Service and justice remain at the top of LMU Center for Service and Action’s 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. Prior to winter break, the LMU Center for Service and Actions (CSA) provided holiday cheer to the St. Margaret Center’s 32nd Annual Christmas Program by collecting donations and toys from our community, whichwere gifted to 500 in-need families.
“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, Interim Director for 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 supported virtual tutoring efforts across Los Angeles in support of state-mandated virtual learning. They also provided language translation services, multimedia and graphic design support, as well as other service engagement opportunities to nonprofit partners who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
Director Furlong says that while the pandemic has curtailed CSA’s typical group travel experiences, it has not lessened students’ desire to connect and engage with communities worldwide. As of this moment, a group of 45 LMU students will prepare to embark on a unique adventure through the Virtual Alternative Break Immersions program to El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico. This year’s virtual trips will delve into and explore a diverse set of issues including immigration reform, women’s rights and climate change, and racial justice in Central America.
“When you hear about global imagination at LMU,”Director Furlong said, “what I hope you know is this:It is the global relationships we have been building for years that have allowed us, in this most unusual semester, to creatively connect and welcome the world to LMU and our family community.”
Director Furlong describes the Virtual Alternative Break Immersions program philosophy, whether in-person or virtual, as “educational learning experiences” in which 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 for 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!