Cortina Vision Statement:
The Cortina Community prepares students to connect their passion for social justice with their academics and future goals by challenging them to investigate social inequalities and difficult realities in a new way. We do this through service, examination of faith, purposeful learning, and living in community.
We are comprised of sophomores, living in community on Creighton University’s campus in Heider Hall, and juniors and seniors dedicated to participating in and leading the formation of our community.
As a community, we care about things like social justice, compassion, service, faith, conversation, advocacy. We question, we discuss, we grow, we learn. We don’t think we have all the answers, but we are trying to work out what truth is, communally. We work against the idea that we could find out what truth is (and how to live it) by forsaking interaction with the world.
We want to be aware of the world, and its many perspectives. So we go into it.
So, what does this look like (practically speaking)?
Community Service (Sophomores, led by upperclassmen):
It is quite possible that we work with some of the coolest people in the city of Omaha. We are so thankful to them for allowing us to come participate in their work, weekly.
Our students go participate in service-learning every week. Students go to the same place each week, all semester, so that they can build relationships and learn from what they do and who they meet.
Because of our great partnerships, we get to learn from people that we meet at community meals, community gardens, bike shops, after school programs, ESL classes, GED classes, homeless shelter drop-in centers, & recovery celebration meetings. Students do three hours of service at their site each week. All students are transported to-and-from service in a Creighton van with a van-certified driver.
Formation Time (All community members):
Every Sunday, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., the Cortina community convenes together to grow in knowledge about the injustices in our world.
The students will develop knowledge around the social justice issue (e.g. food deserts, homelessness, human trafficking, etc.) and they will become advocates about the issue. The group can grow in knowledge however they see fit: through reading and discussing scholarly articles, watching documentaries, engaging with local community leaders, etc.
Cortina Sophomore Courses:
Each Fall semester, all sophomore students take Philosophical Ethics (PHL 271). This is a core requirement for Creighton students but, (lucky us!) we get to take it in separate classes where not only are ethics discussed, but they are integrated with the experiences we are having at our service sites in the Omaha community and the topics covered in weekly Formation Time.
In the Spring, Cortina students take another course of the MAGIS core curriculum together, Social Justice in the Old Testament (THL 217). The course focuses on what the Bible says about social justice and how you can apply these principles to contemporary social justice issues, like the ones you see at your service site, and how we should respond to them.
Retreats (All community members):
Rest and celebration are important parts of life. So we go on retreats to rest, to celebrate, to envision the development of our community. Each semester there is a planned retreat for all community members. The Fall retreat is overnight and the Spring retreat is day-long.
Through this program, we hope that:
- Students will develop mutually beneficial and compassionate relationships with people who suffer injustices.
- Students will demonstrate awareness of local, national, and global social realities.
- Students will engage with and think critically about questions concerning the meaning of justice and causes of injustice.
- Students will reflect and act in the context of a faith that does justice.
- Students will grow in their understanding of what it means to live in community.
Besides the wonderful student staff, known as Corteama, the Cortina Community has regular staff too!
Cortina Coordinator Megan Foo (MeganFoo@creighton.edu)
Undergraduate Intern Kaliyah Meriwether (KaliyahMeriwether@creighton.edu)
Feel free to email them for any information or questions you may have.