Service and justice remain at the top of the LMU Center for Service and Action’s (CSA) priority list, no matter the distance or season. LMU students, faculty, and staff continue to uphold LMU’s philosophy in educating the whole person while spreading our Jesuit community spirit.
“CSA is grateful to our students, faculty, and community partners who have continued to take part in critical work in service and justice during these challenging times,” Patrick Furlong ’06, Director for the LMU Center for Service and Action, said. “LMU remains committed to being people with and for others, during the holiday season and all year round.”
This fall, hundreds of LMU students volunteered their time to both virtual and in-person service efforts across Los Angeles, including lending a helping hand to under-resourced schools in the L.A. area, nourishing the unhoused through Campus Ministry’s Feed the Hungry, and working to combat domestic violence at two L.A. based shelters.
“When it comes to community-based service learning, education and building relationships with members of that community are key,” Furlong said. “It allows our students to dive deeper into the issues at hand and ultimately makes the service experience more meaningful to all involved.”
Furlong added that CSA has relished the opportunity to re-connect students to the greater network of nonprofit community partners in and around L.A. through partnerships with faculty across LMU in Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses. These courses provide students with the opportunity to connect their academic passions and talents to opportunities to do meaningful work for and with the most vulnerable in L.A.
And while the rest of us ring in 2022, Furlong says that dozens of LMU students will prepare to embark on a unique adventure through the Alternative Breaks Immersion program to East L.A., San Diego, and El Salvador (virtual). These immersive experiences will afford student participants the chance to explore issues such as restorative justice, women’s rights/climate change, and migration justice/art activism, among others.
Director Furlong describes the Alternative Break Immersions program philosophy, whether in-person or virtual, as “educational learning experiences” where students are challenged to think critically about social conditions and the root causes of a particular issue. As a group, each trip generates and executes a post-trip action plan to create real social change in their communities upon their return from these real-world experiences.
Our Lions are committed to social justice, and many are actively working to make the world a better place. With that in mind, as we reflect on this year, we are grateful to our students, faculty, and community for their service and involvement in such wonderful and meaningful ways. On behalf of LMU, we wish you and yours a peaceful holiday season!