University Organizes Efforts to Bring Attention to Syrian Refugee Crisis

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Throughout the fall semester, University of Scranton faculty, staff and students have organized a "In Solidarity with Syria" series of educational programs, advocacy opportunities and prayer activities to bring attention to the Syrian and broader global refugee crises. A University committee, headed by Anitra McShea, Ph.D., vice provost for Student Life, centralized these campus efforts, that express Scranton’s Catholic and Jesuit mission in response to the refugee crisis, which has been described as the largest the world has seen since World War II. The committee will explore future initiatives for the spring semester as well.

“The humanitarian needs are urgent and our compassion should abound to help men, women and children who have fled their homes in pursuit of safety. As Pope Francis has said, ‘you are your brother's keeper,’” wrote University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., of the initiative in an editorial published in the Scranton Times-Tribune Nov. 8.

A series of free, public events took place throughout November exploring how the University and greater Scranton community can respond to those most affected by the refugee crisis. Through a new and ongoing “Advocacy Corner” intiative, the campus community has been encouraged to engage in advocacy in collaboration with partner organization, Jesuit Refugee Service. University President Quinn wrote to federal elected officials in November urging additional U.S. government efforts to address the refugee crisis: "While the refugees are most urgently appearing on the shores and borders of our European friends, as Americans we can also play a critical role in helping to address this political and humanitarian crisis". Background information to learn and engage can be found at: www.scranton.edu/advocacy.

Information on events and prayer resources can be found on The Office of Campus Ministries' website: www.scranton.edu/ministries/refugeecrisis.

The In Solidarity with Syria initiative is an effort to The Office of Campus Ministries, Community and Government Relations, Scranton’s Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors, and Education for Justice, together with Catholic and Jesuit partner organizations. Coordinating members include: Nailah Harvey '18, Mary Ellen T. Kane '17, Fr. Richard Malloy S.J, Anitra M. McShea, Ph.D., Lori Moran, Oliver J. Morgan Ph.D., Farrah F. Qadri '17, Julie Schumacher Cohen, Ryan Sheehan, Gretchen J. Van Dyke Ph.D., and Helen M. Wolf Ph.D.