CCE Featured on Travel Ban and Refugees

In response to the proposed travel ban via executive order, the Center for Community Engagement reaffirms its commitment to support of all of our neighbors through compassionate, coordinated, and continuous partnership.  Whether it be through advocacy, standing beside our partners in ally-ship, or through engaged learning and research, we are up for the challenge ahead as we work towards a more just, equitable, and thriving world.

We were thankful to be recently featured on the exceptional global service-learning and engagement blog for our response and work with refugee populations in the Lehigh Valley.

Check out the full article and resources here.


In the wake of a violent week, thoughts from the CCE’s Director

Speechless, but not powerless: in times of confusion, fear, and sadness, we seek the strength, skills, and respect for each other to build stronger communities where all of our citizens are celebrated and included… and can thrive and grow up, old, wise, and in the light of love and respect.

Community engagement is one way to work towards that vision of a better future. The thing that keeps us hopeful are the MANY friends in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, PRIDE Center, Community Service Office, Women’s Center, Literature and Social Justice (English), Africana Studies, the Council for Equity and Community – to name but a few – who are engaging us in discussions and pushing us to be a better version of ourselves. There exist strong voices on campus constantly thinking critically and challenging injustices. This gives us a small glimmer of hope through these waves of sadness.

And we know that this work is not easy and not everyone feels included in inclusion. It’s daunting. It’s hard. It makes us have to confront things that we might not like about ourselves or our society, and some can be paralyzed from having the discussion because they simply do not know how and worry a misstep will reveal their ignorance. Yet, most of us have a feeling that we need to and can move forward to a just world, and are unsure how.

For those who seek that way forward, but are uncertain how to begin, Parker Palmer’s tools from “Healing the Heart of Democracy” are a great start. He outlines 5 habits for each of us to cultivate to challenge, question, listen, learn, grow, and appreciate. When such habits become our second nature, the world and our communities will mirror those ideals. There’s no better day than today to start. – SES

NOTE: This was originally posted to our Facebook page on 07.08.16.

A Perspective on Poverty

There is a rightful global obsession with poverty.

Since 1987, the world has marked October 17 as “The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty”. It’s odd that in the Wikipedia article on the subject, the writers characterize the day as being “celebrated” as, despite progress, poverty is seemingly our never-ending story.

The UN Millennium Development Goals named eradicating poverty as Job #1 from 2000-2015. During that time, about 1 billion people were lifted from poverty and the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day, or in extreme poverty, was cut in half. The UN Sustainable Development Goals now aim to cut the number of people in that category to zero by 2030. In addition, the goals seek to reduce at least by half the proportion of people living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.

So what does being poor actually look like? What does it feel like to live with less than you need? The world is enormous. Just how can you wrap your head around what poverty looks and feels like while living in the richest and among the most advanced countries in the history of humankind if this isn’t your everyday existence?

Continue reading “A Perspective on Poverty”