As I write this blog on the morning of yet another September 11, I remember that terrible day 14 years ago and think of all who died and suffered grievous losses in the worst act of terrorism this nation has ever experienced. Even as we remember, we must move on resolved to work for peace and justice, to do what we can to alleviate the deeply disordered roots of hatred and violence. On this September 11, I am proud to share the story of a Trinity student who spent the summer learning the ropes of real peace and justice advocacy by working with the remarkable Sr. Simone Campbell and the advocates at NETWORK. Education and advocacy are the best weapons we have to overcome injustice, fear and violence, to establish a world where justice and peace can truly prevail.
I am pleased to share the essay of Joseline Araujo ’17 (with summer internship friends, top row center) who spent the summer with NETWORK, a remarkable social justice advocacy organization founded by a group of religious women 40 years ago at Trinity. NETWORK is famous for the “Nuns on the Bus” movement bringing witness and advocacy to communities across the nation. In 2014 Trinity bestowed an honorary degree on NETWORK President Sr. Simone Campbell and she gave the January 2014 commencement address. The Sisters of Notre Dame have been active with NETWORK, and Joseline was able to secure this great internship through her class with Sr. Mary Johnson. Read on:
“My name is Joseline Araujo, Junior student at Trinity Washington University (Class of 2017), currently majoring in Sociology and minoring in History. This summer I was very fortunate to be accepted to an exciting program called Just Advocacy Week by NETWORK a national catholic social justice lobby organization here in the District of Columbia.
“About five months ago Sr. Mary Johnson, [Trinity Sister of Notre Dame] who is one of my favorite professors at Trinity Washington University introduced me to an opportunity that NETWORK was offering for a week in the summer. I was excited because Sr. Mary Johnson’s honors theology course had me very interested in joining the social justice movement, and what better way to join in the movement then with a famous organization right here in D.C! Sr. Mary Johnson provided me with the steps to apply and spoke to me about other opportunities that she had in mind. However, she strongly encouraged me to apply to the NETWORK program repeatedly, I did and got accepted to participate in June.
(Sr. Simone Campbell, center in green, with Joseline and other summer interns)
“There were 16 students from all over the country this year, Chicago, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington State, Maryland etc. During the beginning of the program, there were so many inspiring people such as Rachel, Sarah, Allison, Collin and Sr. Simone Campbell to learn from and share our views about different social justice topics in the NETWORK organization office. Automatically our group was united, motivated, supportive and fun!
“The entire goal of the program was to become prepared throughout the week with experiences, knowledge, and practice on how to lobby at Capitol Hill for the issue on whether certain Tax Credits should be voted on by Congress to remain in place. The main task was to speak to our house of representatives and senators of our home state about the Tax Credits staying in place and why personally and statistically. Aside from the main objective of the program, we also were able to sight see the D.C. monuments, and the nation’s Capital inside and out.
“At the end of the program, I was able to obtain referrals to perhaps a possible internship for the NETWORK D.C. office during the next summer. And the social justice work did not stop at the program, we were all told to provide a topic for a project to work on back in our hometown and follow up with our NETWORK mentors in January. I am going to continue to begin forming to project and changing social justice issues for the community. All the support, knowledge and experience earned from this week long program was breath-taking and made me wish the program was longer than just a week.”
Congratulations, Joseline, what a memorable internship!
Do you have a story to share on this blog? Send your essay and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will publish the best.