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Villanova University Continues Legacy of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Father Ray Jackson’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week is a campus-wide initiative grounded in a “preferential option for the poor”

Villanova students during HHAW

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Continuing a legacy that began at Villanova University in 1975 under the leadership of Augustinian priest Fr. Ray Jackson, OSA, Villanova students, faculty, staff and alumni will recognize Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (HHAW) with a series of programs and events Nov. 9-16. HHAW, a campus-wide initiative which includes academic discussions, food and clothing drives and a “Solidarity Sleep Out,” seeks to raise community awareness about hunger and homelessness within the United States and around the world.

In 1975, Fr. Jackson and a committed group of Villanova students recognized the power education could play in understanding issues of poverty and homelessness, and decided to coordinate a week of activities surrounding those issues. Although Fr. Jackson passed away in 1997, the legacy of HHAW lives on. This week of coordinated activities and education has since expanded beyond Villanova to more than 500 campuses and communities, in the process becoming the most widely organized hunger and homelessness event of its type nationwide. 

Now, National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual event held the week before Thanksgiving – jointly sponsored by the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness (NSCHH) and the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH).

Highlighting Villanova’s 2012 HHAW is a lecture by noteworthy author, cultural critic and conservationist Wendell Barry, who will be presented with the annual Adela Dwyer/St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. A “Solidarity Sleep Out” will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15 beginning at 9 p.m. on campus. For a full schedule of events, visit the HHAW website here

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.