The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Bridging the secular and sacred

Students lead advocacy efforts at ELCA schools

In January, chapel staff at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., hung posters around campus advertising an advocacy meeting about social justice issues. Forty students showed up. “We were floored,” said junior Kari Lenander. “People were excited about advocacy even though they didn’t know exactly what we were doing.”

Thirteen Augustana students attended training at the March 2006 Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. As a result, the group will host a retreat to train others on campus about advocacy this fall. Students also sent 75 letters to the U.S. Congress urging legislators to devote more money toward global development.

Augustana isn’t alone. In the past year, 15 ELCA colleges, universities and seminaries created advocacy teams. Two other schools had previously existing teams. Thirteen of them received $300 ELCA grants to start their efforts. Advocacy teams work to change public policy by writing letters to the editor, visiting government officials and raising awareness among their peers.

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February issue


Embracing diversity