The Ellacuría Initiative
As a Jesuit university founded on the Gospel, the University of Scranton is committed to "the service of faith and the promotion of justice." A significant dimension of this commitment is "A Faith that Does Justice," a concern with how social, political, and economic structures impact individuals and groups, especially the impoverished and the less powerful, as well as the environment.
The Ellacuría Initiative, formerly known as Education for Justice, enables us to reflect on the meaning of justice; makes us aware of injustice in our society and throughout the world, and of efforts being made to remedy injustice; and introduces us to various methods of analysis, so that we may be able to respond.
Three areas of focus
The Ellacuría Initiative currently works in three areas – (1) our biennial theme, (2) issues of importance to Northeastern Pennsylvania, and (3) other justice-related programming that emerges because of opportunity or unfolding circumstances.
The Ellacuría Initiative coordinator and advisory board will take the lead on programming during the first semester, but our hope is that faculty and staff will help round out initiatives during the remaining months.For example, Dr. Mike Allison led a discussion on "IDPs, Asylees, Refugees, Migrants: What's the Difference?" in November. We would be happy to provide support for faculty to tackle similar questions related to literacy broadly defined.
The second area in which the Ellacuría Initiative is now working is Northeastern Pennsylvania. We support the State of Scranton Seminar Series which is organized by the Office of Community and Government Relations and Campus Ministries' Center for Service and Social Justice. We hosted a teach-in on Catholic Social Teaching and Northeastern Pennsylvania in April 2016. We are also continuing our investigation into what constitutes a living wage for Pennsylvania familes
Finally, other justice-related opportunities pop up throughout the semester. We will continue to support these programs to the best of our abilities. We have supported a series of events to celebrate the life of Dorothy Day, reflect on Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States, and bring attention to the plight of the sixty million global citizens who have been forced to flee their homes because of violence.