SBU Students Make Civil Rights Immersion Trip

Katie Fish Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. – Six St. Bonaventure University students, along with four faculty and staff members, journeyed to Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 11 to participate in a national student conference called Faith in Action.

During the trip, which is sponsored by Samford University’s “Samford In Mission,” a grant initiative funded by the Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation of the Lilly Endowment, Inc., students and faculty visited seminal civil rights venues and discussed faith, learning and justice.

“The conference was set up so that students can experience the role of faith in past, present and future social movements,” said Cheryl Parris, director of SBU’s social ministries program.

The goal of this immersion experience was to provide an opportunity for students and faculty to further integrate faith into their academic studies at St. Bonaventure, their future career choices and their service commitments.

Topics explored during the conference included racial equality, women’s rights, social justice, human rights, community service and service learning, international justice, environmental protection, sustainable development and peacemaking.

“This trip was about making things real,” said Parris. “We’re very good at talking. This trip hopefully inspired us to make our dreams and aspirations real. We brought the experience back to campus in hopes of doing that.”