“Reflections on CBL after a Semester in Washington,” Christian Realbuto ’20

I recently spent last fall semester in Washington, D.C. There, I was fortunate to witness the legislative angle of service, and get a sense of how lawmakers, government agencies and interest groups alike interact to fight for those in need.

Many of the programs, talks, formal events, and happenings around D.C. are designed primarily around the focus of enacting social good. In fact, some of our community partners may even interact with the federal programing and funding that gets discussed on Capitol Hill. Here, agencies are grappling with questions like: how much money should we allocate for this federal grant? Is this government program still working and feasible? Does this issue affect our constituency? What government agencies are currently playing a role in confronting this issue?

Unfortunately, however, far more political topics end up taking hold of Washington, and the greater media landscape as a whole drowns out a lot of these critical questions. Amidst this reality, I believe CBL can be a source of comfort and inspiration for anyone grappling with questions of social justice. In CBL, we are constantly exchanging stories and perspectives that, in my opinion, are critical to engaging with a globalized, empathetic, and critical view in our communities.

Notably, the Washington, DC media landscape offers its viewer a fair share of dramatized, “us versus them,” reactions to American politics. However, I think that when it comes to gaining a perspective on social justice issues, Holy Cross’s CBL program is an incredible place to start, and build an informed lens amidst today’s faced-paced society.

Often, I would find myself wondering what Washington politics would be like if our elected leaders committed themselves to a CBL program as well. Perhaps they might partake in the same gifts we exchange with our community partners – the beauty of listening and experiencing perspectives that differ from our own day-to-day.

It is so wonderful to be back on the Worcester Hill, and be around the incredibly impactful CBL community here at Holy Cross again!

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