Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell, J.D., director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education, discussed the importance of service, at her WorldView presentation on October 21.
Girton-Mitchell provides leadership to help meet the goal of engaging community-based organizations, both faith-based and secular in building a culture of high expectations and support for education. She also works as part of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to implement its mission in cooperation with the Centers for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at 12 other federal agencies.
Trinity’s participation in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge is part of that collaborative initiative. For more than two years, Trinity students and students from local Muslim faith communities have worked side by side on improvements to the Cal Sag Trail.
“In the act of working together, you build relationships you may never have built because you find a common denominator,” said Girton-Mitchell.
She explained that in the first two years of the challenge, campuses reported that over 100,000 students and 250,000 staff, faculty, and community members participated in interfaith service initiatives. The work of Trinity students was part of the more than 152 million hours reported.
“Trinity is like a tree trunk,” said Girton-Mitchell, “and others are like branches helping to serve the community.”