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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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Posts Tagged "exemplar"

From the Dance Floor to the Pope’s Living Room

July 02, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Helena Maleno Garzón is a researcher, investigator, journalist, and activist who stands up for the rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking who attempt to reach Europe by sea and land. In her reporting she has denounced human rights violations on the Spanish Southern Border and works with migrant communities in defense of their rights. In 2002, Helena founded Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders), an organization that rescues sea vessels carrying migrants that are in danger of sinking and provides support for them once they arrive in Europe. It is estimated that she has saved at least ten thousand lives through her work relaying the locations of sinking sea vessels to Spanish naval authorities. Helena continues to do this work despite ongoing judicial harassment and threats from the governments of Morocco and Spain, who have criminalized her efforts.

In 2022, UNANIMA International (UI) selected Helena as their annual Women of Courage Award recipient. Since 2008, UI has been selecting women who demonstrate courage in the face of adversity and whose actions reflect and support the values and principles promoted by the UN. Helena was finally presented her award last month when UI Executive Director, Jean Quinn, DW traveled to Madrid. It was a great celebration that included some unexpected dancing, but Jean was a tremendous sport about it!

Just weeks after Jean’s visit, Helena found herself seated in Pope Francis’ home in Santa Marta where she was invited to come talk about border victims and their families. Helena said, “He is genuinely concerned about their situations and encourages us to keep fighting despite the difficulties and persecutions. I am grateful to him for following closely my case concerning the criminalization of the rights of immigrants by the Spanish and Moroccan states. We will not stop demanding justice and fairness.”

This isn’t the first time a UI Woman of Courage awardee has gone on to have greater recognition. Last year, 2018 Woman of Courage recipient, Maria Herrera Magdaleno, was selected as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023.

Nominations for UI’s 2025 Woman of Courage Award are now being accepted. Please read the nomination criteria, see past recipients, and consider nominating the next courageous, well-deserving woman. Contact with any questions.


Tags: exemplar
Posted in Poor & Vulnerable

Navajo Nation desperate for Water

June 20, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

BNSF Railway writer, Susan Green, writes an alarming, but encouraging, article on the Navajo Nation’s plight for water leading to a water-by-rail solution in this April 2, 2024 article.

Green explains that “in the arid high desert of New Mexico, water is an increasingly rare commodity, especially in the eastern Navajo Nation, where many homes on the reservation have no running water. A pipeline is prohibitively expensive, and the main water sources are nearby wells that have already been tapped or contaminated.”

Chris Halter is Director of St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School in Thoreau, New Mexico. He explains, “Recent drilling for new wells proved costly and futile.” He knew bringing potable water to the area was urgently needed. Chris’ brother, Drew, saw firsthand how much the reservation relied on a water-delivery system, using a small fleet of water trucks to serve 250 families. With his railroad experience, Drew developed a new plan - Jacob’s Well. Jacob’s Well, Water by Rails Transportation Service, provides an alternative for environmentally friendly, timely, cost-efficient water, assisting overstressed water aquifers and depleted groundwater sources in areas of need across the United States, including delivering thousands of gallons of water each month from Mississippi to the Navajo Nation.

Watch this video that describes the Navajo water issue.



While moving water from one geographical watershed to another is by no means a perfect solution, it is an innovative way to meet the needs of people while work is done to rectify the problems with the local water sources. 

The costs for the mission’s water and transport are paid for by donations. You can donate online to help buy water for the St. Bonaventure Mission or donate over the phone: 877-989-4100. When making a donation, please mark in the comment section “water project for Jacob’s Well.”

This story was brought to our attention by Sister Barb DeBoo, CSA, who was on staff at St. Michael Indian School for 27 yrs (1992-2019). St. Michael was founded in 1902 by Saint Katharine Drexel to provide Catholic education to students on the Navajo Reservation. 

Tags: exemplar

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