Justice Alerts Blog
Nonviolence... Human trafficking... Women... The elderly... Immigrants' rights... Housing... Children... Prisoners' rights... Health care... World Hunger... Globalization, as it affects Latin America... Care of the earth... Seamless ethic of life
The mission of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation ministry is to explore CSA's distinct contribution to the ongoing, nonviolent transformation of the world towards peace, justice and ecology. This work embraces the efforts of sisters, associates, co-workers and others who share the CSA vision. We live out the mission to bring about systemic change by using the lens of nonviolence to focus on the issues of:
- Health care
- Globalization, especially as it affects Latin America
- Seamless ethic of life
Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author's and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members.
On Monday, November 4, President Trump took formal action to start the yearlong process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement brings together almost 200 nations to address climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation efforts, and climate finance.
As the world’s largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, exiting the Paris Agreement is an abdication of our moral responsibility to address climate change and protect vulnerable peoples.
Call or Send a message to your members of Congress and urge them to publicly oppose the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement!
At the ICCR conference this week Sister Ruth Battaglia joined with fellow members of ICCR to hear updates on the work that ICCR and it NGO Allies have been doing over the past year.
Sister Ruth stated, "It is great to see the number of women, over half, doing this work. And even more exciting is the number young women entering into this work. One woman said she had been in the corporate world, but wanted more meaningful work, something that had an impact for a better world."
In an illustration of the work that has been done, ICCR shared the update below:
ICCR Members and NGO Allies Help Move Seven Banks to End Ties with Private Prisons
ICCR members and the Families Belong Together Coalition began engaging U.S. banks in 2017 to highlight the human rights risks of lending to the private prison industry, particularly given an increase in government contracts to detain immigrants as part of the current administration’s controversial immigration policies, including family separation.
In all, ICCR members are engaging a total of thirteen banks on their potential contributions to inmate deaths, poor medical care, allegations of detainee physical and sexual abuse, and violence as a result of their financing of private prisons. All of the existing banking partners of private prison leader GEO Group -- including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, Barclays, and PNC – have now officially committed to ending ties with the private prison and immigrant detention industry.
The stock price for GEO is now near a historic low, and credit rating agency Fitch cited uncertainty over the possibility that additional banks could sever ties with the sector as the rationale for its downgrade of the company from stable to negative.
While CSA is not involved in any resolutions with these banks, we have signed on to letters requesting banks disengage from lending to private prisons.
This coming week, I am traveling to New York to attend the fall conference of the Interfatih Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). As a tidbit of what might be found at the conference here are the details of an event that I will attend on Tuesday evening:
Corporate social license is contingent on community input and consent. How can corporations stand with Human Rights Defenders, ensure their security, and safeguard civic freedoms, including the right to free speech and to protest?
Simon Ostrovsky, our moderator, is a Soviet-born Russian American documentary filmmaker and journalist, known for his coverage of the 2014 crisis in Ukraine. Ostrovsky has won an Emmy Award in 2013 for his work with VICE and his series Russian Roulette was nominated for two Emmys. Ostrovsky is also a recipient of the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award.
Panel presenters include Bennett Freeman from the Institute for Human Rights, Carla Fredericks from First Peoples Worldwide, Nicole Karlebach from Oath: A Verizon Company, and Inès Osman from MENA Rights Group.
I look forward to sharing what I learn with you!
Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment (SGI) is a coalition of faith and values-driven institutional investors who view the management of their investments as a powerful catalyst for social change.
The annual Seventh Generation Conference aims at educating membership on different socially responsible investing tactics, providing an opportunity to network with other members and supporters, and celebrate a year of engagement and growth.
Again this year Marquette Center for Supply Chain Management hosted the event. The theme was Impact Investing: Social Return on Investment. Reverend Seamus Finn, Missionary Oblates Director of Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Board Chair, opened the event with a keynote speech followed by an expert panel discussion and a reception.
The panelists were Sister Dorothy Pagosa – Director for Social Justice, Sisters of St. Joseph – Third Order of St. Francis (moderator), George Hinton – Chief Executive Officer, SDC (Social Development Commission), Greg Lane – CFO, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Salli Martyniak – President, Forward Community Investments, and Ken Vander Weele – Partner and Co-Founder, Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC
Many thing that hunger is about too many people and too little food, but that is not true. Our planet provides enough food to feed every woman, man, and child. Instead, hunger is about power. Its roots lie in inequalities in access to resources. Right now many farmers in poor countries – the people who grow the food the world relies on – don’t have the power to access the resources they need to thrive.
It’s time to take a closer look at the amount of food we throw away. By planning our meals, buying only what we need from the store, and saving our leftovers, we can reduce food waste and conserve resources so that everyone has enough to eat today and tomorrow. When you buy fresh food that’s in season today, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which helps protect everyone’s food supply for tomorrow. A lot of energy is wasted growing food in the wrong place or at the wrong time of year. Find out what grows seasonally near you and then make the smartest choices for your location and budget. Only a small percentage of what we spend on food actually reaches the people who farm and produce it. To help, look for products, brands and restaurants that ensure small-scale farmers and workers get a fair deal.
-Reprinted with permission from the Capuchin Newsletter, October 9, 2019
On Friday, September 27, I had the opportunity to tour Waste Management’s recycling plant in Germantown with members of Sustain Fond du Lac.
The PDF offers recycling guidelines on 2 pages—what is acceptable and what is not. One difference from what is pictured is that the Germantown plant does not accept the lightly waxed milk/juice cartons because they do not have a market to sell them to at this time.
When asked for their 3 top requests of Fond du Lac recyclers they said:
- Do not put recyclable items in plastic bags. They take no plastic bags of any kind.
- Recycle only what is asked for in the guidelines: Be sure that plastic thrown in the recycle bin has the triangle. Only # 1, 2, 4, and 5 plastics are recycled at the Germantown plant. No black plastic.
- Do not “wish” recycle. Do not put in the recycle bin items that do not fit the accepted criteria in hopes that it will get recycled. It will not.
- Rinse food containers
- Keep plastic tops on plastic bottles; take tops off glass bottles
- Paper smaller than 8 ½ by 11 will usually separate out and not be recycled. Envelopes are ok.
- No shredded paper will be accepted.
Sustain Fond du Lac will research places where other materials can be taken for recycling.
We can be grateful for the people at Waste Management that do the sorting on the various conveyers. It is noisy, sometimes dangerous, not very pleasant smelling, and fast work. An additional reason to follow the recycling guidelines is out of respect for these workers who are exposed to whatever people toss in their recycle bins – some pretty gross and unusual things.
Below is additional information:
Waste Management recycling resources, so you can "Recycle Often and Recycle Right." Near the middle of the page they provide different areas for educational materials: residential, business, school, property manager and government.
Waste Management renewable energy projects create enough energy to power more than 470,000 homes annually. Learn more at the Waste Management site.
Climate Strike Today!
Join with the youth of the world in prayer and action for the well-being of this and future generations.
Young people have woken up much of the world with their powerful Fridays For Future school strikes for the climate. Now, millions of adults are joining in a huge wave of that will kickstart renewed action all over the world. The urgency of the climate crisis requires a new approach and a just response centered on human rights, equity, and justice. Follow the actions and join the movement. Read more.
Our faith clearly calls us to feed the hungry. Last year, we worked with Congress to reject cuts to SNAP, our nation's most important food assistance program. NETWORK members helped secure the passage of the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill, a rare bipartisan success in the 115th Congress.
Now, food assistance is at risk--again. The Trump administration proposed a back-door rule change to implement another SNAP benefits cut, one previously rejected by Congress. Oppose this rule by submitting a public comment.
Currently, states can extend SNAP eligibility to low-income families with modest savings and working households if they also have significant expenses for shelter and child care. The new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposal would eliminate this ability for states to broaden their SNAP eligibility.
The USDA proposal would eliminate SNAP benefits for 3.1 million individuals, take free school meals away from the children in those families, and punish people with even meager savings. This USDA rulemaking is an attempt to side step Congress and is outside USDA's authority.
We need your help, once again, to prevent this rule from going into effect!
Public comments on the rule are due by September 23. We need to generate a lot of comments to demonstrate our serious opposition. I have written a sample comment for you to use, but it is important that you take the time to personalize your comment. Try to change or add at least 1/3 of the language so that your comment counts as a unique submission. Prompts
The Sisters of St. Agnes add our voice to NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice calling on Congress to end the inhumanity of the US current treatment of refugees and immigrants.
Inspired by the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching, we honor the dignity of every person. As Pope Francis said: “These are not mere social or migrant issues… Migrants are first of all human persons.” We affirm the sacred human right of all people to seek asylum.
Reduce Funding for Deportation, Detention, and Border Militarization and Support Funding for Refugee Resettlement and Asylum
When determining federal appropriations for FY 2020, we urge Congress to reduce funds for CBP and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations. Refuse to provide any additional funding for a border wall; instead allocate resources to support refugee resettlement and access to asylum.
Keep Families Together and Invest in Alternatives to Detention
We call for an end to family detention this year, by December 2019, and urge Congress to increase funding for less costly, more efficient, community-based alternatives to detention.
Exert Robust Oversight over Detention and Uses of Federal Funding
We urge Congress to require additional inspections of ICE facilities, ensure ICE publishes public weekly reports, and create a detention ombudsperson to strengthen oversight. Congress should also prohibit federal funds from being used to: enforce Muslim or refugee bans, deport or detain DACA, TPS, or DED holders, and carry out immigration enforcement operations at “sensitive” locations including schools, churches, and hospitals.
Today, August 9th, honors the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. We celebrate this day to raise awareness of the needs of Indigenous peoples worldwide, in recognition of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations that was held in Geneva 37 years ago, in 1982.
We are living in a time of climate crisis. As a groundbreaking report by the UN recently noted, “the health of ecosystems on which humans and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.”
Much of the answer to solving this climate crisis lies in the wisdom and knowledge of Indigenous peoples who have long fought at the front lines of environmental threats. Indigenous communities able to draw on traditional wisdom to find solutions that have the potential to help restore our planet. Unfortunately, due to their dependence upon the earth, they are also among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change.