CRY OF THE POOR
Pope Francis says in one of the most quoted lines from Laudato Si : “We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both environmental and social.” An integral ecology recognizes and responds to the interwoven poverties of our natural and social worlds. Laudato Si’ Goal 2 invites universities to strengthen existing or new programs that highlight social injustices so commonly rooted in environmental degradation.
The outcomes and actions on the chart below offer a university’s Integral Ecology Group a short list of ideas for building out their Laudato Si’ Action Plan. Hopefully, the list will generate among readers more ideas applicable to universities at various starting points in their engagement with issues of social and environmental justice.
ACTION EXAMPLES CHART
AVAILABILITY OF BASIC GOODS
Food, Water, and Clothing
Sanitation and Health Care
Housing and Security
Jobs and Job Safety
RELATIONS OF SOLIDARITY
Outreach to Migrants and People Without Homes
Outreach to People in Indigenous Communities
Audit water and food deficiencies in local community; create an on-campus food pantry and water station.
Create a free ‘clothing closet’ for the local community; offer workshops on nutrition for the local community.
Offer community programs on microplastic and prescription drug pollution; support local community actions for food and water rights.
Audit sanitation and health care conditions in the local community; eliminate environmental hazards on campus; open campus green space to the local community.
Create a campus sanitation and health care station for the local community; sponsor a 12-step addiction recovery program for the campus and local communities.
Hold an annual health fair for campus and local communities; build and maintain a public restroom facility.
Audit housing deficiencies in the local community; create mechanisms of collaboration between campus and city security personnel that emphasize alternative methods of community protection.
Conduct human trafficking awareness workshops for campus and local communities; involve women and members of underrepresented university groups in decisions about campus security.
Collaborate with housing and security rights organizations in the local community; support integral, interdisciplinary research on environmental and social security.
Audit unemployment and working conditions in the local community.
Offer free basic job training to local community.
Support local community actions for the human right to work & workplace safety.
Develop an outreach program to local homeless and migrant people; participate in creating a community homeless shelter.
Offer basic financial literacy training to the local community; offer free language training for migrants and refugees in the local community.
Target searches for vacant university staff positions to unemployed people in the local community; hold a community refugee & migrant welcome day.
Gather historical data on the original Indigenous occupants of the university property.
Create curricula and programming that honors the contributions of Indigenous People; seek Indigenous dialogue partners on biodiversity, water, and climate protection.
Create a university Land Acknowledgement Statement; advocate for Indigenous People’s rights to land and water; work for the protection of endangered indigenous languages.
Create university policies combating race and gender discrimination; ensure that women and underrepresented people participate in the policymaking process.
Support local community actions for equity and inclusion in policy-making discussions.
Support integral, interdisciplinary research on issues in environmental and social equity.
Record local community history from community elders.
Offer campus meeting space for local justice organization meetings.
Assist the local community in voicing justice concerns to state and local government.
Begin a program of contact and reconciliation with oppressed people in the local community.
Invite dialogue and peaceful conflict resolution through public fora; support integral, interdisciplinary research on nonviolent conflict resolution.
Take an active part in local, regional of national truth and reconciliation programs.