Advancing God’s Kingdom through Justice Work
Meghan Durán ’15 would say it was divine providence that brought her to Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic (NCLC) of Indianapolis, Ind. One chance encounter with a pastor from Urban Outreach in Indianapolis set her on the path toward becoming program manager for the Victim Justice Program at NCLC.
NCLC is dedicated to promoting justice for immigrants and people of low income. The clinic does so through legal representation and legal education. At its heart, NCLC performs justice work, coupled with an approach that looks at the whole person.
“We advance justice in God’s kingdom by doing justice work,” she says.
Meghan got her start in NCLC the summer after graduating from Bethel with a degree in Intercultural Studies. She began working as an intern performing administrative tasks. It did not take very long before an immigration attorney saw Meghan’s potential and got her started as a bilingual paralegal, serving victims of violent crimes.
She shifted from administrative work to meeting with clients, hearing their stories, and translating documents. That is when Meghan truly understood the impact of NCLC and how the organization does what it does.
“I have always had a strong sense of justice. I want to give voice to the oppressed. It is part of my identity, having a heart for justice,” she explains.
Through training, encouragement, and her supervisor seeing her talent, Meghan became project manager for the Victim Justice Program.
“It did not fit my skill set at the time, but I got the confidence I needed from staff members,” she says.
Whether it’s communicating with volunteers, recruiting new clients, or facilitating a strong relationship with attorneys, Meghan’s day always has something new in store.
After attaining her position at NCLC, Meghan can reflect on her time at Bethel and see how it completely shifted her mindset. Coming in as an Intercultural Studies major, she put herself in a box.
“I had to shift my mindset from ‘What can I do with this major?’ to ‘What can’t I do with this major?'”
Bethel cultivated and broadened her worldview. Professors, international students, and missionary kids she interacted with all gave her a new way of looking at the world. They paved the way for her to see where her heart and passion lies.
“Bethel fostered an environment where people can bring their curiosity. They can be heard, and work through their doubts. I could think deeper and go beyond constraints I built for myself.”
Bethel was a “sounding board” to bounce ideas off of students and professors. She naturally grew as a person because Bethel fostered relationships, in her words, “you wouldn’t find anywhere else.” Bethel opened her eyes to what she cared about, and that passion is found by working toward justice at NCLC every day.