Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 



Mission


The Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice is grounded in the Jesuit philosophy of homines pro aliis, men and women for and with others.   We work to create mutually beneficial relationships rooted in a respect for the dignity of all persons within and surrounding Fordham University.  We want our students to reach their full potential of mind and heart beyond the self by serving in and learning from our culturally rich and under-resourced surrounding communities.  We provide our students with tools to explore their experiences together connecting service, justice, community and spirituality.  By encouraging our students to engage in praxis—an ongoing process of action and reflection—we are able to both support and challenge them to fully engage in and learn from their experiences.  Seeking the faith that does justice, we encourage our students to use their two feet of social action, learning solidarity through both serving directly and working for social change.  At Fordham, we recognize our responsibility to the community in which we are established and to which we are connected.  We serve as a liaison between the Fordham community and the local community offering a variety of University resources and access to support the exceptional work of our community partners.   


History

In 1999, the Center for Service and Justice (known then as the Community Service Program)  helped establish the Service-Learning Program where students can apply volunteer work to an academic course and receive one additional credit. The one credit program, a student-initiated effort, has been thriving ever since. In addition, CSJ has and continues to offer support to faculty members who want to offer courses with a service-learning component, most recently in the New Course Initiative backed by the Deans of Fordham College at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center.

In 2002, CSJ formally added an office at the Lincoln Center campus hiring a full-time staff person and extending community service resources offered to the LC community. The Center for Service and Justice Office at LC has also grown tremendously offering a variety of special project and ongoing volunteer opportunities in the local community and across NYC.

In August of 2007, CSJ added another full-time staff person at the Rose Hill campus to better support Service-Learning Initiatives.  We currently have four full-time staff members committed to empowering our students and local communities to create social change and an anti-racist society.

With the support of President Fr. Joseph A. O’Hare, the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice started informally in 1983 through student involvement in organizing in the local community. Since then, CSJ has grown by leaps and bounds offering a variety of volunteer, internship and social justice opportunities to the Fordham community.

In 2009, the former Community Service Program assumed its current name of the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice. This name change was prompted by expansion in the scope of work the office was doing both within the University and the community. To better express its goals and mission, the program renamed itself in honor of Dorothy Day, one of American Catholicism’s foremost social justice leaders.

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