Manhattan College Named a Global Campus by Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services recognizes Manhattan College’s commitment to social justice through a wide range of student-led programs and events.


Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, officially recognized Manhattan College as a CRS Global Campus during a presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

As a CRS Global Campus, Manhattan College collaborates 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 very proud to be a CRS Global Campus,” said President Brennan O’Donnell. “This is the recognition of a long record of collaboration, formal and informal, over many years, between the people and the programs of Manhattan College and the great work of CRS. It is very firmly grounded in our mutual acceptance of fundamental principles that are at the core of our Catholic and Lasallian heritage.”

Manhattan College first began its partnership with CRS seven years ago. Since then, under the guidance of Campus Ministry and Social Action (CMSA), Manhattan College has expanded its service opportunities, social awareness and educational offerings.

“Your impact is great, your voices are heard and your actions are serving as a model for other campuses around the country,” Katie Kernich, Relationship Manager for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic CRS office, said to students gathered at the event.

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.

“The CRS mission is in line with our own mission,” said Kelly Douglas ’15, a CRS ambassador. “Specifically, it is in line with our Lasallian values and commitment to the poor and social justice.”

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 CMSA, 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 local CRS representatives on L.O.V.E. trips in countries including Kenya, Rwanda and Haiti.

The College also supports a CRS Faculty Task Force, as part of which faculty and students can explore issues central to CRS’ mission through research and teaching in the areas of global health, agriculture, food security, sustainability and climate change, and clean water. 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, becoming the first college in New York City to receive that distinction.

By Julie Benns