Hi, my name is Katey Lantto and I am a Social Justice Intern!
The Social Justice Internship program (SJI) is an experiential learning opportunity for students interested in serving the Chicago community at one of two sites: Catholic Charities or Misericordia. The program centers on the values of social justice and community building, and interns spend 250 hours at their internship and class time reflecting on these values and learning how to be more active and just citizens. In class, we look at topics such as allyship, leadership, and asset-based community development as modes of working towards social justice in our world today.
My position in the program is at Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement office as the Job Development intern. This invaluable experience and the SJI program have taught me just how diverse a community Chicago is and where I can stand in it as I continue to work for the ever-evolving cause of justice. Participating in this program has allowed me and my fellow SJIs to engage in conversations about justice issues in the city.
This portfolio exemplifies my growth throught the program and the year, using examples of assignments and projects from throughout the past 9 months. This portfolio will be used as a final reflection of the SJI program and my experience in it.
What is SJI
In centering a program on social justice, one must focus on issues in our community and in society that systematically disadvantage people or that underserve people. Throughout our SJI class time, we focused on topic such as conflict resolution, privilege and oppression, community organizing, and leadership. SJI’s also each got to focus on a social justice issue present in Chicago and these ranged from gentrification to human trafficking in order to confront these realities.
The values prioritized by Catholic Charities match up to the values of Loyola University Chicago, as seen right, in the color coordinated sectors. Values-based leadership leads to more aware and thoughtful organizations and employees, and it provides a better view of social justice initiatives and solutions in the community.