Global service-learning (GSL) is co-created by communities, organizations and institutions of higher education that together seek to advance the common good by addressing pressing issues facing local communities, nations and our world. GSL takes many forms and is found across the wide range of institutions that make up the diverse landscape of higher education and community development organizations.
The 5th Global Service-Learning Summit, to be held at the University of Notre Dame, seeks to create a space for active listening and critical dialogue between secular and faith-based organizations that are committed to co-educating and collaborating for social change and that wish to recover and re-examine the values which underlie the work.
The Summit’s theme, Dignity and Justice in Global Service-Learning, aims to bring visibility and awareness to the history, richness of values and moral dimensions in higher education, including the role of faith-based and secular institutions in supporting community and international development, civic and political engagement, democracy and human rights, while also educating students as faith-filled people and/or socially responsible global citizens.
Furthermore, the Summit will serve to address lacunae in the fields of civic and global education, global service-learning, community and international development and their intersections. It will call for further dialogue, research, and developing a more nuanced understanding of the role of values in global service-learning, and attention to the role of faith-based organizations in social and economic development, a topic that has only recently started to attract academic interest.
Faith-based nonprofit organizations constitute almost 60 percent of U.S.-based international development organizations, and their contribution to international social development is considerable. In April 2015, global religious and faith-based organization leaders issued a call and commitment entitled “Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative” to end extreme poverty by 2030, a goal shared by the World Bank Group and in concerted support for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim spoke at the conference of religious leaders that developed the statement, making this claim: “I believe that some of the most important leaders in the movement to end extreme poverty will be people of faith, people who are motivated fundamentally to help the most vulnerable among us.”
Primary audiences for this 5th Global Service-Learning Summit will include faculty, researchers, practitioners and students in the fields of community and international development, social and economic development policy, civic and political engagement, global education and global service-learning.
Dignity and Justice in Global Service-Learning hopes to convene people from across all faith traditions and those who adhere to none, who represent perspectives from secular, land-grant, private, non-governmental, community-based, religious and faith-based institutions and organizations. All are most welcome.
This Summit is sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns with support of campus and external partners. Learn more and register here.