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No borders for Loyola faculty when it comes to serving educational needs

Loyola press release - March 25, 2015

There are no borders for Loyola University New Orleans faculty when it comes to serving in education and human rights. William P. Quigley, J.D. '77, College of Law professor, has been appointed as an international co-dean of the School of Law and Political Science at the Université Fondation Dr. Aristide (UNIFA) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Quigley joins professor Jeffrey Brand, J.D., of the University of San Francisco School of Law, as an international co-dean for the law school in Haiti.

Social justice is one of the main principles of UNIFA, which has more than 1,000 students enrolled in their schools of medicine and nursing. The School of Law is in its second year.

Quigley made his first visit to Haiti in 2004 as part of a human rights trip organized by Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. They went to check on the conditions in the country after finding that a coup had disposed of elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. However, it was Catholic priest and outspoken human rights advocate Pere Gérard Jean-Juste who was constantly being arrested for speaking out, that drew Quigley to keep coming back. Though Jean-Juste passed away in 2009 after Quigley helped him get out of Haiti for cancer treatment in Miami, he has continued to visit for human rights trips, including following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Most recently Quigley taught a two-day seminar to 40 law students on social justice lawyering earlier this month.

From his many trips to Haiti, Quigley has observed that there is a need for respect from other countries in order for justice to be served.

"Haiti's greatest need is for the U.S. and the rest of the international community to treat them with dignity and respect. Many individuals and organizations are very generous with much needed and much appreciated charitable efforts, but in addition to those, Haiti needs justice," Quigley said.

Similar to Loyola and its Jesuit identity, UNIFA aims to serve in education to all without discriminating. Quigley hopes to carry this mission on as co-dean so that justice can be served. Uniting under this mission will be a learning experience on both sides.

"Like Catholic liberation theology, UNIFA has a preferential option for the poor and a commitment to social justice,” Quigley added

“As co-dean of UNIFA School of Law, I am hoping to help get more U.S. law professors to volunteer to go to Port-au-Prince to give lectures and teach and connect with our sisters and brothers in Haiti. We have both a lot to teach and a lot to learn from these kinds of connections"