Service and Justice Experiences

EcoTeach_Mastatal, Costa Rica

Spring Leader applications are NOW OPEN! Applications are due by Friday, November 15th at 11:59pm!

 

Remember leadership applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation.

If you have questions, please contact Ed Sloane:
edward.sloane@villanova.edu  |  [610] 519–6292                                                                                                             

Spring 2020  | February 29-March 7, 2020

(unless otherwise noted)

The cost listed for each experience below includes transportation, food, and lodging. Cost does not include vaccinations, passport fees, and personal spending money. Some financial assistance will be available but not guaranteed. You will also have 1 ½ months to raise funds with your group. Please speak to Ed if finances are a concern.

Restless Heart Experiences

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in [God]." - St. Augustine

Each of these experiences will involve 5 weeks of group gatherings before the immersion component. These are opportunities for community building and reflection around the specific theme or issue for your SJE. Following the immersion component groups continue reflection and supporting one another in living out principles of justice and solidarity.

Immersion begins Sunday, March 1st

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was assassinated in 1980. Using his privileged position as a Bishop in church and society as a platform, he gave voice to the poor of El Salvador. He was recognized officially as a saint in 2018. Romero remains an example to all people who risk their lives and privilege so that others may live. Participants will learn about Romero’s legacy and what it might mean for their own life. They will also spend a week at the Romero Center in Camden, NJ where they will participate in the Urban Challenge program. Together with members of the Camden community they will confront racial and class divisions and build bridges of understanding. This first-year only experience is a unique opportunity to build community and meet others committed to service and justice on campus.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://romero-center.org/                                                                                       

Cost: $300                                                                                                                        Participants: 9

In the United States, in 2018 it was reported that nearly half of all renters can’t afford rent and over half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. A lack of affordable housing is a significant barrier to human flourishing in the United States. Do all people deserve affordable housing? Participants will explore this question and will also explore the roots of the contemporary housing crisis. They will spend a week with Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley in Hickory, NC participating in a home build. This first-year only experience is a unique opportunity to build community and meet others committed to service and justice on campus.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://www.hickoryhabitat.org/index.html                                                                             

Cost: $350                                                                                                                      Participants: 11

Immersion begins Sunday, March 1st  

What are the barriers that make it difficult for us to be truly present and in relationship to others? What does it mean to encounter another and be present to their story? Pope Francis calls on all people to allow such questions to inform the structures of society. In this SJE, participants will explore these questions together. In addition, they will spend a week at the Aquinas Center in the heart of South Philadelphia. Hospitality, education, and service are the core values that inform this ministry and will guide the experience for participants.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://staquinas.com/aquinascenter/

Cost: $300                                                                                                                        Participants: 9

New in 2018, this experience was added to provide all students of all abilities the opportunity to serve, grow, and embrace an opportunity to change the way people see ability.  Both locations serve all ages, all abilities, and set out to use the outdoors in a safe and delightful way along with integrating therapeutic animals into the overall experience.  Students who are chosen for this experience will work at two different facilities, help improve the physical landscape, interact with students from a local school (in Davidson) who utilize the facility, and dive deeper into nature based therapeutic/educational programming.

Lodging will take place in a local hotel to account for accessibility needs.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience. Vans provided will account for accessibility needs.

Website: http://www.rcdiscoverytrail.org/                                                                                        

Cost: $250                                                                                                                      Participants: 16

In the United States, in 2018 it was reported that nearly half of all renters can’t afford rent and over half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. A lack of affordable housing is a significant barrier to human flourishing in the United States. Do all people deserve affordable housing? Participants will explore this question and will also explore the roots of the contemporary housing crisis. They will spend a week with Habitat for Humanity in Cape Fear, NC participating in a home build. 

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://www.capefearhabitat.org/                                                                                      

Cost: $350                                                                                                                      Participants: 13

In the United States, in 2018 it was reported that nearly half of all renters can’t afford rent and over half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. A lack of affordable housing is a significant barrier to human flourishing in the United States. Do all people deserve affordable housing? Participants will explore this question and will also explore the roots of the contemporary housing crisis. They will spend a week with Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County in Winston-SalemNC participating in a home build. 

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: https://www.habitatforsyth.org/                                                                                        

Cost: $350                                                                                                                        Participants: 9

Giving and receiving mutual acts of hospitality removes the distance that separates people whose life experiences are very different. This SJE allows participants to both offer and receive the healing experience of being received as guest and partnering with others to provide a home for the displaced. Participants spend a week with Marion County Habitat for Humanity in Marion, SC. Marion County has the highest unemployment rate in the state and safe affordable housing is scarce. Participants will have plenty of work to do and will be welcomed by the Marion community.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website:  http://www.marionschabitatforhumanity.org/                                                                  

Cost: $350                                                                                                                      Participants: 10

Immersion begins Sunday, March 1st

Participants in this SJE will explore the relationship between climate justice, economic justice, and affordable housing. The fossil fuel industry is a major source of pollution and a primary cause of climate change, yet in the United States 80% of our energy still comes from these sources. Renewable, solar energy is not only good for our planet, but it also offers the possibility of greater energy independence and affordability, which benefits working class individuals and families. Participants on this SJE will also spend a week with GRID Alternatives in Salinas, CA learning about solar technology, the Los Angeles housing crisis, and installing solar panels on working-class homes in the community. Participants will also spend a day at Homeboy Industries.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: www.gridalternatives.org/                                                                                        

Cost: $800                                                                                                                        Participants: 9

Dedicated to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, and inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, Emmaus Farms serve the rural poor, the weak, the elderly, and the marginalized. Their mission is to serve Christ in his many forms, to serve where the need exists, and to allow others the opportunity to see and fulfill the need for service, as well as to experience the spiritual richness of the people of Lewis County. Participants will engage in immersive work on the farms as well as engage with the community of Lewis County through various tasks throughout the week.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://emmausfarm.org/                                

Cost: $350                                                                                                                        Participants: 7

Broken Heart Experiences

"I think the university has as its agenda, ruining your lives. And having this experience of the poor sets your agenda. All I mean to say is that we would hope that you would be Christian revolutionaries for the rest of your lives. And that doesn't come unless your heart has been broken." -Fr. Dean Brackley, SJ

Broken Heart Experiences are intended to go a little deeper than Restless Heart experiences. In particular, there is a more intentional focus on advocacy. Each of these experiences will involve 5 weeks of group gatherings with Winter experiences meeting for additional weeks prior to the immersion component. Groups return to campus to focus on advocacy through a public "solidarity project."

What is the unique contribution that Augustinian spirituality offers the work of justice?  Participants will learn from and experience the Augustinian spiritual tradition. They will also spend a week in and around San Juan, Puerto Rico, serving in Augustinian Parishes and community-based organizations inspired by Augustinian principles. Throughout the week, they will experience the spiritual life of these communities and serve in their ministries. Participants will encounter the social, economic, and political situation of Puerto Rico from the perspective of the most vulnerable members of the island and learn how the cultural life of Puerto Rico has contributed to the Catholic Church and enriched the Augustinian tradition.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: https://www.agustinos.es/                                                                                                    

Cost: $800                                                                                                                        Participants: 6

Participants on this SJE will engage the complex social, economic, political, and ecological reasons that people migrate. This SJE will focus on the global situation of migrants and the Catholic Church’s understanding of migration as a human right and an issue of justice. Participants will examine the situation of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border. Over Spring break students will also spend a week at Annunciation House in El Paso, TX where they will offer hospitality to migrants and deepen their understanding of the asylum process through educational experiences and accompaniment.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: https://annunciationhouse.org/                                                                                   

Cost: $750                                                                                                                      Participants: 8

Justice for immigrants does not end at the border. This Experience asks, what does immigration justice look like on Villanova’s campus, and how are we called to be a community of justice on campus? Participants will work together to develop skills for community leadership and engagement with a focus on immigration justice. Then, over Spring break students will spend a week with VIA International in San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico. They will share knowledge and resources with grassroots groups working to increase awareness and engagement in their own local communities.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://www.viainternational.org/

Cost: $850                                                                                                                       Participants: 8   

Immersion goes from Saturday, February 29th to Sunday, March 8th

Throughout the world and throughout human history God, or a sense of the sacred, is known by many names and in a diversity of ways. Through these diverse traditions, humanity is united in a search for meaning and a desire to live ethically. In the work of justice, interfaith collaboration has been critical to advancing civil and environmental rights and confronting violence. Participants will seek to enrich their own faith and beliefs through encounters across traditions. They will also spend a week with The Pilgrimage, a program facilitated by Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, DC where they will learn and pray across many traditions.

Group will drive for the immersion component of this experience.

Website: http://www.thepilgrimage.org/                                                                                          

Cost: $350                                                                                                                        Participants: 6

The Judeo-Christian tradition expresses the belief that all people are made “in the image of God.” In other words, each person has an inherent dignity that cannot be compromised. In a society that too often bases human worth on accomplishments, social class, country of origin, skin color, or gender identity this remains a radical belief. In this SJE participants of all traditions will explore together this proposition. They will also spend a week with Rostro de Cristo in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The immersion experience will focus on sharing in the day-to-day life of members of the Guayaquil community through conversation and prayer.

Website: http://rostrodecristo.org/                                                                                

Cost: $1400                                                                                                                      Participants: 8

Immersion begins Sunday, March 1st

Participants in this SJE will examine the situation of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border. They will also spend a week with Al Otro Lado in Tijuana, Mexico. Al Otro Lado is a binational legal services organization with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tijuana, México. They provide direct service to deportees, migrants, asylum seekers, and asylum seeking parents who have been forcibly separated from their children by US immigration officials. Participants will assist with interpretation, data entry, caring for children, preparing food, and providing other assistance to the organization.

Apply to this Experience here.

Leader AND participant applications are due Friday, November 15th.

Participants will fly for the immersion component of this Experience.

Website: https://alotrolado.org/                                                                                

Cost: $750                                                                                                                        Participants: 5

Winter 2020  | January 4-11, 2020

Broken Heart Experiences

Winter SJE applications will be due September 17th before midnight.

Winter SJEs provide the opportunity for groups to meet throughout the semester to build community and engage in dialogue, reflection, and critical conversation. These experiences also include a commitment to at least one experience of local service or justice work as a group throughout the semester.

Group meets select Tuesdays at 7PM.

In addition to group gatherings there will be at least one opportunity for local service.

Application due September 17th before midnight.

How do the different aspects of our body shape how we both experience the world and are perceived by others. How do the different aspects of our body such as ability, skin color, and gender intersect to produce our unique experience of life? This SJE focuses on sharing and receiving the stories of one another and developing solidarity with others whose stories might be different. The group will also spend a week with Mustard Seed Communities in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This organization provides intentional living communities for and with children and adults with disabilities across the 2/3rds world.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience. A passport that is valid for at least 6 months after return is REQUIRED to apply.

Website: https://www.mustardseed.com/

Cost: $1400.00                                                                                                               Participants: 12                      

 

 

Group meets select Wednesdays at 6PM.

In addition to group gatherings there will be at least one opportunity for local service.

Application due September 17th before midnight.

Justice for immigrants does not end at the border. This Experience asks, what does immigration justice look like on Villanova’s campus, and how are we called to be a community of justice on campus? During the Fall semester, participants will work together to develop skills for community leadership and engagement with a focus on immigration justice. Then, over Winter break, students will spend a week with VIA International in San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico. They will share knowledge and resources with grassroots groups working to increase awareness and engagement in their own local communities.

Group will fly for the immersion component of this experience. A passport that is valid for at least 6 months after return is REQUIRED to apply.

Website: http://www.viainternational.org/

Cost: $850.00                                                                                                               Participants: 10