The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU Catholic works toward social justice

Caring for the community has always been a value of the Catholic faith, but SMU Catholic’s Social Justice Ministry is taking community service to a new level.

The Social Justice Ministry at SMU Catholic’s foundation supports the idea that people must try to follow the path provided by Christ’s life.


“The Social Justice Ministry seeks to involve SMU students at all levels of social justice—from direct service and volunteering to advocacy and seeking structural change,” Drew Konow, a Social Justice student worker and SMU senior said.  

The Social Justice Ministry consists of several different programs, including the Vickery Meadow after-school program, Service Saturdays and the SMU Peace and Justice Summit.

At Vickery Meadows, SMU student volunteers provide a structured after-school program for the refugee children in the apartment complex. Volunteers teach the children English and reading, work on art projects and play soccer as a group.

“The kids are attending Dallas public schools, which can be really scary, and our after-school program gives them support in learning English,” Vickery Meadows volunteer and SMU junior Amanda Koons said. “It’s a community of kids in the same situation, and a group of mentors that they know care about them and want them to do well.”

Service Saturdays are hosted once a month and give students the chance to serve the community in a direct, short-term way.

Previous service activities include construction on a Habitat for Humanity home, serving lunch at a Dallas-area soup kitchen and visiting the elderly at a nursing home.

One of the most recent additions to the Student Justice Ministry is the SMU Peace and Justice Summit.


“I saw all of the groups working on campus for things like peace, justice, advocacy, volunteerism and bettering the community,” Konow said. “I envisioned the Peace and Justice Summit to be the source of improved awareness of this kind of work on campus and increased collaboration amongst groups.”


Around 90 SMU students donate their time to participate in the different community service activities offered by the Social Justice Ministry.

“I think helping others is counter-cultural because we are constantly told to worry about ‘my future,'” SMU Catholic Social Justice Intern Andrea Fernandez said. “But I think as the young people with power, we can start thinking about ‘our future'”

Though sponsored through the SMU Catholic Center, participants do not have to practice the religion to volunteer.


Junior Duaa Bayan is not a part of the Catholic Center but has been volunteering at the Vickery Meadow after-school program for over a semester.

“I have met some amazing and kind SMU students who also volunteer,” Bayan said. “College is about new and life altering experiences. That is exactly what the SMU Catholic Social Justice program offers.”

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