Service-Immersion Program: LOVE

As Manhattan College's social justice immersion program, L.O.V.E. provides opportunities for students to learn about justice issues in the communities that are most impacted by them.

LOVE is founded on five pillars:

Students build a home in New OrleansService and social justice

Each LOVE experience focuses in on relevant social justice issues going on in the community the group is visiting. The social justice issue areas that our experiences explore include:

  • Adult Education/Literacy
  • Civil Rights/Human Rights
  • Education
  • Environmental Justice/Sustainability
  • Economic Development
  • Farmworker Justice & Fair Trade
  • Food Access/Security
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Homelessness & Affordable Housing
  • Immigration/Migration/Citizenship
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
  • Public Health/Individual & Community Health
  • Technology Access/Computer Literacy
  • Racial Justice
  • Restorative Justice
  • Urban Poverty
  • Women & Children

Cultural immersion

image of students standing in front of signLOVE gives you the opportunity to learn about the local culture by experiencing it firsthand. As a participant, you'll live and work alongside members of the community, hearing the stories of local community partners who are working to create change in their communities. You'll learn about the challenges the community faces, and gain new perspectives on current events. You'll eat local cuisine, partake in traditional customs and be encouraged to step outside of your comfort zone.

 

Community

students standing in snowMeeting Jaspers from different parts of campus is one of the best parts of LOVE. During weekly meetings and fundraising events, students build relationships with their peers on the team, student leader and advisor. Students foster an inclusive community where all team members feel welcome, included and comfortable discussing their sociocultural identities and sharing their insights. The friendships developed through LOVE are truly unique, and tend to last throughout college and beyond!

 

Spirituality

image of students in front of large crossStudents of any spiritual or religious background (or none) are welcome to participate in LOVE. Leading up to and on their experience, students will engage in group reflection to help process their experiences. Students are introduced to the Lasallian charism and are Students are encouraged to explore their spirituality from the context of their own faith tradition.

 

Simple Living

Throughout the trip, students are encouraged to lean into the experience fully through practicing simple living. Students forgo technology (cell phones, large cameras) to spend time in quiet reflection and self-discovery. Participants pack concisely and stay in simple accommodations on their trips to gain a better understanding of the experience of those who live in the communities they visit. Students are asked to be conscious of their actions and impact in the community as well as taking photographs in an ethical and appropriate way.

Experiences

LOVE service immersion experiences take place over Winter, Spring & Summer breaks in locations both domestically and abroad.

  • Winter

    Guayaquil, Ecuador

    January 5 – 12, 2020

    Rostro de Cristo is a Catholic nonprofit organization that focuses on being with members of the local community rather than doing for them. Students will develop a greater understanding of the reality of community members by visiting with them and sharing in conversations. The group will also visit local community organizations where they will learn about what residents are doing to create change in their communities. Key Issue Areas for this trip include Housing, Education and Healthcare.

     

    El Paso, Texas

    January 5 – 12, 2020

    El Otro Lado (EOL) El Paso, is a Catholic Lasallian border immersion experience that provides participants the opportunity to experience the El Paso and Ciudad Juárez borderland. This program exposes participants to the harsh realities faced by our brothers and sisters that come from “El Otro Lado” (the other side) through visits to local nonprofit organizations and government agencies.The main goal of EOL is to have students listen to the stories of those impacted by living in the borderland. Key Issue Areas for this trip include Immigration, Women & Children and Human Rights.

     

    New Orleans, Louisiana

    January 5 – 12, 2020

    Students will participate in an experience with the Center for Ethical Living & Social Justice Renewal, a Unitarian Universalist nonprofit organization. Through encountering the work of local community organizations, participants will better understand the history of the city, the flood & levee system breaches, and recovery. Students are asked to be effective witnesses to the need for continued assistance and recovery of the Gulf Coast so that they can return to their home communities with an analysis about oppression that allows them to become local agents for change. Key Issue Areas for this trip include Racial Justice, Environmental Justice and Housing Justice.

     

    Flint, Michigan

    January 5 – 12, 2020

    The Firestone Center is a nonprofit social justice center in downtown Flint, Michigan. This trip explores the water crisis in Flint and its intersections with race and poverty. Students engage with local community partner organizations in the city each day and meet with local leaders over a meal in the evenings. Key Issue Areas for this trip include Environmental Justice, Racial Justice and Economic Development.

  • Spring

    Tucson, Arizona

    March 14 – 21, 2020

    BorderLinks offers experiential learning opportunities that explore the challenges of migration and life along the U.S./Mexico border. Participants will listen to many different voices and hear the stories of people who are impacted by border and immigration policies in a variety of ways. Students will be encouraged to think critically and intersectionality about solutions to the root causes of migration. Key Issue Areas for this trip include Immigration, Women & Children and Human Rights.

     

    Browning, Montana

    March 14 – 21, 2020

    Students are immersed in life on the Blackfeet Native American Reservation and learn about the Blackfeet culture. Participants will support teachers at the De La Salle Blackfeet School, a private Catholic school on the reservation. The group will learn about current issues facing the community by speaking with community members. Key Issue Areas for this trip include Indigenous Peoples, Education and Human Rights.

     

    Bethlehem

    March 13 - 21, 2020

    Participants spend one week in the Holy Land learning about the rich culture of the three major Abrahamic religions. Participants will visit two schools of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, the Freres Lasallian School and Bethlehem University. Students will have a chance to meet with faculty and students to learn about their work, lives, and relationships they have established with the communities there. Participants will also meet with Catholic Relief Services and see firsthand the work they are doing to support the local community.

     

    El Cercado, Dominican Republic

    March 13 - 21, 2020

    Social Ministry El Cercado is a Catholic community based organization that organizes and empowers residents to create change in their own communities. Participants will meet with local groups and community members to learn about the impacts of climate change on the agricultural community of El Cercado. Key issue areas for this trip include Environmental Justice, Economic Development & Education.

  • Summer

    Chicago, Illinois

    May 17 – 24, 2020

    The Brother David Darst Center provides transformative urban immersion experiences in the Catholic Lasallian tradition. Through partnerships with local agencies, participants are able to get to know people, to challenge stereotypes, and be open to new experiences. As a participant, you are fully immersed in urban life and are able to see the social injustices that are prevalent in American cities and reflect upon the root causes. Key issue areas for this trip include Restorative Justice, Economic Justice and Immigration.

More Information

Visit the Inside Manhattan website to learn more about how current Manhattan College students can apply for a LOVE trip.

Campus Ministry & Social ACtion Website