Fordham University will launch a Consortium on Social Justice and Poverty on Tuesday, Sept. 22. The group’s inaugural meeting will feature a panel discussion, “The Effect of the Global Recession on the Poor,” at 3 p.m. on Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.

Panelists for the event, which will take place in the 12th Floor Lounge at the Lowenstein Center, include:

• Ronald Mendoza, Ph.D., an economist from UNICEF;
• Sophie Mitra, Ph.D., of the Fordham University economics department;

• Sister Ann Braudis, MM, of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

The moderator will be Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, Fordham’s vice president for mission and ministry.

The purpose of the consortium, which is being launched by the Office of the Senior Vice President/Chief Academic Officer, is to connect the people and programs at Fordham University that are involved in issues of social justice. The group hopes to increase communication and cooperation among the many faculty, students, student groups and University programs that focus on social justice and poverty.

“As a Jesuit institution, we are called to create programs that support the development of knowledge and facilitate the work of justice,” said Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., Fordham’s senior vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer.  “Fordham’s Consortium on Social Justice and Poverty invites all members of the community to strengthen the linkages between classroom, campus, and community in this important endeavor.”

The consortium is sponsored by 19 University officers and organizations and  student groups involved in and familiar with social justice and poverty issues. Deans from each of Fordham’s 10 schools have been involved with the creation of the consortium. Thirty-two members of the faculty and administration are founding participants.

The inaugural event will also include a demonstration of the consortium website by Catherine Buescher, coordinator for academic projects and processes. Dora Galacatos, senior counsel at Fordham Law’s Feerick Center for Social Justice and Dispute Resolution, will briefly introduce an initiative on mentoring children who are aging out of foster care.

The consortium’s service initiative for the 2009-2010 academic year will be mentoring programs for young people aging out of Foster Care. The pilot project is with Good Shepherd Services at their Bronx facility.


Gina Vergel is Senior Director of Communications. She oversees the digital news coverage, public relations, and social media for the university. Before joining Fordham in 2007, Gina worked as a reporter for the Home News Tribune, and The Ridgewood News, where she won Society of Professional Journalist (New Jersey chapter) awards for breaking news and feature writing, respectively. She can be reached at [email protected] or (646) 579-9957.