Tuesday, August 11, 2015

STU Hosts “MetroTown” Diversity Leadership Camp

St. Thomas University’s Center for Community Engagement – in collaboration with the MCCJ – once again hosted  the 2015 MetroTown Summer Camp, an intensive, six-day residential camp focused on developing young leaders from across Miami-Dade County. A group of 45 high school students from across Miami-Dade County came to St. Thomas University's campus in July to build community ties and gain skills for cross cultural teamwork with the aim of resolving conflict and living peacefully in an increasingly diverse society. MCCJ, formerly known as the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, is one of the oldest and most respected diversity training organizations in Florida. Other MetroTown partners included the Miami Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the Miami-Dade Children’s Trust.

During the camp, students engaged in honest dialogue on topics that are often considered taboo by many cultures, such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, orientation, and socio-economic status. St. Thomas University’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) staff served alongside MCCJ staff as hosts and counselors of the camp, while introducing the students to the opportunities for community-engaged learning at the university. Among the many community engagement programs coordinated by CCE are a partnership between the University and coffee farmers in Port-au-Paix, Haiti; working with farmworkers; and assisting students in schools in the Miami-Gardens community.

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