In 2007, Manhattan College began working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S., to expand the College’s service opportunities, social awareness, and educational offerings. Recently, CRS formally recognized this work by selecting Manhattan College as a CRS Global Campus.
“Manhattan College’s partnership with CRS is an important means through which we as an institution put our values into action,” said President Brennan O’Donnell. “Thanks to CRS’ support, our students, faculty and staff are exploring how their knowledge and skills may be put to use in addressing some of our most pressing global challenges.”
As a CRS Global Campus, Manhattan College will collaborate with CRS to advance the global social mission of the Catholic Church at the institutional, faculty and student levels. Through this partnership, the College maintains a shared commitment to CRS’ mission to assist the poor and respond to major emergencies, fight disease, and nurture peaceful and just societies around the world.
“We are delighted Manhattan College has been recognized as a CRS Global Campus and for the commitment of its leadership, faculty and students to deepen their understanding and response to the humanitarian needs of people living in developing countries around the world,” said Maureen McCullough, J.D., regional director for Catholic Relief Services Northeast/Mid Atlantic.
In addition, on Sunday, May 18, Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D., president and CEO of CRS, will deliver the keynote address at Manhattan College’s 172nd undergraduate Commencement. She will also be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.
The College is dedicated to expanding CRS’ mission within the campus community by offering various service opportunities during the year, educational courses, lectures and discussions, advocacy training, and by carrying fair trade products.
Students, faculty and staff have had the opportunity to participate and learn more about CRS’ work around the world while on service trips with the Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.). Organized by the College’s Campus Ministry and Social Action (CMSA) department, L.O.V.E. offers service and social justice immersion experiences, such as helping to rebuild homes and communities in New Orleans and Haiti. Manhattan has connected with CRS on L.O.V.E. trips in countries including Kenya, Rwanda and Haiti.
The College supports a CRS Task Force, in which faculty and students explore issues central to CRS’ mission through research and teaching in the areas of business, international, peace and religious studies, government and engineering. Examples of the areas of study include global health, agriculture, food security, sustainability and climate change, and water and conflict. In addition, the College has trained more than 20 students to serve as CRS Campus Ambassadors, volunteers tasked with spreading social justice awareness and promoting advocacy across campus through events, petitions and educational campaigns.
In 2012, CRS also assisted Manhattan College in achieving Fair Trade College status to become the first college in New York City to receive the distinction.
Later this year, in fall 2014, the College will host an event on campus with CRS to celebrate its designation as a CRS Global Campus.