community ENGAGEMENT & PARTICIPATORY ACTION
A university can be a powerful social force for environmental justice. An important dimension of this power is given in Goal 7 of Pope Francis’ Journey: building community engagement and participatory action.
This goal calls for acts of solidarity within and between universities and community-based partners. It calls for identifying and mobilizing constituents, welcoming the local community members into the university space, building trust, and finding solutions to local environmental problems.
How many of the outcomes and actions below are already underway at your university? What ideas do these action examples further inspire?
Petronela Miarni Dasilva Baur
Sanata Dharma University
Action Examples Chart
Link nonviolence to advocacy for environmental justice; support social action to protect Earth’s ecosystems.
Train students in methods of creative, strategic nonviolent social action.
Organize campus-wide environmental protection letter-writing campaign to newspapers, social media outlets, and government officials.
Enable partnerships between the university and communities conducting participatory action research.
Organize public events with government officials over social/environmental policy and advocacy.
Make available a university-wide review of local, regional, or national social/environmental policies.
Identify ways the university can collaborate in creation care with the Roman Catholic Church and other worshipping communities.
Develop a community coalition to participate in local, regional, and national policy formation and response to social crises and catastrophic weather events.
Create virtual community networks with international environmental organizations.
Strengthen student environmental leadership education with service learning and immersion opportunities in communities facing eco-social justice challenges.
Take on a leadership role in local community response to and repair after a catastrophic weather event.
Provide training in the organization and maintenance of sustainable intentional communities.