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July 31, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
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Nafees Ahmed Nafees Ahmed graduated from Georgetown College in 2012. At the Berkley Center, Nafees was a Research Assistant and Doyle Student Fellow and participated in the Junior Year Abroad Network from...
This blog features an ongoing conversation among Georgetown students, staff, faculty, and community members involved in interfaith service, as well as their efforts to further interreligious understanding and engagement with communities in the Washington, DC area and beyond. The blog supports the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an invitation to institutions of higher education to commit to interfaith and community service programming on campus. Read more about interfaith service at Georgetown here.


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The Corp, Community Service, and the Challenge

October 27, 2011

My Georgetown experience has been marked by a continual striving toward the Jesuit value, “men and women for others.” My professors have shaped my understanding of the world around me, and my duty therein. Along with my Georgetown peers, I have attended numerous classes that taught me of overwhelming poverty, lack of educational opportunity, and crippling disease that takes place around the globe. More poignantly, I’ve learnt of the tragedy that these problems are taking place in our backyards, in Washington, DC, as we learn about them sipping our fancy chai lattés and exchanging text messages under the table on our new iphones.
While the academic classroom provided me with the facts and the impetus to focus on these issues, my passion for them was sparked outside the classroom. I started working for the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs my Freshman year at Georgetown. Through my time here I have witnessed and been a part of the Berkley Center’s commitment to fostering peace through open dialogue between faiths.

I started by working on a project about Muslims in America. Through extensive research, I learnt about the prejudices against this minority group and also the internal challenges they face. However I also learnt how to enact change, I transcribed interviews with leaders who provided hope and methods in which we can all do something to enact positive change.

My Sophomore year at Georgetown I had the great excitement of joining another Georgetown family, the Corp. Once again I see Georgetown ideals through the Corp’s slogan of "Students serving students." From behind the cash register, every Corpie tries to promote happiness and a kind spirit throughout the Georgetown community.

The Corp also promotes their mission through the Corp Philanthropy Committee and the Corp Service and Outreach Committee, which I had the pleasure of partaking in last year. We planned ways to help our Georgetown community, our Washington D.C. community, and our global community. We have a project called Random Acts of Kindness through which we try to put a smile on the faces of our fellow Hoyas.

Once, for example, we distributed bagels and coffee to people heading to early morning classes. On a larger scale, we raised close to one thousand dollars for Pakistan flood relief initiatives.

As a Senior, I am proud to have spent almost four years surrounded by the Georgetown spirit of united humanity, promoting justice and peace, fostering and engaging in service. I know what this school has to offer is unique and that what our student body works for is true and powerful.

I think the President’s President’s Interfaith Challenge is the perfect opportunity to unite as a Georgetown community, prove our commitment to Georgetown’s values, and win recognition for it. President Obama has called for all universities to engage in a national competition to promote interfaith dialogue and organization.

The Challenge is a call to bring faiths together to mobilize on poverty and education, an issue central to all faiths. Combating poverty, being kind, and serving humanity are values that each Georgetown student feels for no matter where their political, social, or religious values may lie. Throughout the year, the challenge will be providing opportunities to participate so that we can show our Hoya spirit to the White House and the rest of America.