Mission & Vision
Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice (CCSJ) connects campus and community for a more just and equitable world.
Inspired by Loyola’s Jesuit Catholic educational mission and identity that calls for a dynamic integration of academic excellence, social responsibility, and faith that does justice, CCSJ is committed to reciprocal collaboration with community partners and to involvement with people who are marginalized. CCSJ aspires to place a shared emphasis on the engagement of Loyola students and faculty and the pursuit of positive community impact in Loyola’s immediate York Road neighborhoods, throughout Baltimore City, and the world.
- Engage Loyola students and faculty to serve, learn and lead for a more just and equitable world.
- Build capacity for positive change in our local York Road community.
- Animate Loyola’s mission through measuring, highlighting, and communicating our work internally and externally.
In 1992, Rev. Timothy Brown, S.J., professor of law and social responsibility, and Erin Swezey, the director of Loyola’s Community Service Office envisioned and co-founded a Center for Values and Service to help students explore social justice issues, offer opportunities to reflect on experiences of service, improve the quality of service experiences, pioneer an academic service-learning program, and build partnerships with community agencies.
In 2006, under the leadership of Sr. Catherine “Missy” Gugerty, SSND, the Center changed its name to the Center for Community, Service, and Justice to more effectively describe the work and focus of social justice education through service.
In 2008, the university’s strategic plan called for “a leadership role in the development of a multi-dimensional plan to improve the quality of life for all persons living, working, and learning in the York Road corridor.” Following substantive listening projects with area residents, Loyola’s York Road Initiative was established.
From 2010-2013, the York Road Initiative grew from a coalition of university partners to a community-based office with staff and a cadre of student, faculty, and resident volunteers.
In 2016, the Center for Community, Service, and Justice and York Road Initiative join, integrate efforts, and deepen the partnership between Loyola’s academic affairs and the needs and assets of local community partners.
In 2021, CCSJ made a small but important change in name to accurately reflect its mission, inclusion of Loyola’s York Road Initiative since 2016, as well as brand CCSJ in line with the national movement toward Centers for Community Engagement, and away from using the non-reciprocal term “community service,” while still maintaining our Jesuit and Catholic commitment to ‘service.’ The new name is the Center for Community, Service, and Justice."
Through CCSJ and York Road Initiative programs, policies, operations and culture, we value:
- Anti-racism, as racism affects all other structures of inequity.
- The dignity of all people and our common home by practicing love in action with our neighbors.
- Local community power, wisdom and relationships.
- Collaboration, education and connecting through relationships to promote positive collective social impact.
- Dismantling systems of oppression, transparent and inclusive decision-making processes and the equitable distribution of power and resources.
Commitment to Racial Justice
Inspired by our mission to connect campus and community for a more just and equitable world, Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice (CCSJ) strives to become an anti-racist organization. We will pursue this commitment by investing in our capacity to think critically about the role race plays in our relationships, programs, and organization and we acknowledge that we will be personally and professionally challenged in this work. Please read our Racial Justice Commitment Statement. Additionally, please join us in utilizing CCSJ’s social justice library, located in our Center at Loyola, anytime. Our online resource page with a link to our racial justice database, is also available to all.