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Bending the Arc references a quote by Rev. Dr. King who said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” This twice-monthly digital newsletter from the CSA Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation office showcases the work of changemakers, opportunities to learn, and opportunities for you to help “bend the arc” toward justice. Full contents of the newsletter are published on this page. 
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Archive for the "Equity & Human Dignity" Category

Celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month!

May 09, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Reflect and celebrate the important role AANHPIs have played in our shared history.

You are encouraged to explore the many resources available online or find and attend events in your area. The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh, WI has the current exhibit, Mao Lor: A Journey through Hmoob Paj Ntaub and Suitcase from Niam: Khoom Phij Cuam. May 19, 2024, is Hmong Celebration Free Day. Free programs during the day include a panel discussion with the artists and curators of this exhibition; dance and musical performances; and artmaking workshops. As the day begins, free food will be served while supplies last. All ages are encouraged to attend. No reservation is necessary.


Learn more here

You may also wish to visit the federal website for other interesting stories, events and resources.

Tunnel of Oppression

April 11, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

During the week of April 15, the Fond du Lac campus of Moraine Park Technical College invites the community to walk through a “Tunnel of Oppression.” Tunnel of Oppression features the emotionally immersive experience of a live interactive theater in a safe environment. Groups can request a facilitated debrief by contacting Leslie Laster at Some content may be difficult for younger viewers.

April 15-19, 2024
Mon: 10am-6pm // COMMUNITY NIGHT 4-6pm
Tue, Wed, Thu: 8am-4:30pm & Fri 8am - 12pm
MPTC FDL Campus Conference Center
Parking Lot C, Door O-2

This exhibit is free and open to the public. No registration required.

Celebrating Late Sister of Selma, Mary Antona Ebo

April 11, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Black Catholic groups in Missouri will celebrate the late African-American nun and activist with a centennial Mass and honorary presentation, which will be livestreamed for all to join.

This week celebrates the centennial of the birth of the late Sister Mary Antona Ebo, FSM, a Catholic nun who broke barriers for Black women and famously marched with Dr. Martin Luther King as one of the “Sisters of Selma.” A special event on Saturday, April 13 at 2 pm will be livestreamed on the St. Alphonsus YouTube channel for all to partake in the celebration.

Read the full article from Black Catholic Messenger

Milwaukee Interfaith Group Featured On CNN

April 11, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Last week, star CNN Reporter Donie O'Sullivan, had a two-hour conversation with MICAH Reverends Richard Shaw, Joseph Jackson Jr., and Dennis Jacobsen. Part of that conversation discussing MICAH’s “We All Belong Campaign” will be included in a CNN story on White Christian Nationalism featured on Anderson Cooper Show, April 11..

Pastors Richard, Joe and Jake each chair a Team of the “We All Belong Campaign,” designed to Save Democracy, Resist White "Christian" Nationalism, and Build Beloved Community. The Campaign is driven by these Teams: Direct Action, Education, Media, IVE (Integrated Voter Education), and Logistics. The Campaign is coordinated by the We All Belong Steering Committee, composed of MICAH Religious Leaders.

Additionally, last Friday night, the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, WI, hosted nearly 700 people in-person and via live stream for a We All Belong event featuring Jim Wallis. Mr. Wallis shared a message both biblical and agitational. Click here for that recording and please share it broadly!

We All Belong is an important Campaign! You can participate by joining one of the Teams or helping out with data input, phone calls or correspondence.

Make a donation:
Check out their website: 

Use their resources:
Talking Points We All Belong
We All Belong Campaign Brochure
White Christian Nationalism Resource List
What is White Christian Nationalism and How Do We Recognize It?
Save the Dates Flyer for the Rally for Democracy!

Remembering Victims of Slavery

March 21, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

March 25 is the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

The racialized system of enslavement brutally dehumanized Africans and their descendants for centuries. Its legacy persists to this day. You are invited to take some time to view the short 2023 video messages from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the address by Professor Bryan Stevenson on reckoning with the legacy of slavery and creating a new era of liberation, justice and truth that our world desperately needs.  

On a trip to New York in February 2023, Justice Coordinator, Tracy Abler, visited the Ark of Return memorial on the United Nations Visitors Plaza. This was dedicated on March 25, 2015 and serves as a permanent memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, which the UN has acknowledged as one of the most horrific tragedies of modern history. Tracy will be in New York again on March 25 and hopes to visit the memorial again in honor of the 9-year anniversary of its installation.


Eliminating Racial Discrimination

March 21, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorated the tragic day in 1960 when police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid. In 1979, the UN General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination should be organized annually in all States (3/21-3/27). Learn more.

Three years ago, UNESCO created this video. It still calls us to:” Read. Observe. Learn. Listen. Keep Quiet is not an option. Take Action!”


In this divided and wounded world, recognizing and addressing systemic racism and racial bias is essential if we are to witness and reveal the oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent. The School Sisters of Notre Dame offer links to other dismantling racism resources.

Farmworkers Awareness Week

March 21, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

National Farmworker Awareness Week is March 25-31. It is a call to action for communities to help raise awareness of the millions of essential workers that plant, raise, grow, handle, harvest, pack and ship the food we consume. It emphasizes the important and essential contributions they make to the food supply chain. You are invited to take time to read this very inspiring article about the Fair Food Program and the difference it is making for farm workers. Additional resources for awareness building and engagement are available from the Equitable Food Initiative and on the National Farm Worker Ministry website.

Click here for prayer resources.


#SheDares Art Competition

March 07, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Join Women for Women International’s art competition between now and March 18 for a chance to win a goodie bag and a voucher to get yourself more art supplies! 

How to Enter: 

  • Create a piece of art on the theme #SheDares. You can use any creative medium you’d like.
  • Enter a post on social media and share what the piece means to you - who or what inspired your art?
  • Submit your piece by March 18, 2024.
  • The winner will be announced on March 29.


Not an artist? There are many other ways you can celebrate this month. View this page to read stories, register to attend virtual events, receive book recommendations or tune into podcasts.

In honor of Women’s History Month, CSA’s JPIC Office made a donation to Women for Women International to help women struggling to regain their lives and their dignity as they recover from the ravages of war. You can also make a donation here.


Black Catholic Messenger

March 07, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

In Fall 2020, the Black Catholic Messenger was formed among a group of Black Catholic laypeople and allies who agreed that the Catholic media landscape was missing something: an online publication for Black Catholics. They decided to change that.

Visit their website to enjoy a variety of Opinions, Events, Poetry, Reviews and more or enjoy a subscription at

The CSA JPIC Office recently made a small donation to support the mission of Black Catholic Messenger (BCM) and the many services that help bring Black Catholic media to the world. 

Additionally, National Catholic Reporter has designated a page to BCM stories, which can be found here:


LGBTQ Catholic Resource

March 07, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Outreach is an LGBTQ Catholic resource that offers news, essays, resources, and community for LGBTQ Catholics and those who minister with them in the Catholic Church worldwide.

The Outreach website features original articles from theologians, scholars, church leaders, family members and many others, both lay and clergy. It also provides information about our conferences and gatherings.

Outreach operates under the auspices of America Media, a Jesuit ministry, and is rooted in the love of Jesus, who reached out to all those who felt excluded. James Martin, S.J. is the editor at large at America Media and founder of Outreach. He is also a consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and a member of the Synod of Bishops. Learn more at

The CSA JPIC Office made a small donation to Outreach to support their work. You can, too!

Black Stories. Black Truths.

February 22, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

An NPR video series celebrates the Black Experience

National Public Radio offers a collection of some of their best podcast episodes and features from across the Black Experience. Some might make you laugh. Some might make you feel inspired. Others might make you uncomfortable. And some might make you feel all of that in the same 5-minute segment of Black Stories. Black Truths. Listen here.


CSA Celebrates the FDL CommUNITY

February 22, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

United for Diversity’s 15th Annual CELEBRATE commUNITY was held February 17, 2024, at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds Expo Center and CSA was there.

More than 60 booths were set up representing the beautiful diversity of the Fond du Lac community by way of culture, religion, ability, identity, language, food, and music. Additionally, several organizations and agencies were present to show the community how they represent and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion in Fond du Lac.  

Sister Rose Kowalski and Associate Tracy Abler were part of the opening ceremony, bearing flags for the countries they were representing, Nicaragua and Tanzania. Sister Rose spent 40 years living and working with the people of Nicaragua. Tracy has been working with Sister Stella Storch, OP, and recently took over leadership of the Aids Orphan Sewing project in Bulkoba, Tanzania.

CSA was a co-sponsor of the event and actively staffed their booth with several sisters and associates throughout the four-hour event. They shared a variety of informational brochures on the conservancy and tours, the Associate Relationship, upcoming events such as their Earth Day Fair, sign-up sheets, and of course, their big smiles, passion, and charism.

Sisters Julie Ann Krahl and Clare Lawlor were found representing St. Vincent de Paul’s Getting Ahead Program booth. CSA was also seen in the smiling faces of Sister Ruth Battaglia with Sustain Fond du Lac; Sisters Jean Braun and Josephine Goebel and Associate Carol Cooper with All God’s Family LGBTQ+ Support Group; Sister Mary Rose Obholz with Fond du Lac Literacy Services; and Sister Donna Innes with the FDL Center for Spirituality and Healing along with Associate, Michael Ketterhagen.

We are very grateful to CSA photographer, Mary Christopherson, for catching many of the memories. See all the photos here.


Depolarizing Ourselves

February 22, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Troubled by polarizing political conversations with friends and family? Help is on the way!

I recently attended my first virtual national debate with an organization called, Braver Angels. The mission of Braver Angels is simple—to bring America together to bridge the partisan divide and strengthen our democratic republic.

The February 8 debate topic was “Resolved: Close the Border.” Nearly 200 participants attended this 2-hour debate via Zoom. The debate was led by a chairperson who laid out the rules: 1) There is no hierarchy; all have the right to share opinions. 2) Only say what you truly believe. 3) There is a special procedure for asking questions; you only ask the chair and not address the giver of the speech. 4) Speeches are limited to 4 minutes each. This is “The Braver Angel’s Way.” The resolve is introduced and individuals go back and forth to state their reason why they affirm or not affirm the resolve. This allows both sides to hear one another and hopefully be touched by the other's response/experience. There is no intent to change minds.

I sat as a silent observer, only tempted to respond a couple of times, but I never did. I cannot express how refreshing and humbling this experience was, and how grateful I am to have had it. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear what “the other side” thinks and why. You find there are valid points you had not considered. You find there is hope in people bridging their differences.

The next debate is Thursday, February 29, at 7 pm CT. The topic: “Resolved: My Vote Doesn't Count.” I encourage you to register and experience this. When you register, you have the opportunity to sign up as a speaker, if you’d like. Otherwise, if so moved during the debate, you can chat with your assigned “whip” and let them know you’d like to be considered as a speaker, if time allows. These debates are offered for free or appreciate donations. You can also become a Braver Angels member for $15 and participate in the debates and many other helpful training sessions and webinars at a reduced or no cost.

Now, Braver Angels is not the only organization doing this type of work. There are others that I have not yet looked into. I welcome anyone to look into others and let me know what you think!

Check these out!


CSA’s latest Chapter statement calls us to: Strengthen the bond that unites us. We deepen the bond by:

  • Acknowledging and owning our historic and current realities.
  • Addressing our unexamined narratives.
  • Moving forward with creative resolutions toward reconciliation and justice
  • Committing to develop mutual relationships through synodality, education, and awareness of culture, history, and politics. 



Fair Maps at Last!

February 22, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

After more than a decade of living with some of the worst partisan gerrymandering in the country, Gov. Tony Evers signs fair voting maps into law for Wisconsin.

February 19, 2024, was a great day for democracy in Wisconsin when the state finally got fair maps. The maps don’t guarantee a legislative majority to the Republicans or to the Democrats. Wisconsin is an evenly-divided state and the new maps make it likely that our State Assembly and State Senate will reflect that. 

This spring’s nonpartisan election is April 2. Please vote and remind your friends, family and neighbors to vote. To see what is on your ballot, go to For our democracy to keep working for us, we need to participate in all elections. We also need to remember that our elected officials work for us and may need to be reminded of that from time to time.



Transforming Grace

February 22, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

LCWR invites members to join in collective discernment on the work of transformative justice.

Between November 2023 and November 2024, CSA is partnering with Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), who is looking at the 2024 U.S. national election campaign through the lens of transformative justice. LCWR invites all to engage in this collective discernment on “What is ours to do in this time?” The work of transformative justice is grounded in contemplation and is an engagement in learning the skills and practices that will lead to decision-making and action that leads to being in right relationship with Earth and all human persons.

The transformative justice initiative for this year is entitled, “Transforming Grace: The Work of Transformative Justice.” “Transforming Grace” invites participants to take responsibility for the personal and collective responses we can make in the challenges we will encounter during the national election period. The initiative follows the liturgical calendar. During each liturgical season, LCWR will be providing one-page reflections that can be used personally and in groups to look at how we can respond to the challenges of this time in the United States in ways that might create harmony and increase understanding of differences. These reflections include: a short video, a brief reading, two or three questions intended to deepen conversation, and a prayer grounded in our contemplative commitment. Each reflection tool will be designed for a 60-75 minute session.

Read the reflections.

The schedule is as follows:

Transforming Consciousness:  November 2023 thru the Christmas Season
Transforming Presence: January 2024 thru Lent into Easter
Transforming Care: Easter Season into Pentecost 2024
Transforming Practice: June 2024 thru November 2024


February is Black History Month - Let’s CELEBRATE!

February 08, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Indulge yourself in the plethora of events, readings, videos, and other resources to deepen your knowledge of black history. 

A Google search will undoubtedly take you to hundreds of interesting places, but we’ve gathered a few of our favorites to get you started in your learning and celebration of Black History Month:

The National Museum of African American History & Culture highlights 2024 with the theme of Art as a platform for social justice.

Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) are the Founders of Black History Month. Their website offers many interesting resources to include this video.

National Black Sisters’ Conference

African American Midwest website

Smithsonian events, arts resources, podcasts, and general resources

Alicia Garza, one of the three women who conceived of and popularized the slogan #BlackLives Matter refers to February as Black Futures Month in this YES! Magazine article.


New Season: SSND Called to Action Podcast

February 08, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Season 4 of the SSND Podcast Called to Action focuses on the issue of racial justice.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) have supported women’s education and enrichment since its founding in 1833. To continue the tradition of education and enrichment, SSND Central Pacific (CP) Province created a podcast, Called to Action, which features sisters, lay colleagues, associates and SSND ministry leaders in our communities. The conversations in each season cover the five Shalom focus areas of Care of Creation, Immigration and Refugees, Human Trafficking, Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace and Racial Justice.

Subscribe to their podcast, Called to Action, through Apple Podcasts or Spotify. A new episode is released every other week!

You can also listen to recordings of last three seasons and get caught up in season four from their website.

Journeys with Dementia

January 25, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Earlier this month, in a recent presentation by Susan McFadden, co-founder of the Fox Valley Memory Project in Wisconsin, I learned some encouraging and meaningful things. Most notably is that all 72 counties in Wisconsin have dementia care specialists whose job description includes encouraging social opportunities for people with dementia. Actually, the word “dementia,” as Susan describes, is going away and will soon be replaced with a term that carries less stigma - “neurogenic disorders” or NGDs. More and more families, medical staff and caretakers are using the specific name of their loved one’s type of NGD when describing their disease.

Wisconsin is home to at least 130 “memory cafes” which are free social events designed for people living with memory loss and their caregivers. This is the most of any U.S. state, according to one national tracker. Other programs such as SPARK are located throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee and Colorado. They provide programs for people with memory loss and their caregivers. 

Susan’s presentation took me back to the learnings from another presentation that CSA Regional Coordinators invited me to last October. The presentation, “Journeying with Sisters and Loved Ones with Dementia '' was presented by Dayna Hurst, a dementia and memory care specialist and consultant with the National Religious Retirement Office. It was from Dayna that I first learned that “dementia” is the umbrella word for several types of diseases to include Alzheimer’s Lewy Body, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy dementia, alcohol-related dementia, and others. Through Dayna I also learned a few ways to physically support our friends and family with a form of dementia, but maybe most impactful was learning how to support our loved one emotionally, as well as ourselves. Dayna stressed we need to let go of what was, let go of our own agenda, to accept that we are the ones who have to change because our loved ones no longer can, and of course, to support our own wellbeing.  

For these reasons, I was grateful to hear from Susan recently and to learn of the many wonderful opportunities our state offers for respite care, caregiver support, dementia education, and more. Unfortunately, many of these programs require participants to be able to ambulate without assistance, feed and toilet themselves, and interact socially with others, so these programs do not work for those with severe cases of dementia and additional medical issues.

But these efforts for others must continue to expand. In a January 2, 2024, article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it was reported that as of 2020 there are an estimated 120,000 Wisconsinites over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. We know those numbers will only continue to grow as Wisconsin’s population ages. Read the full article.

This has all grabbed my attention of late as one who is currently watching dear friends struggle with multiple diseases, including one or two types of dementia or “NGD.” It’s been as difficult to watch my friend slip away from her diseases as it is to watch her husband fight his stress, depression, and exhaustion in caring for her.


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