30th Annual Social Justice Week at Benedictine College

30th Annual Social Justice Week at Benedictine College

Social Issues Featured Week of Feb. 22

Published: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Social Justice Week at Benedictine College will focus attention on important social issues in Atchison, the United States and around the world. The annual event, now in its 30th year, offers student groups like the Benedictine College Hunger Coalition, the Sociology Club, Ravens Respect Life, Gregorian Fellows and the Knights of Columbus a chance to gain awareness on campus and in the community. Presentations on education, homelessness and human trafficking will take place throughout the week. All programs and presentations are free and open to the public.

Events get underway on Monday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the McAllister Board Room on the fourth floor of the Ferrell Academic Center when the Knights of Columbus and the Gregorian Fellows jointly present Sister John Mary Fleming, OP, executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Her presentation, “Mission Driven Catholic Education:  The Challenges and Opportunities of Catholic Education Clothed in Mercy," will touch on social justice aspects of education.

A Nashville Dominican, Sister Fleming holds a licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America, a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, a master of education degree in educational leadership and supervision from the University of Southern Mississippi and a bachelor’s degree in education from Belmont University, Nashville. She served on the board of Aquinas College, 2000-2007, and currently is a board member of Providence Academy, Minneapolis.

Ravens Respect Life and the Institute for Missionary Activity will jointly present their guest, Dr. Shalina Stilley, on Tuesday, February 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the McAllister Board Room on the fourth floor of the Ferrell Academic Center. She is currently an assistant professor of philosophy at Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri. She has an M.A. in theology from the University of Dallas and a doctorate in philosophy from Marquette University.

Stilley has spent much of her free time over the last five years fighting human trafficking. She has spent the last two summers in Cambodia working with groups like Agape International Missions and Destiny Rescue, fighting to abolish child sex-trafficking through prevention, rescue and restoration efforts. Her presentation, “Let the Children Come to Me: Healing Children Rescued from the Slavery of Human Trafficking,” will focus on her work with the social activist groups and what the broader society can do to help the women and children caught in the human trafficking web.

The Hunger Coalition and the Sociology Club will host Sister Miracles of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor of Jesus Christ on Thursday, February 25, at 7:00 p.m. in the McAllister Board Room on the fourth floor of the Ferrell Academic Center. Sister Miracles’ presentation is “Finding Christ in the Faces of the Homeless.” Her order’s Anawin Street Ministry goes anywhere they have the opportunity to talk and pray with those living on the streets, under bridges and in parks. They also spend time in a more concrete form, cutting hair, trimming beards and giving first-aid. In addition to the street ministry, the order also offers shelter to the homeless in their mission houses, where those in need can receive clean clothes, take showers and eat in an atmosphere of dignity.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.