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Commitment to Justice Conference

Call for Papers and Presentations

Please Note:  Papers and presentations are no longer being accepted.

To follow up on the Santa Clara, 2000 gathering, The Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education, the steering committee charged in Chicago, with the support of the presidents of the Jesuit colleges, universities and theologates in the U.S., is planning a conference for October 13-16, 2005 at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, to share the fruits of our actions in response to the challenge of Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach’s address at Santa Clara, “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education.”  Fr. Kolvenbach  identified three areas in which the promotion of justice may be manifested in our institutions:

A.  Formation and Learning
B.  Research and Teaching
C.  Our Way of Proceeding

In regard to A) Formation and Learning Fr. Kolvenbach said:

Tomorrow’s ‘whole person’ cannot be whole without an educated awareness of society and culture with which to contribute socially, generously, in the real world.  Tomorrow’s whole person must have, in brief, a well-educated solidarity…Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively.  They should learn to perceive, think, judge, choose and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed.

In response to this part of Fr. Kolvenbach’s challenge we invite papers and  presentations on the transformation of courses by justice perspectives, particularly service-learning courses in all disciplines and other forms of community-based learning.  We invite presentations on the kinds of learning involved and/or commitments expressed.
How do we characterize and measure what our students are learning, and what kinds of learning are needed for a “well-educated” solidarity?  The way that student organizations and activities pursuing justice objectives contribute to the aim of well-educated solidarity is an additional theme on which we invite input.

With regard to B) Research and Teaching, Fr. Kolvenbach said:

The faculty’s research…not only obeys the canons of each discipline, but ultimately embraces human reality in order to help make the world a more fitting place for six billion of us to inhabit….[Needed is] a sustained interdisciplinary dialogue of research and reflection, a continuous pooling of expertise…Every discipline, beyond its necessary specialization, must engage with human society, human life, and the environment in appropriate ways, cultivating moral concern about how people ought to live together.

We invite presentations on the ways in which, in many different disciplines, faculty are doing research and teaching about the issues crucial to the human ability to live together.

It will be of particular interest to share kinds of research and projects where interdisciplinary collaboration or involvement with community partners is planned and carried out on a continuing basis.

We invite particularly reflections on the relationship between faith and justice, the way a commitment to justice changes faith, and the way in which faith can give vision and impetus to efforts to achieve a just society and world.

The aim in both parts A & B is to deepen our awareness of what it is possible to achieve, and by knowing what others are doing to see where we might collaborate, and other ways of building on one another’s achievements.

C) Our Way of Proceeding

The first ways, historically, that our universities began living out their faith-justice commitment was through their admissions policies, affirmative action for minorities, and scholarships for disadvantaged student; and these continue to be effective means. An even more telling expression of the Jesuit university’s nature is found in policies concerning hiring and tenure. As a university it is necessary to respect the established academic, professional and labor norms, but as Jesuit it is essential to go beyond them and find ways of attracting, hiring and promotion those who actively share the mission.

We invite reflections on the issue of diversity and the way it is promoted in hiring and promotion, also on how the universities deal both internally and externally with society and other institutions. We are interested in what we are already doing and what areas we need to work on.

Proposals should be no more than one-page in length and should be submitted electronically by November 19, 2004 to jellis@loyola.edu. Response should be expected on or about February 15, 2005. Information on housing and registration will be sent once your proposal is received.

Guidelines for Papers

Deadline: by September 8, 2005 please submit your paper to Paul Woolley at PWoolley@scu.edu to be posted on this website. Please include the panel number and panel title with your submission and a list of the co-presenters' names if there are multiple presenters/panelists for your individual paper. We are able to host Word documents and Powerpoint presentations. The papers posted online will form an important resource for conference attendees and for future justice initiatives in Jesuit higher education.

As a rough guideline to keep papers about the same length, the standard conference paper is usually delivered in twenty minutes. For most folks, that means the written paper is ten to twelve pages double-spaced. Folks who are presenting portions of longer projects can of course submit the entire work (rather than cutting it down) and we can post that online.

Those few who submitted proposals for a roundtable discussion should submit an outline of the discussion or a two-to-three page paper in which you frame the question for discussion for the panel participants.

Papers will not be read in their entirety by the presenters at the conference. Instead, each panelist will be given five to seven minutes maximum in the panel presentation to summarize key points in their paper for discussion. The objective is to frame the question in such a way as to stimulate discussion among fellow panelists and those attending your panel session.

One final note. The program committee at John Carroll University is responsible for developing the program schedule for the panel presentations. As soon as that information is available it will be posted on this website.

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