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Sustainability Orientation: Spring Break 2014

Omaha, NE – Sustainability Orientation

This five-day seminar exposes the participants to five different aspects of sustainability in Omaha: transportation, water, food, energy, and waste/recycling. Students will engage these topics through integrating hands-on experience with education by experts in the field of sustainability. Students will attempt to live sustainably during the seminar by walking, using public transportation, eating locally/seasonally/organically, reducing our use of water and energy through conservation, and creating little waste; (This may mean not eating meat). This sustainability seminar seeks to educate and engage Creighton students about these issues in order that we might begin to create a more sustainable community here at Creighton and beyond.

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North Omaha Community Orientation: Spring Break 2014

Omaha, NE – North Omaha Community Orientation

Tues-Saturday or Monday- Friday of break. Get to know Creighton’s neighbors by hearing from a wide variety of local community members working on economic development, education or in social services. Learn about the “Street of Dreams”, North Omaha’s history as a Jazz center and the Civil Rights organizing that has happened and continues today. Visit local businesses including Big Mama’s Kitchen.

Empowerment Network, Malcolm X Foundation, Love’s Jazz and Arts Center, Jesuit Academy, Family Housing Advisory Services, Gesu Housing

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Oscar Romero Catholic Worker: Spring Break 2014

Oklahoma City, OK

Students are invited to radical hospitality, outreach to those in need, peace, justice and sustainability. The Oscar Romero Catholic Worker Community is an unincorporated autonomous lay association within the Catholic Worker charisma engaged in the works of justice, peace, and mercy as we have ability, resources, and opportunity. How can volunteers help? Service on this trip include, but are not limited to delivering food to the poor, working with community organizing and living a sustainable urban farming lifestyle. Mother Teresa used to beg the rich to “take less, so that there will be more for others.”

Relevant Sites: Oscar Romero Catholic Worker Community of Oklahoma City

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More than Hammers and Nails: Spring Break 2014

Stroud, OK – Habitat for Humanity

Do you know, or want to learn, how to build a house? Work with Stroud’s Habitat for Humanity chapter to build or prepare to build a home for a family in this warm Oklahoma community. “Habitat for Humanity benefits the community as much as it does individual families. Habitat homes are well built by community members and our home owners are proud and responsible neighbors.”
Relevant Website: National Habitat for Humanity, Stroud Habitat for Humanity, National Low Income Housing Coalition,

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Confessions of a Meataholic

Aaron PonceOne of my biggest passions is meat. I’ve found the sport of eating a tender slab of steak, or dining on a succulent chicken to be most riveting. Not once have my forefathers contemplated the significant impacts of the possibility of human existence without ample protein. It was sir William Shakespeare who made the profound statement, “A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age,”. So if I am to love meat, why beith the distress of our crops? Our community? A service trip on sustainability right at home in Omaha and Lincoln has answered the unspoken question that has long been hidden in my head. I love meat, but do I really need it?

Within a month, we probably encounter enough waste to fill a building. It’s become an undeniable truth that waste is simply everywhere. Culture has taught us to mass produce and take on efficiency and profit over sustainability and renewable sources. But we transported ourselves to Shadow Brook Farm in Lincoln, and we experience life on the farm side with the Loth family. Their organic farm had a major emphasis on concepts of sustainability. Waste was kept to a bare minimum, and you would be surprised with what you think would be waste, could be food for a new crop of plants, or could be recycled into a new tool or decoration.

Now comes the meat. On our service trip, we decided to go VEGETARIAN. That’s right, no meat, for five days. Sustainability advocates for vegetation, as the amount of energy we acquire from meat requires a lot more energy input, than acquiring the same energy from a plant. Animals require food (plants), water, and maintenance. A plant only requires water, good soil (unless you have an aquaponic system), and sunshine. Plants are simple, and surprisingly, quite delicious. Not once on the service trip have I had a dream of lambs jumping over the fence, turning into a lamb chop, and falling into my mouth. In fact, I would be confident to say that the change in diet left me feeling more fresh and clean than usual. Harvesting energy from plants and other products instead of meat is definitely much more simple and renewable for the community and healthy for the individual. The people in my group actually became closer to each other, and the community by embracing vegetarianism. We worked together to create all vegetarian dishes that were still very delicious.

My meat cravings after the trip did not subside, however, coming back, I now know that vegetarianism is not really for eccentric hippies or tree huggers. Vegetarianism is for everyone. Working more vegetables like beans, fruits and leafy plants into a diet, and cutting back on the meat, will still keep you nutritionally sound, and not starved for life of meat. The key is in balance. I don’t need to splurge on meat, a diet with a healthy balance is perfect. I still indulge on a moist steak, but throw me some carrots, potatoes, and a salad, and I couldn’t be any happier.

Aaron Ponce
Class of 2017
College of Arts and Sciences

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Weekly Update: April 11 – 30

Featured Events:

Fall Break 2014 Service & Justice Trips Apps Due

Service & Justice Trips are week-long trips (except 5 day local Omaha trips) during Fall and Spring break on which students serve and learn with one of several community partner hosts across the country. During the trip, you will engage in a variety of service experiences, learn about local social justice issues, and have a blast getting to know other Creighton students. Applications and payments are due by 4:00 pm on April 14th.

Pipeline to Prison

Pipeline to Prison is an event that includes a screening of the movie “Pathway to Prison” and discusses prison legislation. NE Senator Bob Krist will be the guest speaker at this event. There will also be a panel for questions and answers following the film. Panelists include Kevin Lytle: VP of Programming for The Leadership Institute for Urban Education, Diane Amdor: Legal Counsel for Nebraska State Judiciary Committee, Dr. Rebecca Murray: Department Chair of Creighton School of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Justin Wayne: OPS School Board President, Attorney and Creighton Law Alumni, and Tracy Hightower: Representative of Nebraska Innocence Project and Partner at Hightower-Reff LLP. This event will be from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Harper Auditorium. Sponsored by: Student Innocence Project Society (SIPS) and CCSJ.

Events this week:

3rd Annual Workers Appreciation Banquet
Empowerment Network Monthly Meeting
OTOC’s Environment and Energy Presentation
Fall Break 2014 Service & Justice Participant Apps Due
Asian American in Films: Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded
Justice For Our Neighbors: Omaha Clinic Volunteers Needed
Pipeline to Prison
Holy Thursday Mass
36th Annual Good Friday Walk for Justice
inCommon Neighborhood Pick Me Up
Earth Day Omaha

Events More than One Week Away:

Earth Week

Service, Faith, Justice, and Diversity Opportunities:

Friday, April 11th
3rd Annual Workers Appreciation Banquet

This annual banquet organized by Justice Without Borders is one way to show appreciation for the Creighton workers and everything they do around campus. Volunteers are needed on the day of the event to cook, greet guests, serve food, set up, clean up, and even just come and eat with the wonderful guests. Everyone is welcome to volunteer including students and faculty. The event will be in Skutt Ballroom from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Please fill out this document to get involved or email Haley Warren if you have any questions.

Saturday, April 12th
Empowerment Network Monthly Meeting

Please join us this Saturday at the Empowerment Network Community Meeting at North High School, Viking Center located at 4410 N. 36th Street. This month’s topic will be “Block-by-Block: Building Safe and Strong Neighborhoods in North Omaha.” Presentations will be given from the North Omaha Neighborhood Neighborhood Alliance, the Northeast & Northwest Precinct Advisory Groups, Adopt-A-Block/Village Stakeholders, and Omaha Police Department. Networking, breakfast, and table displays will begin at 8:45 am. Empowerment Network Update will be at 9:30 am, followed by presentations and major announcements at 10:00 am. This event is open to the entire community and more information about the Empowerment Network can be found here.

Monday, April 14th
OTOC’s Environment and Energy Presentation

Omaha Together One Community has created a new Environmental and Sustainability Research and Action Team. One of the actions this team has already undertaken is to learn about the Omaha Public Power District’s Stakeholder process where OPPD is asking for public input to determine their future energy production. OTOC has invited Omaha Public Power District officials and environmental experts to present on this topic on Monday, April 14th, from 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm at First United Methodist Church room 112 located at 7020 Cass Street. If you care about clean energy in general and/or if you wonder what is going to happen to the very old OPPD coal plant in North Omaha, you will want to be at this meeting. Visit OTOC’s website for more information.

Fall Break 2014 Service & Justice Participant Apps Due

Service & Justice Trips are week-long trips (except 5 day local Omaha trips) during Fall and Spring break on which students serve and learn with one of several community partner hosts across the country. During the trip, you will engage in a variety of service experiences, learn about local social justice issues, and have a blast getting to know other Creighton students. Applications and payments are due by 4:00 pm on April 14th.

Asian Americans in Film: Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded

Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded is a 30-minute documentary that explores media stereotypes of Asian and Asian American women. This film challenges its viewers to consider how images of exoticism and docility socially and psychologically impact Asian American women. “Reloaded” looks at the past 25 years of Asian and Asian American women in U.S. visual media to explore what’s changed, what’s been recycled, and what we can hope for in the future. A brief discussion will follow the film with an expert panel of Creighton faculty and staff as well as KETV news reporter Chinh Doan. Refreshments provided. This screening will be from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Harper Center room 3023. Co-sponsored by Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Lieben Center for Women.

Tuesday, April 15th
Justice For Our Neighbors: Omaha Clinic Volunteers Needed

Justice For Our Neighbors – NE is seeking volunteers for their next Omaha clinic. Working together, we are able to welcome the many immigrant neighbors into our community and provide them with much needed legal services. Each volunteer is paired with a client (or two, depending on the availability of volunteers) to serve as his/her host from welcoming through consultation and debriefing. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 2:00 pm for a brief volunteer update with Shane.To help them plan the staffing, please rsvp if you are able to join us by emailing clinics@jfon-ne.org.

Pipeline to Prison

Pipeline to Prison is an event that includes a screening of the movie “Pathway to Prison” and discusses prison legislation. NE Senator Bob Krist will be the guest speaker at this event. There will also be a panel for questions and answers following the film. Panelists include Kevin Lytle: VP of Programming for The Leadership Institute for Urban Education, Diane Amdor: Legal Counsel for Nebraska State Judiciary Committee, Dr. Rebecca Murray: Department Chair of Creighton School of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Justin Wayne: OPS School Board President, Attorney and Creighton Law Alumni, and Tracy Hightower: Representative of Nebraska Innocence Project and Partner at Hightower-Reff LLP. This event will be from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Harper Auditorium. Sponsored by: Student Innocence Project Society (SIPS) and CCSJ.

Thursday, April 17th
Holy Thursday Mass

Join the St. John’s Parish and Creighton University communities as we begin the celebration of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30 pm in St. John’s Church. Classes after 5:00 pm will be cancelled on Thursday as well as any classes Friday, April 18th until Monday, April 21st at 5:00 pm in celebration of the Easter season.

Friday, April 18th
36th Annual Good Friday Walk for Justice

This Stations of the Cross walk will start at St. Mary Magdalene Church located at 19th and Dodge Streets at 1:00 pm. The walk will continue to the Federal Courthouse, Douglas County Jail, Douglas County Courthouse and City/County Building. It is estimated to end around 2:30. All are welcome to join. Sponsored by Holy Name, Holy Family, Sacred Heart, and St. Pius Catholic Churches; Creighton Prep, Duchesne, Marian, Mercy, Roncalli, and Skutt Catholic High Schools; Creighton University Center for Service and Justice; Society of St. Vincent de Paul; and Archdiocesan Office of Missions & Justice.

Saturday, April 19th
inCommon Neighborhood Pick Me Up

The Neighborhood Pick Me Up includes working outside from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at 1340 Park Ave. Starbucks is willing to donate $10 for every volunteer that comes out to support inCommon, up to $2500. Learn more and RSVP by emailing inCommon.
If you are interested in knowing more about their work, check out their website.

Earth Day Omaha

This free event features exhibit booths, children’s activities, demonstrations and short speaker sessions, plus live music from top local bands and food from area vendors. All activities are designed to educate and inspire attendees to live green and healthy at home and at work. This event will be from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm at Elmwood Park located at 808 S 60th Street. For more information visit Earth Day Omaha’s website.

Upcoming Events:

Earth Week
April 21 – April 25

A number of events related to caring for our environment will occur during this week including Dust off Your Bike (April 22), Green WAC (April 23), Growing Cities documentary screening (April 24), and We Matter Walk (April 25).

Please Note:
Events to be included in the Weekly Update must be received by the Wednesday of the week prior to the event. All events should relate to service or justice and should include name, date, time, and a short description. The selection of events is limited by space and the discretion of the CCSJ. Please, send to ccsj@creighton.edu with “Weekly Update” in the subject line.

A 20 minute training on Creighton’s Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is now required of all student doing community service with our office or on your own. Please click here to find an upcoming training that works for you.

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