Wednesday, September 23, 2015

America: Our Home

In both “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” by Peter-Haus Kolvenbach, S.J. and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” one common point between the two became clear. They both discuss how those who experience injustice deserve to have justice, because in the end we all live in the same world which highlights Martin Luther King Jr.’s point that “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”. Whether we believe it or not we are affected by events occurring around the world which is why both Kolvenbach and King urge everyone to face injustice and begin to tackle it by offering Faith and solutions for justice.
            At the Conference on Commitment to Justice held for three days in October, 2000 several religious leaders from all over the world came together to discuss the need to change how Jesuit education can promote justice through faith. This concept was new for religious leaders, because it was hard to understand how justice and faith correlate. However, throughout history faith has been a salvation for people experience any type of injustice, whether it’s some form of oppression or social economic challenges faith has been a literal escape from the unjust treatment experienced by many. The most important part about 400 delegates coming together to work on promoting justice through faith was that so many of those leaders were from areas where injustice is prevalent. It was not just American and European Jesuits who came to the conference but those leaders who can begin to make a change in certain areas of the world where change is absolutely necessary in order to promote justice. The conference encouraged Jesuit universities to shape students and faculty to work with those experiencing poverty and injustice in their own areas because we are one community and injustice must not be ignored by anyone it has to be dealt with or nothing will change.
            In Martin Luther King’s letter he quoted St. Augustine and referenced Socrates, emphasizing the injustice he and many other black Americans were experiencing during the 1960s. He even went as far as addressing individuals directly expressing how wrong they actually were. The most important part of his argument was that America is freedom. From the beginning of the formation of the nation freedom was always America. Again emphasizing that this is our home it is where we of all nationalities, race, and ethnicities live and therefore we must fight for our family and not treat them like anything less.

            Today there is still injustice all over the world. Even in America poverty is apparent throughout and issues like police brutality is still relevant. Both Kolvenbach and King discuss the injustice within the world, the injustice in 2000 and in 1963. Sadly, although some things have improved, a lot has yet to change. Home is where we are from, where we have roots. Baltimore, Maryland is my home. It is where I grew up and went to school. It is where I became who I am today. I found that looking ar the recent events which occurred here in Baltimore this past April I have a responsibility as a citizen of this city as well as of this country to discuss what happened with others and actively go out into my own community to discover what I can do as an individual to hear the voices of those who have felt unheard. If anything has changed since the Civil Rights Movement it is that today we do actually put Kolvenbach’s idea of promoting faith through justice to heart because at Loyola at least we are willing to do that in Baltimore, since “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”. 

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