UNIV 190-003: Understanding Service and-
Social Justice: The Refugee Experience in America
This semester, I worked with a friend of mine named Zach “The Bronco” Springer in assisting a family of refugees from Iraq. We have assisted them in whatever ways we can to smooth the transition from a life of Arab culture to life in the United States. Although the family was fairly accustomed to living in the United States already, there were still things in which my partner and I could be of assistance. We helped the children with their homework and assisted the father in English skills. Helping them is indirectly assisting the Iraqi community as a whole. Since they have been acquainted with the Iraqi community of Chicago, they can use the skills that my partner and I have taught them to assist incoming refugees from not only Iraq, but any refugee.
Social justice is a key value of Ignatius Loyola’s teachings. Loyola University of Chicago stresses social justice, and the process in which a refugee goes through in order to reach asylum is injustice in its purist form. Having formed a tight bond with my family, particularly the two children, I will continue to visit the family during summer. I am staying this summer as an orientation leader, and I have told the family that if they are ever in great trouble, they should not be afraid to call me. Aside from visits and emergencies, I will also be assisting the two children in their search for jobs, although I have made it clear that there are no guarantees that I can find them a job. Aside from working with this family alone, I will become an active member of Loyola Refugee Outreach next year. This class has opened my eyes up to injustice in the world. I have made it a bit of a vendetta of mine to assist those who are victims of injustice and unfairness, both of which are apparent in the bureaucracy and process involved with a refugee seeking asylum.