GRAMBLING, LA – President Barack Obama challenged American colleges and universities to take part in a community outreach program coined Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, which calls upon people from various walks of life to come together and find solutions for community disparities. Efforts range from building houses with Habitat for Humanity to mentoring, in addition to building social capital and civility. Recognizing the importance of bridging communities and contributing to a common good, Dr. Rory L. Bedford, Director of Service Learning, Mr. Channing Gaulden, Student Government Association President and Dr. Ellen D. Smiley drafted a proposal for Grambling State University.
Dr. Pogue conveyed his support of Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge by stating, “Grambling State University is an outgrowth of the black community’s desire to provide access to a high quality education; its beginning was tied to a desire to enhance community service. It is only natural that the university’s motto, “the place Where Everybody Is Somebody,” continues to excel in the area of community outreach. The White House initiative underscores our commitment to make good things happen for communities around the world.”
Upon approval a proposal was submitted to The White House and Grambling State University was selected to participate in the Interfaith Challenge, Dr. Bedford selected as chair to on-campus initiatives and Mr. Channing Gaulden as student leader and assistant to Dr. Bedford, and Dr. Smiley as liaison to Dr. Pogue.
Mr. Channing Gaulden was selected to attend the Interfaith Challenge conference at The White House on behalf Grambling State University, “We wanted Channing to attend the meeting because the success of service-learning comes from quality student leadership under the guidance of faculty and staff. Grambling State has been successful in the area of service-learning because of the work and dedication of faculty, staff and students who are committed to giving back to the community,” said Bedford.
SGA President Channing Gaulden expounded, “Not only were the discussions informative, interacting with the White House and university officials stimulated our minds and prepared us for the year of service. Although we reign from different backgrounds and parts of the country, we were unified for a common goal.” Gaulden further stated, “Being in the White House and meeting so many interesting people was a learning experience within itself.”
Grambling State University will launch its interfaith initiatives during the 2011-2012 academic year which seeks to address numerous community issues while promoting university-wide involvement of students, faculty and staff. Students who excel in the programs efforts will be recognized by The White House.
NOTE: Photos attached –
Dr. Frank G. Pogue
Dr. Rory L. Bedford
Mr. Channing Gaulden
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