2017 Student Leadership Conference – June 27-29, 2017
College of the Holy Cross – Worcester, MA
Theme: Principles in Crisis: Refugees and Responsibilty
The College of the Holy Cross will host the fifth bi-annual student leadership meeting of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN). 
The conference theme, “Principles in Crisis,” references the moral and ethical frameworks, as well as guiding principles, that motivate and channel the global response to human suffering. Humanitarians, across faith traditions, espouse principles like the “humanitarian imperative,” whereby the international community provides assistance wherever it is needed. Simultaneously, the conference theme reminds us that we face dilemmas in the rush to assist; it compels us to consider the consequences of well-intentioned actions and to reflect on the practical meaning of compassionate deeds.
The conference focus topic, “Refugees and Responsibility,” highlights the needs of the displaced. Refugees lie at the heart of humanitarian response, as the conditions that foster displacement – conflict, famine, ecological disaster – signify acute social and political breakdown. Just as refugees are compelled to cross borders by conditions of vulnerability, so too are we morally compelled to respond to human suffering wherever it exists. And yet, with refugees at numbers unseen since World War II, media and political discourses reflect a fraying consensus on the rights of vulnerable populations. This conference surveys efforts, from Syria to South Sudan to Central America, to respond to mass displacement emergencies. It explores the tensions between political systems and humanitarian principles and reflects on our relationship with human suffering.
This website provides useful information for interested conference participants, including the conference agenda and presenters, basic information about the field of humanitarianism, information about Worcester and Worcester’s refugee and immigration services, and information regarding travel and accommodations. Continue to check back, as the website is being updated on a regular basis. As the conference date nears, more speakers and the agenda will be solidified. 
Questions? Contact the conference planning team. We hope you will join us! Please note, this conference is open to students, staff, and faculty in the AJCU network. Apposite community partners, NGOs, and non-profits are also welcome to register.
This conference is sponsored by the Dean’s Office at the College of the Holy Cross and supported by the Donelan Office of Community-Based Learning (Holy Cross), Peace and Conflict Studies (Holy Cross), and theJUHAN network.

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