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Students invited to Ignite the Mission: Advocacy Night


On Mar. 17, Loyola students and members of CCSJ and The York Road Initiative are invited to participate in Ignite the Mission: Advocacy Night. This exciting opportunity allows participants to travel to Annapolis, Maryland to meet with city and state legislators and advocate on behalf of policies that will directly impact residents of the York Road communities and Baltimore at large. Advocacy Night will involve mutual leadership from York Road leaders, and support from Loyola students in promoting policies that support quality schools, housing, and environmental justice.  These discussions will take place with Maryland state elected officials.  

Over the last several years, Loyola has established and cultivated a partnership with the York Road Initiative, a coalition of community members that live and work on the York Road corridor. It meets monthly to focus on education, health, and well-being of the community and its members.  

This partnership, however, is better described as a bond.  It is not a business agreement or a group that lacks ties to our institution. Instead, many members of the York Road Initiative have offices in CCSJ, and those who don’t are community partners, such as the community school leaders at York Road elementary schools, and leaders of initiatives like Soul Kitchen, which provides free meals to those who are hungry in Baltimore.  Furthermore, members of the York Road Initiative can be seen leading the farmer’s market in Loyola’s motorpool lot from June-September and regularly making appearances in CCSJ’s office.  

The people that belong to and represent York Road are intrinsically linked to the university, both personally and professionally. Kyra McDonnell ‘22, a York Road Intern at CCSJ, described the importance of Loyola students supporting York Road residents.

“Through Advocacy Night, Loyola as an institution in our York Road community has an impactful voice and students have an opportunity to support the strong voices in our community,” said McDonnell. “With our support and involvement, we can show our representatives that people are invested in the good of the community, and together we can make a change.”

This is why it is so important that Loyola students contribute to advocacy initiatives like “Ignite the Mission: Annapolis Advocacy Night.” Megan Lynch ‘20, who works as a Student Advocacy and Awareness Intern at CCSJ, is the student-organizer of this initiative. Lynch has succeeded in recruiting over 50 Loyola students to partake in advocacy initiatives in Annapolis that will directly impact Baltimore residents, and emphasized the importance of participating in the upcoming Advocacy Night. 

“While community building is necessary and an important part of CCSJ’s work, advocacy is what makes the necessary changes needed in communities. Many Loyola students have built relationships throughout the course of the year with our neighbors and community partners, but it cannot end there. Advocacy and community must go hand-in-hand with each other,” she said.  

If you are interested in participating in this event, please reach out to Megan Lynch at: [email protected].

Featured Image: Courtesy of The Center for Community Service and Justice

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Students invited to Ignite the Mission: Advocacy Night