Weekend Advocacy Training Prepares Students for Roles on Campus

By Anna Ferguson
Picture gallery from the weekend can be found at the end of the article 

Student coordinators, volunteers, and leaders kicked off a weekend of Advocacy Training, presented by Catholic Relief Services, in the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ) in typical CCSJ fashion: with a meal.

Beginning with dinner on Friday, August 24th and lasting throughout Saturday the 25th, students learned how to be effective social justice advocates on campus and beyond.

The training weekend provided Student Coordinators and volunteers who work in the CCSJ—as well as student leaders from different groups on campus—with the chance to learn and practice communication, research, and lobbying skills that are key to advocacy.

In addition, students participated in simulations and multiple small group discussions that looked at the effects of social injustice in society and how to respond to them on the local and national levels.

The training focused primarily on the CCSJ’s justice component, reiterating the importance of not just serving those who suffer from injustices, but going a step further and working to end those injustices through advocacy.

Advocacy, the students learned, ranges from forming groups on campus that work in response to various social justice issues to meeting with local community leaders to visiting with representatives in Washington D.C.

The CCSJ focuses on a few specific justice and advocacy priorities, such as migration, peace, economic justice, and sustainability. These justice priorities, coupled with the seven pillars that the office emphasizes particularly through its service trips and weekly service sites, (service, justice, sustainability, community, reflection, solidarity, and simplicity) provide the groundwork for the Student coordinators and an example for other student leaders.

By learning more social injustices and attending training sessions and workshops such as the one put by CRS, the CCSJ gives students practical, powerful ways to make a difference on campus and in the community.