The Christian Service Program aims to provide Regians with the experiences and means of reflection that will stimulate growth in community engagement, relationship building, and social awareness. By introducing active involvement in their community, students will see the vitality of service with others while connecting it to one’s Catholic identity. Additionally, students will be more open to new opportunities and relationships by connecting with others from different backgrounds. Finally, by engaging in service, students will grasp the complexity of social issues and the need to reflect and respond through an Ignatian lens.
In their four years, Regis students will have a myriad of opportunities to participate in community service. During their Freshman year, students engage in service activities as a group as part of their Freshman Retreat. During Sophomore and Junior year, students participate in community service at an organization or parish in their local community for 10 and 30 hours respectively. During Senior year, each Regis student devotes each Tuesday morning for the entire year to a selected service site. In their third trimester, aside from registering for a full trimester of classes, seniors have two possible options that affect the outlook of their final trimester at Regis. Students can make a greater commitment by doing full-time service for four and a half days a week. A secondary opportunity would be to participate in our Social Justice Entrepreneurship, which combines service 2 ½ days per week and a research project in the content area in which they are performing service.
Social Justice Seminars
All seniors participate in a series of seminars during their last trimester on Tuesday afternoons, titled “Social Justice Seminars”. The program is designed to stimulate further reflection on Catholic Social Teaching by studying real world examples of organizations and people working to promote justice and build peace. Every Tuesday afternoon, speakers present and lead reflection on an area of expertise. The aim of the seminars is to inspire Regians to remain committed to justice. SJS exposes our students to the issues that they will need to address as our next generation of leaders.
Social Justice Entrepreneurship
Seniors, in their third trimester, have the option of partaking in a Social Justice Entrepreneurship. This social action project combines the community engagement of service and the creativity and flexibility of an independent study. Students interested in the work of SJE should have a concerted effort in researching and developing a project that would create a positive change in vulnerable communities. Students are encouraged to challenge and push boundaries against current systems of thinking as they collaboratively address larger social justice issues. The unique balance of service and research lends itself to a positive concentration on the mission of the students.
This group of students was formed as a result of the experiences and desires of KBI participants to share the knowledge and advocate for change in the Regis community. The immersive experience at the border has caused students to take action steps to better address the issues of immigration, deportation, court processing and human rights violations at the U.S. and Mexico border. Students look to share the issue and spark collection action to be better informed and encourage change amongst the Regis community.
World Without Exploitation Youth Coalition
The World Without Exploitation Youth Coalition is a youth led organization that has formed to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation around the world. Regis students have joined with students from other New York City schools to spread awareness and educate about the harms of human trafficking as well advocating for policy changes and and legal protections for people who have been exploited.
Ignatian Family Teach In For Justice
Serving as a keystone event in Campus Ministry’s calendar year is participation in the Ignatian Family Teach In. As highlighted on their website, the IFTJ was/is: “Inspired by people of faith who witness to the truth of our interdependence, we are called to break down all that separates us from the love of God, from each other, and from flourishing. We are called to become vulnerable in order to break down biases and unfair privileges.” With all of this in mind, we are called to the common good joining together in an event where thousands of Ignatian educators and students partake in a joining of values and ideals. This community joins in preparation for the teach-in and carries on their work through sharing what they have learned with the Regis community. This group of resiliency allows participants to be the voice for the marginalized and disenfranchised throughout our world.
Every year, a group of Regians travels to Washington, D.C. to attend the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice. This annual gathering began as a vigil at the School of the Americas in Georgia, which trained some of the soldiers responsible for the assassination of the Jesuit and other martyrs in El Salvador in 1989. It has grown into a 5,000-person, multi-day conference dedicated to issues of social justice, promoting radical love and solidarity among Ignatian and other institutions, including many high schools and colleges.
Regis @ Rikers
At Riker’s Island, junior and senior volunteers participate in competitive Chess and Basketball, and so, our collaborative work with the Director of Activities fosters solidarity with the inmates of Riker’s island and students. This opportunity allows students partake in a corporal work of mercy allowing human connection and competitive spirits to flourish. Each service opportunity ends with an opportunity for fellowship where strong relationships and student perspectives are formed.