PURPOSE AND SCOPE: To empower students to become more engaged citizens by combining “real life” and academic understandings of the social problems of Wyoming Valley.  The Social Justice Leadership Project (SJLP) involves conversations with local nonprofit heads, political leaders, and persons affected by poverty; individualized volunteer placements; suggested participation in a Wilkes-Barre-based FallSERVE trip; and (for those seeking credit) enrollment in Fr. Dan Issing’s “Theology of Service” course (THEO 269).     

CERTIFICATE AND CREDIT OPTIONS: Students have the option of enrolling in the project as a certificate program only or also to receive credit.  To receive credit students must take Fr. Daniel Issing’s “Theology of Service” (THEO 269) in the spring of 2017.

WHEN: The SJLP will take place throughout the 2016-2017 school year, but will have distinct focuses each semester (see below).  You must apply by Sept. 14, 2016 to be considered for the '16-'17 school year; an application form is available here: 

Fall 2016

  • Engage in a “Social Justice Walking Tour” of Wilkes-Barre City that touches on the social, economic, and racial problems facing the city.
  • Receive specialized volunteer placements in local nonprofit agencies based on student interests (10-15 hours total).
  • Participate in the suggested Wilkes-Barre-based FallSERVE trip in October 12-15.  Students will reside at 187 N. Franklin St. and do service and hear presentations at a variety of area institutions including the State Correctional Institute at Retreat, Wyoming Valley Drug and Alcohol Agency, the Catherine McCauley Center, and the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation.

Spring 2017

  • Students doing the project for credit will take Fr. Dan Issing’s “Theology of Service” course.
  • Participate in a series of personal conversations and community panel discussions with local political leaders, nonprofit directors, case managers, and persons experiencing poverty, homelessness and racism in our community.
  • Student volunteer placements may continue based on student choice.

MUST I PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SJLP EVENT?  No, but you must take part in a minimal number of events to receive the SJLP certificate.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?  HOW DO I APPLY?  All undergraduates may participate in this project.  To apply, fill out the SJLP application form here: 


Please return to Bill Bolan at the Shoval Center (email to: Final applications are due by September 14, 2016.  Due to limited space, participation in this program may be capped at 8-10 total students.


 FALL 2015 SCHEDULE (for reference—to be updated for 2016-2017)

Thursday, Oct. 1, 8:30pm: FallSERVE and SJLP Orientation Meeting, Shoval Center

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 8:30pm: 2nd FallSERVE Orientation Meeting, Shoval Center

Wed, Oct. 14—Sat., Oct. 17: FallSERVE Trip

Oct. 19—Oct. 30—Set up volunteer placements with Bill Bolan at Shoval Center

Wed. Oct. 28, 4pm: Meeting with Bill Jones, President and CEO, United Way of Wyom. Valley, Shoval Ctr

Tues., Nov. 17, 5:00—6:00pm: Panel discussion and Dinner on Homelessness and Poverty, Postupak Room

Wed, Dec. 2, 4:00pm: Meeting with Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, Wilkes-Barre City Hall

Sun., Dec. 13: End of Semester Dinner

SPRING 2016 SCHEDULE (for reference—to be updated for 2016-2017)

Tues., Jan. 26, 7pm—Screening and discussion of film “The Other Side of Immigration” (1 hour--Shoval Center)

Tues., Feb 9, 7pm—“Are We Living in a Post-Racial Society?”—King’s Campus Discussion (Campus Center--Fitzgerald Room)

Sat., February 20, 9am—4pm—Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Project (68 Barnes Street; Ashley, PA)

Tues., March 1, 4pm—“Crime in Wilkes-Barre”—Presentation by Pat Rushton, former W-B Police Captain & current Victims Resource Center Outreach Manager (Shoval Center)

Wed., March 23, 4pm—Activity w/children at Center of the Village Afterschool Program

Tues., April 5, 7pm—Lecture--“Old Poison in New Bottles: How Racism Thrives in Integrated Schools and Why This Is a Problem of Justice” Dr. Derrick Darby (Burke Auditorium)

Thurs., Apr., 7, 8:00am—12:30pm—TENTATIVE: Tour and Conversation with Staff and Inmates at State Correctional Institute at Retreat, PA

Thurs, April 21, 4pm—“Domestic Violence in Wilkes-Barre”—Presentation by Louise Keller, Domestic Violence Service Center (Shoval Center)

Tues, April 26, 5pm—Info Session for 2016-2017 and final dinner

For more info contact Bill Bolan at the Shoval Center (; 570-208-8058)