As most of you know, DePaul University is named after St. Vincent de Paul, and maintains a strong commitment to Vincentian values. In fact, these values, rooted in social justice and serving others, are likely what drew many of you to this campus.
In discussing the role of Vincentian values at DePaul, the Office of Mission and Values defines how the DePaul community should embody Vincentian values:
“Motivated by the example of St. Vincent, who instilled a love of God by leading his contemporaries in serving urgent human needs, the DePaul community is above all characterized by ennobling the God-given dignity of each person. This religious personalism is manifested by the members of the DePaul community in a sensitivity to and care for the needs of each other and of those served, with a special concern for the deprived members of society.”
With so much exciting news and so many events on campus, it can be easy to miss some of the real-life stories of how members of the DePaul community demonstrate their dedication to the Vincentian mission. Today we have the opportunity to bring you two stories about DePaul faculty and students who are participating in social justice initiatives.
Challenging Poverty through Film
In an attempt to create a narrative that extended beyond the traditional case-paper, Patricia Werhane (professor and executive director of the Insitute of Business and Professional Ethics) and Kim Clark (instructor at the College of Communication) decided to try using the camera to document their project, which looked at grassroots poverty alleviation efforts in Bangladesh. WNIT, a public television station in South Bend Indiana, were so impressed by the documentary, they asked Werhane and Clark to create a six-episode series. At this point, they have documented micro-lending in Bangladesh, telemedicine in Ghana, schoolbuilding in Haiti, a leper colony in Tanzania, a women’s jail in Michigan, and wage theft in Chicago. Read more about Clark and Werhane’s project here.
Asylum and Immigration Law Services
Another social justice initiative can be found in DePaul’s Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, where DePaul law students provide legal aid to hundreds of immigrants and refugees each year. According to the clinic’s director, Sioban Albiol, “Through the clinic, our students serve those without representation — people fleeing persecution, people facing imprisonment or worse if they’re returned to their countries, people fearing deportation and discrimination.”
Through the Clinic, DePaul law students get hands-on experience and are prepared to go forward into their legal careers, while also embodying the service mission that is so central to our university. To find out more about the tireless efforts of the Clinic, visit the article from the DePaul Distinctions magazine. http://resources.depaul.edu/distinctions/featured-stories/Pages/Bridging-two-worlds,-excelling-in-both.aspx