December 2019 Newsletter
Public Witness
According to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, having just 3.5% of the population actively participating in peaceful public protests can bring about political and social change. Types of public witness activities include:
  • Organizing speakers, movies or petition drives
  • Arranging visits to organizations that work with people on the margins
  • Asking preachers to speak on social issues
  • Creating/displaying yard signs, banners & posters
  • Distributing leaflets & posters etc.
  • Participating in boycotts & divestment campaigns
  • Posting items on social media
  • Wearing clothing or buttons with messages
  • Writing letters to newspaper editors, diocesan newspapers, alumni newsletters etc.
  • Joining an organization that does public witness work
  • Expressing values in conversations with family, friends & neighbors

In U.S. history, the 4 largest demonstrations have taken place in the last 3 years:
  • 2017 Women’s March: 3.3 - 4.6 million people
  • 2018 Women’s March: 1.5 million people
  • March for our Lives (2018): 1.2 - 2 million people
  • March for Science (2017): 1 million people

For more Public Action resources, click here.
The Success of Nonviolent Civil Resistance
A TED Talk featuring Erica Chenoweth, who discusses her research on the historical record of civil resistance in the 20th century. She focuses on the "3.5% rule"—the idea that no government can withstand a challenge of 3.5% of its population without either accommodating the movement or (in extreme cases) disintegrating. She points out that between 1900-2006, campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance were twice as successful as violent campaigns. Watch now.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
Students' Rights:
Speech, Walkouts, and Other Protests
A resource from the American Civil Liberties Union that provides practical information regarding young people's expression of their 1st Amendment rights in school & on social media. There is also an interactive "People Power" map that indicates where other activities are happening around the country.
For more Public Witness resources, click here .
Preaching the Social Doctrine of the Church
in the Mass
A resource from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addresses how the Scriptures are relevant to our lives today. Through a series of "homily helps," the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace relates the Sunday readings of the year to the daily Christian walk. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
A Hidden Life
Based on real events, the story of Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keeps his spirit alive. (In theaters December 13th) Watch the trailer.
For more Justice resources, click here.
The World's Big Sleep Out
Approximately 50,000 people throughout the world participate in an annual Sleep Out event to raise money for homeless and displaced people. The event involves spending a night under the stars as an act of solidarity - to increase insight into the reality of being homeless and to increase awareness to help people who have no other choice. The event is run in partnership with the Institute for Global Homelessness (IGH), UNICEF USA, Malala Fund and Social Bite.  Learn more.
For more on Housing , click here.
The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good
By Elizabeth L. Cline. Delves into research on fashion’s impacts and shows how to leverage fashion choices to change the world through style. Shares how to build a more ethical wardrobe, starting with a mindful closet clean-out and donating, swapping, or selling clothes. It is a call to action to transform fashion -- one of the most polluting industries on earth— into a force for good. Readers will learn where our clothes are made and how they’re made, before connecting to a global and impassioned community of stylish fashion revolutionaries.
For more Simple Living resources, click here.
I'm Still Here:
Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
By Austin Channing Brown. In a time when many institutions claim to value "diversity" in their mission statements, a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. A detailed account of the authors journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America's social fabric--from black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations. Also looks at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility. Read more.
For a companion resource of discussion questions, click here.
For more on Racism , click here.
Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline
A resource from the NAACP that looks at issues such as racial segregation, high concentrations of poverty, resource deprived schools, school policing, alternative schools and juvenile detention, as well as solutions and alternatives to the school to prison to pipeline.  Read more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
Every Kid Needs a Champion
A Ted Talk featuring Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, who says that "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level. Watch now.
For more on the Education System , click here.
Firsthand: Gun Violence
A 4-part series from PBS that looks at the summer of 2019 through the eyes of five Chicagoans living with the repercussions of gun violence. Watch now.
For more on Gun Violence , click here.
Prosperity Now
Believes that “prosperity” starts with financial security —not being one paycheck away from financial disaster. It gains momentum with financial stability – having savings to obtain assets that build wealth, like a house or an education. And it continues with financial mobility – the opportunity to climb the economic ladder for a brighter future.
For more on Economic Justice , click here.
U.S. Water Alliance
A national nonprofit organization consisting of water providers, public officials, business leaders, environmental organizations, community leaders, policy organizations & researchers, who are committed to working to advancing policies and programs to secure a sustainable water future for all. Learn more.
For more on Water Access , click here.
El Deportado
A short documentary from Creighton University on the causes of immigration and the effects of US policies on the southern border.  Watch now.
For more on Immigration , click here.
Our Plastic Problem and How to Solve It
A report from PBS Newshour, that looks at the use of plastics, the effect they have on the environment and the movement to reduce and replace them.
For more on the Environment , click here.
JustFaith Ministries
JustFaith offers programs designed for people who want a deeper faith, a greater sense of purpose, and a practical understanding of how to make a difference in the world. Participants engage in reading, prayer, and thought-provoking dialogue. They encounter the world, each other, the Gospel, and build lasting relationships.
  • Over 60,000 people in the United States and Canada have participated in a JustFaith Ministries Program.
  • 95% of responding participants say JustFaith has increased understanding of the relationship between faith and action.
  • Over 90% of responding participants experience increased commitment to social justice & volunteerism within their own communities and developing countries.
To learn more about JustFaith Ministries, click here.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. Learn more.
For more Peace resources, click here.
Rhodes Scholars

The Rhodes Trust announced this month that for the 3rd consecutive year, the majority of the 32 U.S. winners are minorities and nearly half are first-generation Americans. In addition, a t least 21 of the 32 recipients identified as women, the most ever in an American Rhodes class.
Last year's class  included several immigrants , refugees and children of immigrants representing Saudi Arabian, Iranian, Ethiopian, Indian and Mexican heritages, among others. And among its ranks was the first undocumented immigrant protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy or DACA.
To read brief biographies of the 2019 recipients,
Important Dates This Month

December 1st: Anniversary of the Arrest of Rosa Parks & World AIDS Day
December 7th: Anniversary of the Publication of Joy & Hope (Gaudium et Spes)
December 8th: Anniversary of the Closing of the Second Vatican Council
December 10th: Anniversary of the Adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
December 18th:  International Migrants Day
Individuals Honored This Month
December 10th
One way to stop the next war is to continue to tell the truth about this one.
December 17th
Do not give up your dreams of a more just world.
December 18th
Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security, and prestige, it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to privilege.
December 27th
We are collecting the people’s memories because we want to contribute to the
construction of a different country. This path was and continues to be full of risks,
but the construction of the kingdom of God entails risks, and only those who have the strength to confront those risks can be its builders.
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