Marist Praxis Project for Public/Global Citizenship

Public Praxis
Public Praxis team to Haiti, Spring 2011


                                                     Coming soon...                   Tribute to Bruce as
                                                   Kolkata children's                       he retires. 
                                              drawings and photographs         

occupy splash                         young girl                                Bruce Luske


"The first aim and mission of any institution of education has to be to forge responsible, thoughtful, critical, competent citizens."
-Benjamin R. Barber

Children being taught
Joseph and Matt - Haiti Praxis Team

"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems."
-Mohandas Gandhi

"I believe that despite the enormous odds which citizens, to find the real truth of our lives and our society is a crucial obligation...and is, in fact, mandatory."
-Harold Pinter, dramatist

"Today's real borders are not between nations, but between powerful and powerless, free and fettered, privileged and humiliated."
-Kofi Annan

"And it is equally a mistake to place inactivity above action, for...the activity of the just and wise is the realization of much that is noble."

Child hugging Marist student
Child with coloring book

Calcutta street child first time coloring                                                                                    Kit with child - picture taken by youth at orphanage.

Students can earn a Minor in Public Praxis!
Check the Public Praxis Brochure for more information.

As an academic response to the social disintegration characterizing much of present public life, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies together with the Department of Sociology has established an interdisciplinary minor in Public Praxis. Committed to fully engaged learning, global awareness, solidarity with those subject to injustice, and public work with a view toward a more just and humane world, the Minor requires students to integrate work for the common good and scholarship, with critical reflection and analysis. A Capping course provides an opportunity for students to initiate, work out all details, and institutionalize (establishing in some on –going form) their own project.

A typical Praxis assignment requires a student to:

  • Engage in at least twelve hours of public work (about two hours per week for six weeks)
  • Keep a journal of critical reflections about the Praxis experience
  • Attend two one-hour roundtable discussions with other Praxis participants
  • Produce a public document that integrates the public work experience with theoretical research, and contributes to public consciousness.

Students usually find the Praxis experience rewarding, because it is an "eye opener" to a vast array of community needs and public work opportunities, and because the "real world" relevance of class readings and theoretical research often becomes quite vivid. Sometimes, students discover commitments to community work that long outlast the deadlines for their Praxis assignments.

The MPP has been honored by the Templeton Foundation as one of the best programs in the country for promoting citizenship. It is also cited on the Princeton Review website as one of the best things about Marist College from a student's perspective.

With appreciation to former Projectkeeper, Dr. Greg Moses, for his contribution to this text and for his seminal work with the Marist Praxis Project.

Global Praxis Site in Les Cayes, Haiti
Haiti public work at HELO (Home Education Love Opportunity)
orphanage, and care and advocacy at recently opened Restavek House (for rescued child slaves).

Girl on ground 
A restavek
Girl with red bow                      Hug

             Domtila Alchola holding girl under red bow.                                 Joseph Berkes deeply connecting with former restavek boy.
Children painting                       Children hugging Marist student 
      Sharon McDowell at table with orphanage artists.                                                  Dwajuana Stokes being hugged.


           Child being held                        Jen holding baby

      Elisabeth, co-founder of orphanage, taking in baby with                Jennifer Klipper holding baby Saphira (see Jen's children's

       Jen along side (Jen later adopts baby's support)                              story - click on left column Public Scholarship link)                                                                                                                                                                                                         

       Group picture                                                      Students at table

        Dr. Paul Farmer - inspiration to the                                                      Praxivist students at Eleanor Roosevelt Medal Ceremony
        MPP with Domtila, Elisabeth, Joseph                                                   honoring Dr. Paul Farmer
        and Jeff on the left and Jorden on the right.            


"Haiti: the Power of Praxis and Solidarity" by Matthew Wilk with Joseph Berkes

2011 Silver Fox Award, first place; finalist Upstate Theatre Regional contest.

To be posted:

  • Video of Haiti Solidarity Day with speakers, displays, events 2010.


Praxivist Press - Haiti

Newsletter - Praxis Work in Haiti


Statement from exiled Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide


Global Praxis Site at Sree Durga dump in Kolkata

Praxivist Visit Kolkata Booklet 

See Calcutta Journal at

Calcutta Blogs


Most pictures taken by Sree Durga youth.


sreedurgayouth boysinuniforms
Children lay baby in sidewalk shrine. New uniforms for school
award winning photo boy with serious expression
Children holding children Boy from Sree Durga dump

 ladies with red paint            Artwork    

        A moment of solidarity among women                                                                                      
             Lindsay, Kamini, and Sharon                                                              Painting by a young artist from the Sree Durga Project




Next public work visit to Sree Durga dump, March 10 - 18, 2012
Please see Global Praxis Projects link in left column for more information.

Calcutta Children's/Sree Durga Project Newsletter -pictures and text of the 2009 public praxis visit to the families living and working at the Sree Druga dump in Kolkata, India. Support from Marist community helps with health and other needs, and sends children to school. We want to send teens for vocational training, as well, to open up opportunities for them.

If you would like to contribute, and/or participate in the Project

Many Paths, One Tribe Interfaith Project

Many Paths One Tribe is a Public Praxis Project of pre-med adult student, Sharon McDowell, is dedicated to fostering an attitude of respect, acceptance, even solidarity for all people of good will practicing their faith-paths. Please visit site at

What is "Higher" Education For?

What is "Higher" Education For? Purpose, Praxis, and the Public Good - A Case for Equipping Students for Public/Global Citizenship; CTE presentation with Mar Peter-Raoul, Joseph Zeppetello, and Bruce Luske, October 7 2009.

Presentation on Equipping Students for Public/Global Citizenship

In left column, click on:
course listings; praxis sites;
Student's Citizen Journals;
public scholarship

What is "Higher" Education For? - Text Version

Example of student public scholarship, "The Sex-Slave Tragedy" see public scholarship link on left for other social booklets.

CORE Proposal - "Harvard on the Hudson?"