Uniting Hearts: Paving The Way To Financial Freedom

The “Uniting Hearts: Paving the way to Financial Freedom” campaign is being held from Nov. 10- Nov. 18 and will direct initiatives to foster dialogue on how to become financially responsible. 

“It’s important for us to educate students on financial literacy and how to practice financially responsible behaviors,” said Dr. Mark Congdon, a professor at Sacred Heart in the School of Communication and Media Arts (SCMA). 

The campaign has been planned by Congdon’s Advertising & PR Writing and Advertising and PR Campaigns courses at SHU as well as students in Dr. Robert Chatt’s Financial Management course at Westfield State University, and graduate students in the strategic communication and public relations (SCPR) program at Sacred Heart. 

“The goal here is to give students as much agency and control in terms of designing the campaign, implementing the campaign, creating the materials, and communicating with our various community partners,” said Congdon. 

This semester, the campaign’s community partners include SCMA, PRSSA, Multicultural Center,  Office of Volunteer Programming and Service Learning, Office of Graduate Student Affairs, MBA Program, WSU’s TRIO Support Services Program, and the Hord Foundation. 

“The Hord Foundation provides scholarships to BIPOC communities, which aligns with our mission,” said Congdon. 

This campaign is a part of the ‘Uniting Hearts’ initiative that launched last semester. 

“The Uniting Hearts initiative is a way to spread diversity and inclusion awareness not only in our Sacred Heart community, locally, and now on a more global scale,” said Leela Gallucci, graduate student at Sacred Heart and Multicultural Affairs Graduate Assistant. 

Last semester, students in Congdon’s courses implemented the “Uniting Hearts: Celebrating Differences Through Allyship” campaign. 

“Oftentimes class work is all hypothetical, but seeing all the hard work I did come to fruition and make an impact on the Sacred Heart community was an amazing experience,” said senior Maeve St. Onge, a member of last semester’s Advertising and PR Campaigns course and a CLA for this semester’s course.

Last semester’s campaign was a success. Congdon and students are hoping that this semester’s campaign is as well. 

“Students, through that campaign, who reported ‘a commitment to diversity being an important priority’ increased by 15%,” said Congdon. 

This semester, Congdon, Chatt, and Robert Johnson, Director of Multicultural Affairs, wanted to focus on financial literacy.

“Rob Johnson had a desire to do something related to financial literacy, because he found students that he talks to and students that utilize his services really need help understanding things like student loans,” said Congdon. 

There are many events covering many different aspects of financial literacy taking place during this two-week campaign. On Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in Thea’s Abbey there will be “Food For Thought: A Cultural Kickback and Discussion on Food Insecurity and Food Budgeting. The event will also be live streamed on the SHU Multicultural Center’s Instagram.

 “I’m really excited for that event because it’s something different that we don’t usually do at Sacred Heart,” said Gallucci.

On Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. there will be a virtual student loans panel. “The Domino Effect Examining the $1.7 Trillion Student Loan Crisis” will be held via Zoom. 

“We have a lot of great panelists,” said Congdon. “It’s also going to be virtual so students at Westfield State can attend.” 

For a full list of events, visit https://bit.ly/Fall2021_UnitingHeartsEvents

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