The College of the Holy Cross hosted the JUHAN Student Leadership Conference from June 27 to June 29, 2017. The conference theme was “Principles in Crisis: Refugees and Responsibility.” Just as refugees are compelled to cross borders by conditions of vulnerability, so too are we morally compelled to respond to human suffering wherever it exists. This conference provided an excellent opportunity for students to engage with other peers and faculty from various Jesuit institutions to network and learn about the practical applications of humanitarian work locally and globally.
The conference featured keynote sessions led by Dr. Michael Barnett (George Washington University), Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J. (Georgetown University), Dr. Mark Potter (Newton Country Day School, Kino Border Initiative), and Dr. Stephanie Russell (AJCU).
Conference Mission Statement: The Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) was launched in 2006 by Fairfield, Fordham and Georgetown Universities as a way to raise awareness on Jesuit campuses of the meaning of humanitarian response and its implications for the Jesuit ideology of “men and women for others” as well as to jointly address the humanitarian needs of those who are suffering. Since its founding, the network has grown to include Jesuit institutions from across the 28 schools in the US and internationally from the Philippines to Qatar; Nicaragua to Beirut. During Superior General Adolfo Nicolas’ remarks in Mexico City in 2010, he noted, “If each university, working by itself as a proyecto social, is able to accomplish so much good in society, how much more can we increase the scope of our service to the world if all the Jesuit institutions of higher education become, as it were, a single global proyecto social?”
Driven by this belief that our Jesuit academic institutions can be more effective when working together rather than independently, the network seeks to advance both undergraduate humanitarian education and the professional field of humanitarian action by:
- Bringing students into the professional field at an early stage in their education;
- Forming an educated citizenry; for those students that are not pursuing careers in humanitarian action, providing exposure to knowledge and skills needed to become engaged citizens;
- Developing an educational program that places emphasis on the ethical dimensions of humanitarian action.
On each campus, the JUHAN project involves:
- Student leadership teams charged with raising awareness and responding to humanitarian crises;
- Academic courses that focus on humanitarian issues from various disciplines;
- A national student skill-building and leadership conference for students from Jesuit academic institutions.