(July 22, 2013)

Centenary student attends competitive Oxfam program

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary rising sophomore Joanna Warren was accepted to the highly competitive Oxfam America CHANGE Initiative program this summer. Warren is one of only 50 students from across the nation invited to participate in the weeklong leadership and advocacy-training program July 20-26 in Boston and the yearlong commitment as a CHANGE leader.

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Joanna, Fall 2012, participating in mock presidential debate

Warren admits not always having a passion for social change, but points to Centenary as a springboard for her new interest.

"The connections I've made with both professors and students at Centenary with similar concerns to my own have pushed me to pursue a more active role in social justice," said Warren. "Without the support at Centenary, my passion for advocacy would have never been ignited."

Another source that helped lead Warren to this program was Santé, a Living Learning Community (LLC) on campus. One of four LLC's at Centenary, Santé is dedicated to overcoming poverty and disease. Upon completion of the training, Warren along with the LLC, will implement at least one Oxfam-specific public advocacy campaign back at Centenary during the school year.

"Oxfam has a great campaign called GROW that focuses on justice surrounding food such as ending hunger and supporting a healthy farm industry internationally. I think it's something a lot of people at Centenary could really get involved with," said Warren. "I find hunger to be one of the most pressing contemporary issues our world faces."

Oxfam America is a global organization committed to ending and creating lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice. The CHANGE Initiative, specifically for undergraduate students, builds participants' leadership skills, advocacy skills, and familiarity with Oxfam's mission—and introduces them to sophisticated and powerful models for social change.