Outside room 319 on the third floor of DuBourg Hall (Contact: Peg Weathers)
- The front desk in the School of Nursing Building (Contact: Peggy Door)
- The Office of Student Services, room 1008) at the School of Law (Contact: Jon Baris)
- Department of Athletics offices in Chaifetz Arena (Contact: D'Ann Keller)
Those interested in providing service to the Ferguson community can contact SLU's Center for Service and Community Engagement, which is in communication with a number of outreach organizations, at 314-977-4105 or email@example.com.
Mind: Participate in Action-Oriented Forums and Symposiums
The second "Making a Difference in North St. Louis" symposium will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23.
The North St. Louis Initiative was established to help coordinate and communicate the many great projects that Saint Louis University faculty, staff and students - individuals and groups - are doing in north St. Louis communities.
The objectives of the symposium are to:
- Highlight projects, service or research conducted in North St. Louis through poster presentations
- Encourage collaboration among faculty, students, staff and community members on current or future projects, service and research in North St. Louis
- Introduce current community partners to the University family and the work that is being done with North St. Louis in order to increase and strengthen partnerships with the community.
For more information contact Darcy Scharff at 314-977-4009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday, September 2nd, the SLU College of Education and Public Service hosted, Teaching Ferguson: Having Difficult Conversations When Silence Is Not An Option , an open forum on teaching race and class in our classrooms in light of the events in Ferguson. The forum drew on the collective wisdom, experiences, and viewpoints of those in attendance to provide perspectives on difficult questions and classroom conversations. Fitzgerald Hall, Room 221.
On Thursday, September 4th, SLU hosted a panel and discussion about what we can learn from the events in Ferguson and what constructive actions make sense going forward. The panel featured a range of faculty, students and alumni, sharing their perspectives on the issues. The event was held in the St. Francis Xavier Ballroom (lower level of College Church).
Panel members include:
Spirit: Prayer vigils in support of our neighbors in Ferguson
"Given our commitment to justice, it is imperative that we continue our efforts to shine a light on the issues of poverty, violence and racial disparity," said Saint Louis University's new president, Dr. Fred Pestello, in his invitation to the second of two prayer vigils that have recently been held on the SLU campus.
"I ask that you please keep everyone affected by this tragedy -- including our SLU colleagues who live in the Ferguson area -- in your prayers," he added. "There are many people who are deeply affected by this tragedy. We should seek ways to heal together."
<-- From Instagram user @klassy_lei, following the August 24 prayer vigil: Another awesome #SLU vigil for #MikeBrown and #Ferguson. Each speaker spoke so many words of truth. I hope they resonate throughout the SLU community and that each of us will be a light for change.
In the context of these vigils and in other public statements, Dr. Pestello has called upon the Saint Louis University community to recommit ourselves to be the diverse, just and inclusive University that our Jesuit mission calls us to be, emphasizing that it is more important than ever that we take the time to care for each other as we come together to realize the promise of a new academic year.