Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New ORB Care Blogger: Kristie Bergin!

Chris: Hello! Sorry for the lack of posts the last few months, but I hope to restart updating regularly, with various posters contributing different perspectives. I have asked college student Kristie Bergin to have a regular blog column, and if you know anything about Kristie, you know this is a treat. This is a person who spends all her spring breaks and summer vacations on service trips, organizes service events at college, and has attended numerous conferences and retreats concerning social justice. She's a cool gal.

Check out the blog regularly to see what she has to say:

I should probably introduce myself before I start this entry. My name is Kristie Bergin. I'm a junior at Cabrini College, which is right near Philadelphia. I've been a part of various ministries at Outreach Red Bank for almost 5 years now and feel extremely blessed because of it.

Chris has asked me to become a regular contributor to the ORB Care blog to offer my views about service and social justice. My interest in this stuff started only three years ago when, in my senior year of high school, I took a global issues course taught by an amazing woman who has truly dedicated her life to service. Since coming to college, that interest has turned into a passion.

On campus, I'm a Catholic Relief Services Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, which means I act as an advocate, educator, and event planner for all things HIV. In addition, I'm a social work major and have spent the last 2 months interning at a day homeless shelter. I've been to West Virginia for a service trip and to Ecuador for an immersion trip. I've attended numerous conferences and retreats concerning social justice and have done a good amount of independent study on the matter. As a result, my friends and family find it hard to get me to stop talking about social justice once I've started.

As you have probably noticed, I used the phrase "social justice" quite a few times. It is a phrase I use often, probably everyday, and I'll use it many times in my future blog posts. But what does that phrase mean?

I'm not an expert, and this is not an exact definition, it's just what I've come up with in the past two years whenever I'm asked to define or explain the term. For me, social justice is the endless pursuit of equality and justice for each person in this world. A person who truly seeks social justice does so with an open heart and open mind, with the vision of a world without hunger, preventable disease, and war. The person embraces solidarity and works to empower the afflicted to become advocates of social change. They remember that God did not create the world so that it could be separated or divided by borders. Meaning, social justice is not limited to one country or one continent.

Most importantly, social justice is something that everyone can practice. It doesn't require a career change or much time out of our daily routines. There are simple ways to make a big difference. Of course, if you wanted to change your career to something like social work, I would not be one to oppose :)

I told you it would be hard for me to stop talking about this stuff once I've started. Now that you understand where I'm coming from, I hope you'll read more and think about your role in the pursuit of social justice. At the end of each post, I'm going to insert a quote from a leader in social justice and one way you can make a difference.

Thanks for reading!

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
Mother Teresa

Simple social justice tip of the day:
Instead of using all your computer time on facebook, go to Here you can donate 10 grains of rice for each correct answer to vocabulary, math, geography, or language questions. Teachers and tutors, tell your students and infuse service into your curriculum!