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From recycling to human trafficking, the Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors group is
fighting for awareness and change on our campus and in the Winona community.

“This is more than direct service,” said Colleen Dunne, the director of Campus Ministry
and the advisor for the group. “This is more than serving in the food kitchen line, this is about
creating systemic change that has a global impact.”
Brianna Jacobson, a student leader of this group, wants to advance campus recycling. She
feels that students are not invested in making sure the community is recycling or encouraging
one another to recycle.

John Schollmeier, Director of Physical Plant, said that the garbage and recycling
companies are the same, so if we are not pre-sorting recycling, the company does it, which
results in more cost for the school and students.
As a Student Ambassador for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), headquartered in
Baltimore, Maryland, Jacobson and fellow Student Ambassador, Jordan Malikowski, are planning to work with the campus facility manager to find out more about recycling on campus because, as Malikowski said, “As of right now, we’re not entirely sure what Saint Mary’s does for
recycling.”

One of the first events they have planned for this year is a guest speaker on Global
Solidarity. They are sponsoring speakers from the Lasallian Global Solidarity office in Rome to
talk about Lasallian Education and global change.  This event will take place on November 13,
and all are invited.

Malikowski is interested in having CRS Ambassadors also start a S.O.A.P. project, which
stands for “Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution.”
He described the S.O.A.P. project as putting a phone number for victims of human
trafficking on stickers and placing the stickers on the backs of hotel soap bars. He said they put
the stickers on hotel soap bars because most human trafficking happens in hotels.
The purpose of this project is both to reach out to victims of human trafficking and spread
awareness of human trafficking around the Winona community.

The CRS Ambassadors group has the opportunity to attend a one-day regional training
this fall, where they will learn more about CRS. This year, Catholic Relief Services, CRS
Ambassadors’ mother organization, is hosting its annual regional training in St. Paul on Oct. 20.
This will be CRS Ambassadors’ third year attending this training, and they will take any students
interested in attending.

Jacobson said CRS “is an organization that works with the poorest of poor people” by
focusing on four main categories of help: climate change, migration, human trafficking, and
global hunger. As ambassadors for CRS, all of CRS Ambassadors’ projects also focus on these
four areas of help in order to educate and build awareness on issues of global solidarity in their
own campus and Winona communities.

Human trafficking seems to be a prominent area of help for this group. In their first year
as a group on campus, spring of 2017, they also focused on human trafficking. They did a fair-
trade fair on campus in the plaza, where they sold only fair-trade items. They also had the CRS’s
University representative, Danielle Roberts, speak on the issue of human trafficking on a global
level to build awareness among students and faculty of Saint Mary’s.

CRS Ambassadors meets every other Sunday evening, and encourage students to get
involved. To join, or learn more about CRS Ambassadors, contact Colleen Dunne at
cdunne@smumn.edu.

Jacobson (left), Malikowski (middle), and Dunne (right), in Washington D.C. to learn about CRS and participate in a three-day training to become ambassadors for CRS.

 

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