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Celebrating the Ripple Effects of Service in Honor of MLK, Jr.

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Mgolole Orphanage Center, Tanzania is run by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters. It's known locally as "a Centre of Hope, Love and Tranquility"


What is the impact of one soul? Well, as demonstrated by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., one soul can impact the entire world. In 2022, we are still learning about the impact of his message.

To honor his life and legacy, ASEC and Marywood University’s Office of Institutional Equity & Inclusion partnered to host a virtual event on January 17, 2022. The event saw more than 70 participants in the U.S. and Africa who were able to engage with other participants to explore themes of social justice. 

Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia, LSMIG, Ph.D. and ASEC Executive Director, gave a presentation connecting the values of MLK, Jr., to the values of ASEC sisters carrying out their missions in Africa. 

“The service you do must bring in change – that is transformation, one of ASEC’s core values,” explained Sr. Draru. “Something must change for the good and this has to be done collaboratively because no one knows it all.” 

Sr. Draru explained how women religious in Africa are committed to service for its ripple effect throughout society. With education and commitment to service sisters are able to combat poverty in their communities. Sr. Draru made sure to explain the program helps with poverty in the traditional sense, but also poverty of a life not fully explored. These programs allow community members to learn, grow, and thrive in their own environment. 

After Sr. Draru’s presentation, Yerodin Lucas, Ph.D. and executive director of the Office of Institutional Equity & Inclusion, gave a presentation to remind us of the impact of Martin Luther King, Jr., on racial equality and social justice throughout time. 

With participants from various countries in Africa, including Kenya, Zimbabwe and more, participants were able to collaborate in small groups of four where they discussed the themes of a photograph from a civil rights march. In the small group discussion, as well as within the entire conference, attendees exchanged ideas on their own feelings and ideas about equality and justice. 

Bringing together sisters in Africa, the ASEC executive team, Marywood’s Office of Institutional Equity & Inclusion, and various members of the community proved to be a success. Participants left feeling grateful to understand the perspectives of each other in the name of service. Thank you to Dr. King and all of the African sisters for instilling such a brilliant example. 

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all Reduce inequality within and among countries Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
Monica Simon

Monica Simon
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