Child Slavery in the Cocoa Industry, Equal Access to Education, and Inspirational Difference-Makers Among Topics Tackled at Student-Led Conference. Everyone can make a difference in the world, no matter how small. That was the message from this year’s Voices of Hope, Corpus Christi’s student-led Social Justice and Leadership Symposium.
Topics ranged from how we can all play a part in stopping child slavery by eating ‘fair trade’ chocolate to why we all have a stake in equal access to education for females. Students also profiled individuals who have inspired them to make a difference in the world – by giving them the tools to advocate for issues they care deeply about. A highlight of the academic year, the student-organized event is guided by the central pillars of Catholic social teaching and gives students an opportunity to explore social, political, cultural, religious, and environmental challenges from all angles.
The theme of this past year’s symposium was “finding meaning”, based on Eboo Patel’s book, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. Patel was heavily influenced by Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker movement in inner city Chicago, and underwent a conversion experience that lead him on a spiritual journey to combine social justice and interfaith dialogue. Voices of Hope is open to all Corpus Christi and Saint Mark’s students, their families, Saint Mark’s College and Parish Community members, alumni, UBC students, invited grade 11 or 12 high school students, and other invited guests.