Responding to the Call for Educational Justice

Transformative Catholic-Led Initiatives in Urban Education

Edited by:
L. Mickey Fenzel, Loyola University Maryland
Melodie Wyttenbach, University of Notre Dame

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Achievement. Editor(s): Chance W. Lewis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Published 2018

The work presented in this volume attests to the innovative and successful educational alternatives designed and implemented by Catholic religious groups to improve educational, career, and life outcomes for urban children, adolescents, and adults placed at risk. These efforts have helped thousands of urban citizens break away from the chains of poverty and poor academic preparation to succeed in high school and beyond and secure a place of meaning and influence in adult society. In this volume, we examine the contributions of networks of schools, such as NativityMiguel and Cristo Rey schools in the U.S. and Canada and Fe y Alegría based in South America and operating in multiple countries, as well as more local initiatives. There is much to be learned from these initiatives that can improve urban education and this edited volume provides this opportunity to educators, planners, funders, and others who are inclined to invest in effective urban education.

The perspectives taken in these chapters include current approaches to critical race theory, faith perspectives that promote justice, and the building of social capital and resilience to succeed academically despite considerable adversity associated with economic poverty. The chapters included here explore educational structures that communicate high expectations for student and teacher performance and provide individualized instruction, caring mentoring, and support beyond graduation in order to help develop men and women of confidence, skill, leadership, and integrity and ensure high levels of success in a world that tends to exclude them more than welcome them.

Praise for Responding to the Call for Educational Justice:

"One of the most unheralded, unreported and underappreciated initiatives in education are Catholic schools that are transforming the way that young people are taught. If you have never heard the words 'Cristo Rey,' 'Nativity/Miguel' or 'Fe y Alegria,' prepare to be amazed and delighted by this thorough study of the great benefits these creative and exciting schools bring to us." ~ James Martin, SJ Author of “Jesus: A Pilgrimage” and “The Jesuit Guide”

"During these very troubling times within the Church and the larger society, we need critical voices that are unapologetically committed to eradicating the ideologies and structures of inequality within urban education, yet also speak of hope and possibility. In this very timely volume, Fenzel and Wyttenbach eloquently compile an insightful set of readings that courageously respond to our deep human yearning for freedom and offer us glimpses into a more just and loving world." ~ Antonia Darder, PhD Leavey Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

Foreword, Robert Simmons, III. Preface, L. Mickey Fenzel. Introduction, L. Mickey Fenzel, and Robert J. Helfenbein. Early Initiatives: Nativity and Nativity, Miguel Schools, L. Mickey Fenzel. A Critical Race Theoretical Examination of the Cristo Rey Network, Ursula S. Aldana and Sajit U. Kabadi. Transforming the Mission of St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark: The Benedictine Practice of Adaptive Re-Use, Paul E. Thornton. The Catalyst Model: Catholic Inspired Urban Charter, Mike Fehrenbach and Ed Siderewicz. Graduate Support: Ensuring High Levels of Educational Attainment for NativityMiguel Graduates, L. Mickey Fenzel and Melodie Wyttenbach. Learning to Thrive through a Coalition of Mission-Aligned Schools, Terry Shields. Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps: Deploying Volunteers to Improve the Education of Urban Children, Peter Litchka. Editor’s Introduction to Fe y Alegría, L. Mickey Fenzel. The System of Quality Improvement of Fe y Alegría: An Alternative View of Quality Education, Elizabeth Riveros Serrato (Translated by Holly A. Schneider). “Homeboys Is Hope”: Responding to the Call for Social Justice in Urban Education, Mauricio Arocha and Jill Bickett. About the Authors.