Community Engagement News

Sep 06, 2022. 5 min read

Community Engagement News September 6, 2022


University joins list of ‘schools doing the most to turn students into citizens’

Student Voting
Campus Democracy Project

Barry’s Campus Democracy Project (CDP) promotes voter registration and turnout at the polls.

Barry University has been named one of America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting by the Washington Monthly and is now listed on the publication’s Student Voting Honor Roll.

This year’s honor roll recognizes 230 higher education institutions out of 850 that were considered.

A Washington Monthly article last Sunday (August 28) by Rob Wolfe listed Barry among “schools doing the most to turn students into citizens.”

To make the student voting honor roll, colleges and universities had to submit 2020 and 2022 Action Plans to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Institutions were also required to have signed up to receive data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which calculates college-specific registration and voting rates. And they must have made their 2018 and 2020 NSLVE data available to the public.

“In short,” the article said, “schools need to have shown a repeated commitment to increasing student voting—and have been transparent about the results.”

Barry is an ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge participating campus. President Mike Allen has committed the university to “striving towards full student voter participation.”

The university’s Campus Democracy Project (CDP) promotes and facilitates student voting as part of a university-wide civic learning and democratic engagement initiative. The CDP strategy consists of voter registration, education, mobilization, and engagement, including regularly scheduled forums and get-out-the-vote activities.

Opportunities to Promote Social Justice Include Events that Support Farmworker Rights and Antihunger Efforts

Student's participating in the Student/Farmworker Alliance’s Encuentro

The Student/Farmworker Alliance’s Encuentro will take place from September 29 to October 2 in Immokalee. Encuentro brings together students from all over the country to advance farmworker justice. Barry students have participated in the event for several years.

The Student/Farmworker Alliance’s Encuentro later this month and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ National Week of Action in November are among events that will serve as opportunities to promote social justice.

The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) is offering such opportunities to students as well as faculty and staff members throughout the university.

Encuentro is a grassroots organizing tradition that brings together students and other young people from across the country for a weekend of creativity, strategizing, skill-building, and reflection to strengthen the national network for farmworker solidarity. Participants usually converge in Immokalee, the birthplace of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ historic farmworkers’ rights movement, to learn from one another and envision together the path forward to transform the nation’s food system for the better.

The Student/Farmworker Alliance is “a national network of students and young people organizing with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to uproot exploitation in the fields and build a food system based on justice, respect and dignity for farmworkers.”

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is “a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in fighting human trafficking and gender-based violence at work.” The CIW is recognized also for pioneering the design and development of the Worker-Driven Social Responsibility paradigm, described as “a worker-led, market-enforced approach to the protection of human rights in corporate supply chains.”

Students demostrate in support of farmworker rights and “justicia para todos” (justice for all).

Barry students demonstrate in support of farmworker rights and “justicia para todos” (justice for all). The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Miami Fair Food Action is scheduled for November 19.

Another opportunity to promote social justice is facilitated by Bread for the World. The organization will present its Racial Wealth Gap Simulation on October 5, October 29, and February 25.

The simulation is an interactive tool that helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. It is seen as “a good first step for people unaware of structural inequality; a support tool for those who want a deeper understanding of structural inequality; and a source of information for experts who want to know the quantifiable economic impact of each policy that has widened today’s racial hunger, income, and wealth divides.”

Bread for the World is a self-described “collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.”

Other social justice-focused events include the Miami PACT (People Acting for Community Together) Annual Meeting, North Dade Rally, and Nehemiah Action Assembly. The Annual Meeting will be held on October 24.

The mission of Miami PACT is, simply, “Build people power for justice.” Miami PACT  “unites, organizes and trains leaders from diverse congregations, schools and community groups to build a powerful community voice.”

Social Justice-Focused Community Engagement Events

  • Bread for the World’s Racial Wealth Gap Simulation: Oct. 5; Oct. 29; Feb. 25
  • Church World Service (CWS) Thanksgiving Celebration: Nov. 12
  • CWS Welcome Day: Feb. 4
  • Student/Farmworker Alliance’s Encuentro: Sept. 29–Oct. 2
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) National Week of Action: Nov. 13–19
  • CIW’s Miami Fair Food Action: Nov. 19
  • PACT’s (People Acting for Community Together) Annual Meeting: Oct. 24
  • PACT’s North Dade Rally: Feb. 27
  • PACT’s Nehemiah Action Assembly: March 13
  • Alternative Spring Break: March 4–10

The CCSI organizes and coordinates community engagement programs, projects, and events. A department in the Division of Academic Affairs, the CCSI functions as Barry University’s clearinghouse for community engagement opportunities and resources.

Deliberative Dialogue Series Gets Underway This Month with Forum Focused on Situation in Haiti

Deliberative Dialogue Series 2022-2023

The first forum in this academic year’s Deliberative Dialogue Series will take place this month. The forum is titled “Haiti in Turbulent Times: Forging a Path Forward.”

Deliberative Dialogue is a series of facilitated forums that elicit “voices and views from campus and community.” This year’s series is aimed at “fostering resiliency in times of uncertainty.”

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights recently expressed concern about rising violence around Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. According to a report, the UN human rights office then noted that nearly 100 people had been killed in fighting among rival gangs in the Cite Soleil district alone.

The upcoming forum will take place on Thursday, September 22, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community partners will take part in the 90-minute event.

For further information on the Deliberative Dialogue Series, contact CCSI Associate Director Courtney Berrien at

Students Eligible for Federal Work-Study Encouraged to Apply for Community Service Placements

Barry Service Corps now hiring for paid positions!

Students eligible for Federal Work-Study (FWS) are encouraged to apply for community service placements. All students who accept such placements become members of the Barry Service Corps, a well-regarded civic engagement program.

The Barry Service Corps supports students in applying civic and academic learning to real-world problems. While serving the community through nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and local government agencies, members develop interpersonal, teamwork, and other career-related skills.

Some 25 community partners for the FWS Community Service program attended orientation and training sessions recently. The sessions were organized by the CCSI.

For further information on FWS Community Service, contact Emmanuel Ikpuri, program facilitator, via email at

Community Engagement News

CHANGEMAKING AWARD WINNER: Dr. Ruth Ban—a professor in Barry’s Adrian Dominican School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development—is among the winners of an award that recognizes community changemakers.

SERVICE-LEARNING DESIGNATION: The CCSI is inviting faculty members whose courses include a service-learning component to apply for the “SL” designation.

CAMPUS DEMOCRACY PROJECT: Several forums are on the schedule of events for the Campus Democracy Project.

Community Engagement News is a publication of the Center for Community Service Initiatives.

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