The Center for Civic Engagement and Service began in 2015 as a natural extension of the School’s mission to put Catholic faith in action through service. The Center was developed to educate and prepare students interested in the fields of law, political science, non-profit work, community activism, environmental studies, public policy, government service, and beyond.
Since the inception of this Center, we have heeded to the call for more collaboration to foster diversity, equality and inclusion in our community and our world. Topics such as racism, discrimination, bias, and gender equity require probative examination and curricular illumination. It has become evident that the Center for Civic Engagement and Service needs a broader and more wide-reaching focus to fulfill its intended mission. The Center has thus been renamed the Center for Social Justice. It will now house the Civic Engagement and Service curriculum as well as other areas of Catholic Social Teaching and Social Justice not yet explored.
The Center for Social Justice will begin with core community beliefs, such as our obligation to defend the lives and dignity of marginalized and vulnerable persons. The curriculum has historically examined concepts including order, authority, principle, common good, freedom, service, and individual rights. With a refined lens, Center participants will get to question the practical implications of those ideals in past, present, and future contexts. Can all people afford to pursue peace and justice in the same way? Are there imperatives we must embrace to find common ground in shared humanity? If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, what responsibilities and sacrifices must we each accept to ensure the common good?
For those who opt to join the Center for Social Justice and pursue concentrated studies in this realm, as well as all Marianapolis community members united by our mission to love unconditionally, we look forward to this curricular evolution and to working together towards social justice for all.
Click here to learn more about the Centers of Excellence program.
Marianapolis welcomes the implementation of the SHIELD program. Students Honoring Inclusion, Equity, Love, and Diversity will be a student-driven effort to foster a safe, resonant experience for every single Golden Knight in our community. Veteran teacher, Department Chair, and Senior Class Dean, Dr. Joseph Parodi-Brown will lead this effort.
SHIELD is committed to engaging in the conversations that occur at MPrep, propelling the concepts of inclusion, equity, love, and diversity into practice. As a newly articulated facet of our community life, all students are invited to help us navigate how SHIELD integrates into – and advances - school culture.
SHIELD will be centered in the conference space on the hallway adjacent to the dining hall and chapel stairs. Throughout the year, you'll find SHIELD engaged in activities and programs that enhance the lived experience of our school.
As we know, the mission of Marianapolis Preparatory School is to educate students in the Catholic tradition of academic excellence, with a commitment to an active faith in God and a dedication to building character with content, compassion, and integrity.
This mission couples well with our theme for the year, “We Are Called.” Every member of our community has much to offer one another and our world at large. SHIELD puts the call into action, basing itself in our community values, highlighting a commitment to Catholic social justice teachings and making an impact at the interpersonal level. SHIELDpromotes an environment where every community member is known, nurtured, and loved through education, reflection, and action.
The Knight’s shield is deliberately and ideally emblematic of the program. The double cross on the Golden Knight’s shield pays homage to the Lithuanian coat of arms, and thereby school heritage and history. The shield itself represents safety – actively fostered and inherently deserved – for those within its protection. Participants in SHIELD are called to welcome all fellow Golden Knights with open arms, and together, help move forward the mission of inclusion in our contemporary moment.
Dr. Parodi-Brown is available in his office when he is not in class or advisory. Stop by to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions. You can also email him at email@example.com.
In his capacity as Director of SHIELD, Dr. Parodi-Brown oversees all Marianapolis' D.E.I efforts including Guiding Knights. This is a program through which mentors - many of whom are alums of MPrep - will help support current BIPOC students and allies. The Guiding Knights will strive to foster a safe and supportive space to discuss their experiences and perspectives.
Marianapolis is committed to continuing to educate ourselves and the community; we will listen, learn, and grow to bolster each and every student experience. The Guiding Knights program is supported by the Alumni Office, Counseling Office, and the Deans' Office.