The annual Cabrini Day mixes creativity with social justice

Video by Nasir Ransom and Shannon Finn

 

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A banner for Dr. Zurek’s “Searching for Home” simulation, created by his ECG 100 class. Photo by Hope Daluisio.

Cabrini Day took place at Cabrini University on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to once again celebrate the heritage and mission of its namesake, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Many events took place on this significant and educational day, including mass, student presentations, award presentations, a social justice fair, a food insecurity walk and an interactive workshop.

“I think the obvious importance of Cabrini Day is to reflect on the mission of the University and Mother Cabrini, and to really focus on different issues of social justice and how they impact the students, as well as the entire community,” education instructor Philip Campbell said.

This year, many students gathered together in Cabrini University’s Dixon Center and presented their projects for their respective groups, including engagements in the common good, leadership, psychology, convergence, education, graphic design and several more classes. A majority of these projects, if not all of them, centered around a social justice issue.

“The theme this year is really important,” Campbell said. “Reimagining what inclusion, inclusivity, social justice and education mean.”

For Dr. Maya Gordon’s social psychology course, junior Amy Collins presented a poster on sexism in the workplace. Researching this topic helped Collins relate this issue to her life and other women she knows who are entering the workplace.

“I feel as though stereotypes that are placed on women are completely incorrect due to the number of successful women in the world today,” Collins said. “Those who saw my project today could definitely find examples in their own lives when they’ve felt discriminated or stereotyped at work.”

Michelle Guerin (left) and ? (right) presenting their project about Syrian refugees.

Michelle Guerin and her partner presenting their project on Syrian refugees. Photo by Hope Daluisio.

Another example of these ambitious presentations include Dr. Jerry Zurek’s “Searching for Home” simulation involving Syrian refugees and their journey for his ECG 100 course.

“It was basically about how Syrian refugee children deal with the war from birth to adulthood,” freshman Michelle Guerin said.

Guerin explained that before she came to Cabrini she knew nothing about refugees or their struggles. After the past couple months she considers herself passionate about the topic.

“The simulation also proved to have a positive and informative impact on those who participated in it,” Guerin said.

“There was a man who went through the entire simulation and later brought his children back to go through the simulation themselves,” Guerin said. “I thought that was pretty cool.”

“Searching for Home” won first prize on Cabrini Day 2016 for best simulation. It received a $100 donation toward Catholic Relief Services in order to help refugees in Syria in any way they can.

Similarly, the “Voices of Justice” Living and Learning community was rewarded for best poster, Jenee Batts’s Hip-Hop project won for best performance, Vonya Womack’s Global Leadership class was the student’s choice winner and Cathy Yungmann’s Convergence class won for best video. Each of these classes or groups received an individual prize of $100.

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Sophomore Andrew Sennett presenting his project about the correlation between terrorism and hip-hop music. Photo by Hope Daluisio.

When reflecting on which presentation he thought was the best, Dr. Campbell had trouble putting his finger on which was his personal favorite.

“I had a hard time choosing. I am a little biased toward my hip-hop class,” Campbell said. “But from what I saw in the other presentations, the students really put themselves out there and addressed issues that were important to them, which I think is really the whole highlight of the day.”

After another year of student involvement and success, Cabrini Day continues its tradition of being entertaining as well as educational.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the story stated that the ECG 100 class received a check for $500 to donate to CRS. Because of a misunderstanding, all the award winners received a symbolic check that said $500. However, each winner is getting $100 of that $500 total. The story is now corrected to reflect the true amount.

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