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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 "learning"

Justice Coalition of Religious "Lab" - July 22-26

July 12, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

The annual High Level Political Forum (HLPF) will take place from 8-17 July this year. It functions as the central United Nations platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each year, the forum focuses on a select few SDGs, and government leaders voluntarily report on their national progress toward achievement of these SDGs. The SDGs of focus this year are 1, 2, 13, 16, and 17.

In addition to reports from governments, the HLPF also includes events sponsored by civil society groups, to highlight their perspectives on implementation and progress toward the SDGs in their respective countries. JCoR will join the conversation by offering a series of virtual discussion, which we are calling the “JCoR SDG Lab.” This series will showcase Catholic Religious and their partners’ perspectives on progress and good practices towards sustainable development. It will run from 22-26 July and include sessions dedicated to each of the aforementioned SDGs of focus for the 2024 HLPF.

All are welcome to attend these JCoR SDG Lab sessions. 

Get details and register

Tags: learning
Posted in Poor & Vulnerable

Public Health Approach to Gun Violence

July 02, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

As the U.S. grapples with another mass shooting, America’s top doctor issues a first-of-its-kind advisory declaring gun violence a national public health crisis and recommending it be treated as such. 

In a recent 40-page publication, the surgeon general declared gun violence a public health crisis. What does that do? In a June 25, 2024 NPR article, Dr. Vivek Murthy says “a public health approach can guide the nation’s strategy and actions as it has done in the past with successful efforts to address tobacco-related disease and motor vehicle crashes.” He adds, “It is up to us to take this generational challenge with the urgency and clarity the moment demands. The safety and well-being of our children and future generations are at stake.” Read the full article.

To further understand the report, watch this Meet the Press video.

Please continue to follow, or join the efforts of, Nuns Against Gun Violence. Watch the recording of their June 18, 2024 webinar - “Firearms & Faith: Navigating Catholic Social Teaching in a World of Gun Violence.

Tags: learning

Black Land & Power

June 20, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Since the Emancipation Proclamation reached the last U.S. slave state on June 19, 1865, the struggle for Black freedom, reparations, and sovereignty has remained as relevant as ever. In the last century, Black land ownership plummeted from a total of 15 million acres in 1907 to only 2.4 million in 1997, as a result of systemic discrimination, racist land use policies and more.

Today, we honor the ongoing struggle for Black liberation and land justice by introducing the work of Black Land and Power, an initiative of the National Black Food & Land Justice Alliance.
The Black Land and Power (BLP) project works to deepen collective visioning and strategies toward Black land retention, recovery, stewardship, and defense. Black land, safe space, and the means for self-determination continue to be assaulted and undermined, thus the need to form an organized, multifaceted response is urgent.

Black Land and Power aims to save 15 million acres of land from the speculative market for the benefit of Black farmers and land stewards. Right now, they are raising $150,000 in their first social media fundraising campaign, #defendblackland.They are more than a third of the way there with a little over a week left!

The CSA JPIC Office has proudly made a donation to Black Land & Power. We hope others will consider doing the same! Donate here.

Tags: learning

Virtual Film and Discussion Series Continues with "A Tree of Life"

June 14, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

The “Movies That Matter: Informing Your Vote” series from the Franciscan Peace Center continues in June with a virtual screening of A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting.  Advance registration is required to view the film online between June 11-27.  A follow-up presentation by survivors and a viewer discussion session will be held on June 27.

The film provides an in-depth look at the tragic events of October 27th, 2018, when a gunman opened fire inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing eleven people as they prayed, in what would become the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history. A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting is a deeply personal portrait of the survivors, victims, and family members, who share their harrowing first-hand accounts of the impact of the shooting on the community.

The film is rooted in a community in the aftermath of a violent attack, as they work to rebuild and heal. Despite core differences, they come together to determine what justice looks like and how to best move forward while honoring and learning from the past. The film sheds light on the collective trauma suffered by a tight-knit group and brings into sharp focus the hate-based rhetoric that surrounds many of the mass shootings today, threatening the fabric of our society.

After registering for the event, participants will receive a link to view the film online at their convenience between June 11-27. On Thursday, June 27, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CDT, viewers are invited to a live Zoom session that will begin with a presentation from Carol Black and Audrey Glickman, survivors of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. Following the presentation by our panelists, viewers will be able to participate in a discussion session about the film with other viewers from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CDT

There is no cost associated with viewing the films or participating in the discussion sessions. Interested individuals can learn more and register online at to secure their spot in this transformative series.

The “Movies That Matter: Informing Your Vote” series offers monthly access to thought-provoking documentaries addressing a spectrum of topics relevant to voters, including immigration, gun violence, overcoming partisanship, care of the Earth, voting rights, and more. Each film will be available for streaming over a two-week period, providing ample opportunity for reflection and dialogue.

The Franciscan Peace Center, established by the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa, provides meaningful programming that addresses systemic issues integrating spirituality with the mission of promoting nonviolence and advocating for social justice, including immigration reform and human rights.

For more information about the series and other educational opportunities, visit

Tags: learning

Critical Opportunity to Stop a Climate Disaster

June 14, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Take Action NOW to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that threatens Tribal land, the Great Lakes and our climate.

Watch this informative short video that introduces the problem.

Then watch this full length film “Bad River” which is a chronicle of the Wisconsin-based Bad River Band and its ongoing fight for sovereignty; a story which unfolds in a groundbreaking way through a series of shocking revelations, devastating losses, and a powerful legacy of defiance and resilience. WATCH FOR FREE HERE. The movie trailer is also available here.  

The Army Corps has released a Draft Combined Decision Document for the proposed Line 5 construction. In the document, the Corps makes a number of preliminary determinations that will inform its upcoming decision about whether or not to issue a permit for pipeline construction. The Corps is seeking in-person and written feedback on its preliminary determinations. 
On June 4, the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers held an in-person public hearing in Ashland, WI. Catholic sisters from La Crosse attended a public hearing on June 4 in Ashland, WI. You can hear all the comments with this recording

Now, written comments to the Army Corps can be sent to The deadline for submitting written comments has been extended to August 4.
This is a critical opportunity to share our concerns about Line 5 with the Army Corps and the Biden Administration. Join the Sierra Club of Wisconsin by telling President Biden to shut down the pipeline with this online petition.
To prepare your written comments, here are some helpful resources including points to consider, sample testimony and links to additional websites. Remember, submit comments by August 4. Your action is crucial. You may also email your comments to Beth Piggush at and she will forward them to the Corps on your behalf. Thank you!

Tags: learning

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 After 60 Years

June 14, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

The Civil Rights Act shapes our current choices and how faith calls us to advance the common good through a principled and active commitment to resist racism.

Sixty years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and signed into law after a long moral and political struggle. This act fundamentally changed the United States, enacting legal protections against racial discrimination, prohibiting discrimination in public places, integrating schools and other public facilities, and making employment discrimination illegal. Catholic and other religious communities played key roles in this effort, which offered hope to people who had been excluded from opportunities in education, housing, and employment simply based on race, color, or national origin.

These are not abstract or historical issues. As Pope Francis has said, “Racism is a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding and lurks in waiting. Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think.” For Catholics and others of goodwill, we are called to examine our history and act now to defend the lives and dignity of all our sisters and brothers. After 60 years, what has changed and what has not? How has racial discrimination been overcome, and where and how does it continue? In particular, what are the key racial justice issues facing voters, parties, and candidates as we choose a future for our nation this November?

On June 4, a dialogue, co-sponsored with Georgetown University’s Racial Justice Institute and Center on Faith and Justice, explored how this history shapes our current choices and how faith calls us to advance the common good through a principled and active commitment to resist racism and ensure that we continue to honor and protect the essential freedoms that the Civil Rights Act enacted for all Americans 60 years ago. This recording is available now.

Tags: learning

Find a Juneteenth Celebration Near You!!

June 14, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Sisters formally announce the adoption of their anti-racism stance just as the country celebrates Juneteenth.

Juneteenth National Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States. It is celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States.

On June 11, 2024, CSA released the following press release to announce their formal adoption of their Anti-Racism stance. They continue their celebration - and the response that comes with anti-racist work - at Fond du Lac’s annual Juneteenth Celebration, Saturday, June 15 at Buttermilk Park from 11 am - 5 pm. All are encouraged to attend or find a celebration in your area. Here are details of a couple more events happening in Wisconsin this month: 

June 15 @ Penn Park in Madison - 11am - 6 pm

June 19 in Milwaukee - 9 am - 4 pm  


The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) has officially adopted a corporate stance on anti-racism. The stance has also been affirmed by the US CSA Associates.

CSA Corporate Stance on Anti-Racism
Reaffirming our commitment to those whose faith life or human dignity is threatened in any way, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) opposes racism in all forms, encourages education, and supports actions to eliminate racism, bringing understanding of our complicity, prejudice, bias, and privilege to the forefront.

Sisters of St. Agnes have been working to reduce the impacts of racism and bigotry in various ways for many years. As early as 1850, CSA Founder Father Rehrl opened schools to all children regardless of background or religion. In the 1960s, many sisters took part in fair housing marches in Chicago and Milwaukee. In 1983, CSA opened Unity House in inner-city Chicago as a haven for those seeking cross-cultural immersion through residential living. These are a few examples of activities that contributed to CSA receiving the MLK Spirit Award from Marian University in 2020. Today, CSA continues this long-standing culture of justice and call to action with their adoption of the CSA Corporate Stance on Anti-Racism.

During the last half of 2023, the sisters and associates spent time intentionally studying racism and how to be actively anti-racist on a day-to-day basis. Each month, sisters and associates spent time researching individually and in small groups focusing on topics of defining race and racism, how to be an anti-racist, recognizing personal bias and bias in media, racial inequities in housing, education, and criminal justice systems, exploring white privilege, white fragility, and public fear around critical race theory and white replacement theory, and finally delving into healing, repair, and justice. A small group also gathered for an intergenerational discussion with local high schoolers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.

In early February, the entire congregation voted to issue an official corporate stance on anti-racism. CSA has issued six corporate stances since 1987 with the following rationale: 
“As CSA, our promise has, from the start, been to follow and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have done so through teaching, care of the sick, the aged, orphans, and wayfarers. As global realities have become increasingly apparent, so also has our awareness been heightened to issues regarding the dignity of persons, human rights, and justice; the need for structural change; efforts at ‘simplicity of life’ and a greater appreciation of the gifts of creation. The concerns that we pray about and the causes that we pray for have grown.

“That is not enough. We must use all the power we have, first in areas where we have direct impact, through the services we ourselves provide or through our sponsored ministries, then through wise use of our power as shareholders in significant corporations and membership in significant organizations with a social justice agenda. After appropriate study and discussion, we can make public statements of our convictions in areas of major or global importance and concern. These statements, our corporate stance, help create the positive pressure that can lead to a more just society.” - CSA Policy on Corporate Stances

CSA will have a booth at Ebony Vision’s 16th Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Buttermilk Park, June 15, 2024, from 11:00am-5:00pm. Juneteenth, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.


Tags: learning

PRIDE in Wisconsin!

June 14, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

In June, we celebrate and recognize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questing, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) Pride Month in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history; locally, nationally, and internationally.  The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQIA individuals have had on history; locally, nationally, and internationally. Learn more about the history of Pride Month here.    

The Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist State Action Network has put this impressive list of Pride events happening in communities across Wisconsin this month. Attend one in your area!

If you know of a Pride event that is not listed above, please call or text Building Unity at 608-630-3633 to have it added to the list.

The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, in partnership with the Ministry of the Arts, offers a Prayer Card for Pride 2024.

CSA’s JPIC Office is a proud co-sponsor of a special virtual Pride Month Prayer Service on June 25 at 6 pm CT. 

Register here



Tags: learning

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