Peace & Justice Blog

Stay up to date on peace and justice issues, both locally and internationally, and learn how you can take action.


 

A Pledge Worth Taking

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

Recently I came across a timeless reminder of what a pledge of nonviolence demands. Students in the marches, demonstrations and sit ins of the 1960s were expected to sign a pledge that their actions would be nonviolent regardless of the circumstances. There were ten commandments they promised to follow and I believe are just as important for those demonstrating today as in the 1960s.

They read: “I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement, therefore I will keep the following the commandants: Continue reading →

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

“Safety, Dignity, and the Right to Thrive”- A Justice Mandate

Loretta Sullivan, OP
Blog by Sr. Loretta Sullivan, OP

We are witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. That is why, for the first time in the 70 year history of the United Nations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened the World Humanitarian Summit to generate commitments to reduce suffering and deliver better for people around the globe. The Summit took place in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016. As participants in this first of its kind summit, leaders of nations and agencies and ordinary citizens were asked to place at the heart of global decision-making all people’s safety, dignity and right to thrive.

The Secretary-General proposed an agenda with five core responsibilities:
1. PREVENT AND END CONFLICT
2. RESPECT RULES OF WAR
3. LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND
4. WORK DIFFERENTLY TO END NEED
5. INVEST IN HUMANITY.

Some priority issues that were addressed are:
• A new global approach to manage forced displacement, with an emphasis on ensuring hope and dignity for refugees or internally displaced people, and support of host countries and communities. Conflict- displaced people rose to 60 million in 2014.
• Empowering women and girls, and catalyzing action to gender equality. Gender inequality prevents women and girls from leading safe, healthy and dignified lives. Only 0.5% of humanitarian funding went to gender-based violence support.
• Adapting new approaches to respond to protracted crises and recurrent disasters, reduce vulnerability, and manage risk, by bridging the divide between development and humanitarian partners.
‘• Secure adequate and predictable finance to save lives and alleviate suffering. The UN humanitarian appeal requirements have increased by four times in 10 years. The year 2015 was the lowest funding year with the largest needs, only 55% funded.

In researching this unique gathering of leaders and citizens of the global community, I am struck by the connections that can be made with our own Chapter commitments, our Justice committees’ endeavors, the work of Network and LCWR. This is only a sampling of the issues that cry out for our prayer and action as well as our outrage.

To read more and view the rich videos please search “World Humanitarian Summit.”

Finally, we may ask ourselves in this politically intense environment “Will we make our contribution to global humanitarian needs as we give our attention to the crying needs of US citizens? Will we welcome the displaced?”

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Stopping the “Honor Killings”

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

When 25 year-old Qundeel Baloch was murdered by her brother, Muhammad Weseen, Pakistan and the world took notice.  Baloch is one of 297 victims of “honor killings” this year alone according to the country’s Human Rights Commission.  She was a popular social media star who incurred the wrath of her brother by her free spirit.  Her brother’s response:  “Girls are born to stay home.”  In his opinion, she brought dishonor to her family.

 Continue reading →

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

The Changing Form of War

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

“The pilots sit in dimly lit, air-conditioned trailers, each staring at glowing video and data screens while holding a joystick that controls an armed drone flying somewhere in the world.  The 500 or so pilots here help launch missiles at Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, provide over watch of U.S. Special Forces raids in Afghanistan. ‘Every single day this base is at war.’ ”

W. J. Hennigan – Los Angeles Times

 Continue reading →

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Taking on ALEC

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

What has deep pockets, tremendous influence in state legislatures around the country and Congress, and an agenda that is diametrically opposed to Catholic social teaching?  If you answered the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) you are correct.  ALEC gets around 98% of its funding from corporations such as the Koch Industries.

Concerned citizens around the country are asking state policy makers and Senate and House representatives in the U.S. Congress to raise the minimum wage, enact workplace reform– including sick days, support the right to organize and address climate change.  Roadblocks across the country continue because of ALEC’s well-heeled members:  Exxon/Mobil, AT&T, Wal Mart, Koch brothers and Coca Cola, to name a few.

 Continue reading →

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog