A number of signs of the times are converging to call the Gros Institute to undertake a third institute-wide initiative: a powerful interfaith collaborative acting to mitigate the climate crisis. Increasingly students, faculty, staff, and community partners are hearing the cries of the Earth and poor people. Through community engaged learning and social analysis, we are linking degradation of the planet with environmental racism, an unjust fossil-fuels based exclusive economy, and underfunded public health system failing especially people of color, migrants and indigenous communities.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools exhorted the entire global Lasallian family to choose a future of integral ecology, greening our schools and lives in its 2020 Declaration on the Lasallian Educational Mission. On the fifth anniversary of his ground-breaking encyclical, Laudato Si' (On Care for Our Common Home), Pope Francis invited all people of good will from all sectors to urgently undertake a seven-year journey of actions toward integral ecology launching the Vatican's Laudato Si' Action Platform.
The Gros Institute in conjunction with Lewis University's Peace and Justice Studies (PJS) program and other partners will construct a sixth interdisciplinary and all-college pathway for PJS majors—"Eco-justice, Regenerative Economy and Fair Public Health.” We will also will accompany the university leadership and sustainability movers in weighing a public commitment to the pope's Laudato Si' action journey.