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Mission Week kicks off academic year

Nov 7, 2023
1 min Read
Mass of the Holy Spirit

At the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, Creighton celebrated the annual University-wide Mission Week. This year’s series of campuswide events, held Aug. 25-31, provided the Creighton community the opportunity to gather and reflect upon the University’s unique Jesuit, Catholic heritage and values.

The theme focused on the fourth Universal Apostolic Preference — Caring for Our Common Home. These preferences serve as points of reference guiding the work of the Jesuits and lay colleagues worldwide through 2029.

The keynote address, “Do No Harm: Climate Change, Healthcare and Net Zero Emissions,” invited exploration of the mission-centered call to care for our common home through focused considerations of the healthcare industry’s role in addressing the realities of climate change.

The event was moderated by Scott Shipman, MD, MPH, executive director of Creighton’s new Institute for Population Health and the CyncHealth Endowed Chair for Population Health. Jesse Bell, PhD, Claire M. Hubbard Professor of Water, Climate and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, discussed the health impacts of climate change, emphasizing the opportunity for healthcare to mitigate these effects through institutional net-zero commitments. Shelly Schlenker, executive vice president and chief advocacy officer of CommonSpirit Health, CHI’s parent company, who has made an industry-leading commitment to net-zero emissions by 2040, discussed the mission-based and financial case for healthcare providers to make net-zero commitments.

Creighton also commemorated the 60th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, which took place on Aug. 28, 1963. King’s speech was played in its entirety and was followed by a panel discussion of this landmark event. Panelists included Rev. Portia Cavitt, senior pastor, Clair Memorial United Methodist Church in Omaha; Erika Dakin Kirby, PhD, professor of communication studies at Creighton; and Keith Station, deputy chief of staff for diversity, equity and inclusion for the city of Omaha.

Other highlights included the traditional Mass of the Holy Spirit and presentations by Creighton students, who shared their experiences on how they have incorporated sustainability into their academic work and lives.