Nicaragua, Nicaraguita: What is our responsibility as partners even if our students can’t travel?
As individuals and organizations based in U.S. higher education institutions who pursue ethical partnerships, what is our responsibility as partners even if our students can’t go to Nicaragua – or a country experiencing similar upheaval? If, through our partnerships, we are committed to the missions of our partner organizations, what does partnership require of us?
This blog series explores these questions from colleagues in this community of practice. Below you can read about specific examples from partnerships between organizations and institutions working through these challenging situations.
We invite you all to send along additional reflections and examples to share with this group – together we hope these reflections and examples raise questions and considerations and provide a push for all of us to consider ways that we can step up.
By Nora Pillard Reynolds, Director of Globalsl & former co-founder of Water for Waslala
This reflection is about commitment in the face of real risks to student safety. It’s about having – and advocating for – relationships that have deeper roots than the facilitation of annual exchanges. Nora Pillard Reynolds comes to the work of community–university partnerships primarily from experiences working in a non-profit and describes how that positionality impacts her perspective of the current situation.
This email from Gonzalo Duarte to supporters of Compañeros kicked off this blog series on the topic of partnership during times of crisis. For information on how to support Nicaragua now, and to spark your own thinking on what partnership can mean when students are not able to travel, read below. Check back for additional reflections on achieving partnership – from university and NGO administrators, as well as other stakeholders – that will be featured by globalsl in the weeks to come.
By Erin Sabato, Director of International Service and Learning, Quinnipiac University
Service-learning or solidarity work? Administrator or advocate? How to partner in Nicaragua now?
In this post, Erin Sabato, pulls back the curtain to share her struggle to strike a balance between two roles: (1) university administrator that must always think about the safety and security of our students and faculty and (2) staunch advocate for Nicaraguan partners. She poses the question: sitting in my office in Hamden, Connecticut, I wonder: what do we do? Read about Quinnipiac University Global Solidarity Programs’ immediate actions and longer-term planning steps.
By Andy Gorvetzian, Central American University (UCA) and Seattle University
When moments of crisis emerge, it is our responsibility as universities who have committed to working with partners in other countries to ensure that we leverage our resources to create awareness of the situation. In this post, Gorvetzian describes advocacy efforts at Seattle University: (1) holding open civic space, (2) statements of solidarity, (3) teach-ins, and (4) publishing articles.
By Ashley Rerrie, Erin Kelly, Eunice Doroni, Katie MacDonald, and Stephanie Hepas
This Spring (2018), Community Service-Learning at the University of Alberta was set to offer a new course – Global Service Learning and Solidarity in Nicaragua. Collaboratively, we reflect on the experience of the trip cancellation and subsequent course and event – The University of Alberta Nicaragua Solidarity Event and Fundraiser.
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