Kevin Ryan is a father, husband, child advocate, blogger and sometime runner. He arrived at Covenant House as a young lawyer in 1992 to provide legal aid to homeless youth and he now leads Covenant House International, one of the largest charities in the Americas dedicated to serving homeless youth, and ending child trafficking.
Founded in 1972, Covenant House’s work has been recognized with several of the world's most distinguished human rights awards, including the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award, the WOLA Human Rights Prize and the Olof Palme Peace Prize. Kevin describes Covenant House as a movement.
He and his Covenant House team have expanded the movement to 31 cities and 6 countries, most recently opening new Covenant Houses in Chicago, Asbury Park and Berkeley in 2017. Kevin is leading an aggressive expansion to end youth homelessness, which saw Covenant House reach 80,000 children and youth in 2017.
To support this expansion, Kevin and his team have built an international Sleep Out movement, involving thousands of participants across the United States and Canada who raise funds to house, feed and help homeless youth.
He championed groundbreaking research with Loyola University and the University of Pennsylvania, shaped by 911 interviews with homeless youth in 13 cities across Canada and the United States, which revealed in 2017 that 1 in 5 homeless youth has survived human trafficking.
Kevin previously served as the first public Child Advocate in New Jersey and the first commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, as well as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. He drafted some of the State's most important laws for youth, including the New Jersey Homeless Youth Act and the Foster Care Scholars Act.
His first book, Almost Home, a collaboration with former New York Times reporter Tina Kelley, became a national best seller in the Fall of 2012. The book tells the stories of 6 teenagers as they faced homelessness, violence and heartbreak in search of a place to call home. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Kevin to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2018, Kevin joined President Trump in the Oval Office to witness the signing of new human trafficking legislation that Kevin and Covenant House had championed for many years.
He is a graduate of Catholic University, Georgetown Law Center and NYU Law School. A former Skadden Fellow and Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School, Kevin's numerous media appearances on behalf of children include the TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, MSNBC, EWTN, Good Morning America and two stints on 60 Minutes. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Clare. Together they have 6 Ryan children.
Lecture 1: From Homeless to HopeLecture 1: Q&A Session
Lecture 2: Stop the Trafficking: Home and Hope for Homeless YouthLecture 2: Q&A Session
Lecture 3: The Humanitarian Crisis Confronting Children in Central AmericaLecture 3: Q&A Session
Lecture 4: Helping Homeless Youth Amidst COVID-19
Rev. William J. Barber II, D. Min.
“It’s About Right and Wrong”
The Vincentian Center for Church and Society appointed Rev. William J. Barber II, D. Min. as the holder of the St. John’s University Chair of Social Justice 2018-19. St. John’s warmly welcomed the Rev. Dr. Barber and willingly opened its ears to his challenging and empowering moral message which emerges from his Christian foundation. Below are YouTube links to his past lectures:
Lecture 1: America, America, What's Going On?
Lecture 2: Reading the Signs of the Times: What does the November Election say about America?
Lecture 3: What's going on with the War Economy and Militarism?
Lecture 4: "With God Some Things Never Change"
Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Lectures
Presented at the Vincentian Convocation during Founder's Week
Rev. Joseph G. Fitzgerald, C.M., Ph.D., S.T.D. ‘01C, ‘09G
Executive Secretary of the National Coordination of Indigenous Ministry (CONAPI)
“Hope from the Margins: The Prophetic Witness of Indigenous Peoples”
Margaret M. Fitzpatrick, S.C., Ed.D., President, St. Thomas Aquinas College
and Member of the Board of Trustees, St. John’s University
“What Must Be Done?”
Most Reverend John O. Barres, S.T.D., J.C.L., D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
Reverend Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., Ed.D.“The Heart of Vincentian Higher Education”
The Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy, Bishop of San Diego, CA
Reverend John Rybolt, C.M.“Vincentian Social Justice”
Sr. Louise Sullivan, D. C., Ph.D. Professor Emerita,
Foreign Languages, Niagara University “The Vincentian Mission of Justice and Charity: a Seventeenth-Century Vision for the Twenty-First Century”
Most Reverend David O’Connell, C.M. , Bishop of Trenton, New Jersey“Be Vincentian!”
Most Rev. Timothy M. Dolan, Ph.D., Archbishop of New York “Vincent de Paul, A Saint for Yesterday and Today”
Patricia P. de Nava, past president of AIC (Association Internationales des Chariteَs), Liaison from the Association of International Charity [AIC] to the Vincentian Family and Vincentian Commission for promoting Systemic Change“Vincentian Family and Systemic Change”
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D., Bishop of Brooklyn, NY“Migration Today: A Social Justice Issue”
Dr. John Edward Sexton, Ph.D., J.D., President, New York University
“Faith in/and the University”
Most Reverend Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations“The Church, the United Nations and Integral Development”
Very Rev. G. Gregory Gay, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and Daughters of Charity“A Passion for Justice”
S. Evelyne Franc, DC, Superioress General of the Daughters of Charity“Toward a Civilization of Love and Justice”
Peter Steinfels, Ph.D., “The New York Times”“Pacem in Terris: A Retrospective”
Very Rev. Thomas F. McKenna, CM, Provincial Superior, Eastern Province, Congregation of the Mission“People of the Scarred Coin”
Rev. Bryan Massingale, St. Francis Seminary, WI“Tribalism or Solidarity? The Challenge of the 21st Century”
Dr. Dolores Leckey, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University“A Spirituality for Jubilee Justice”
Rev. David Hollenbach, SJ, Professor Moral Theology, Boston College“The Common Good and Urban Poverty”
Most Reverend Howard Hubbard, Bishop of Albany, NY“Charity and Justice within the Gospel and the Church’s Social Teaching”
Dr. Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law
“Social Justice and Human Rights”
Rev. Bryan Hehir, Harvard Divinity“The Ministry of Human Rights and Catholic Higher Education”