Common Good Initiative

SPRING 2019 CGI—UGANDA: New Norms of Development and the Ecology of the Common Good in Uganda

Two credits | Interdisciplinary | Fully funded*

CGI—Uganda is a graduate student-only social justice immersion course that explores the Catholic social teaching principle of the common good from the perspective of ecological considerations. By engaging diverse communities in Uganda, especially the Bethany Land Institute in Luweero, the course investigates the degree to which integral human development is fostered by an ecological approach to the common good. Topics include Catholic social teaching and the concept of the common good; ecology and the papal encyclical Laudato Si’; the influence of history, culture, and religion in Uganda; and the option for the poor, with special reference to the experiences of women. The learning objectives include developing a sensitivity towards history of a place and its ecology; making connections between the common good and integral human development in general and the common good and ecology in particular; adoption of multidisciplinary standpoints and the formulation of research questions relevant to the context and a student’s own disciplinary background/interest. This course requires travel to Uganda during the Spring Break period and has the possibility of two extra required meeting times outside of the displayed meeting schedule (usually a Friday morning retreat and a post-immersion integration dinner).  Course Number: CSC 60697

*Apart from a modest participation fee of $300, the spring 2019 Common Good Initiative is fully funded, covering the complete cost of room and board, travel, and tuition.  

  Application is now closed.

The Common Good Initiative (CGI) is a multi-disciplinary immersion course in social justice. It enables graduate and professional students from across the University to integrate social justice considerations into their personal and disciplinary interests. By engaging the complexities of social injustice with the principles and practices of the Catholic social tradition, students learn from communities that struggle to create structural responses to varied aspects of poverty, including industrial decline, global health, political instability, and the migration of peoples. Sites have included Haiti, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, New Orleans, El Paso-Ciudad Juarez, and Detroit.

Grounded in the engagement practices of the Catholic social tradition, CGI is premised on two convictions: 1) that scholarly inquiry at the graduate level should be animated by a concern for the common good and a preferential option for the poor; and 2) that building a just world is dependent on a holistic approach to learning that includes considerations of religious faith as much as multidisciplinary conversation. 

Alongside a week-long immersion, CGI coursework includes preparatory and integration sessions that provide students with background knowledge, tools of social analysis, and opportunities for critical and theological reflection. Immersion participants receive one or two graduate-level CSC/theology academic credits.

All graduate and professional students are welcome to apply. Applicants must also be available for CGI on-campus coursework during the spring or fall semesters (Friday mornings), depending on the course. Immersions take place during semester breaks. Apart from a modest participation fee ($250 or $300, depending on site), the Common Good Initiative is fully-funded, covering the complete cost of room and board, travel, and tuition.

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Upcoming Events

January 2019

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Information Session: Spring 2019 Social Concerns Seminars
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 4:00pm
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2019 Social Concerns Fair
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

March 2019

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Pre-Conference Workshop: Restorative Justice on Catholic Campuses
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:30pm to 4:00pm
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2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
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2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Friday, March 22, 2019 - 7:30am to 9:30pm
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2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 8:00am to 4:30pm

April 2019

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Been & Seen Series
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

June 2019

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Community Engagement Faculty Institute
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (All day) to Thursday, June 6, 2019 (All day)