VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Climate Project
Streams and Wetlands
World Wetlands Day
MPP - Remain in Mexico
Black History Month
St. Josephine Bakhita
Commodities and Forced Labor
Trafficking and Child Exploitation
SDG #4
Women in Science
Doomsday Clock
Social Justice
Lent
Quick Links
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February/2020
         
  
"The Church teaches that social justice is an integral part of evangelization, a constitutive dimension of preaching the gospel, and an essential part of the Church's mission."- Everyday Christianity - U.S. Catholic Bishops.  "Social justice and the common good are built up or torn down day by day in the countless decisions and choices we make....We applaud the efforts of all Catholics to live the Gospel by pursuing justice and peace in their everyday choices and commitments ." 
 
May the resources found in this e-newsletter help you in this journey.  
       
  
Shalom North America Contacts
Click here for our printer-friendly (pdf) version of the newsletter.

Integrity of Creation              

U.S. Catholic Climate Project    
This year we commemorate both the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day (April 22) and the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si' (May 24). Hoping to use these anniversaries to help build momentum to engage Catholics on the climate crisis, the Catholic Climate Covenant is launching the U.S. Catholic Climate Project. They will be reaching out to Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, universities, religious orders, and others to provide and support an array of activities, suitable to each institution's circumstances. Learn more/join the effort.  
  
Integrity of Creation              

Federal Protections for Streams and Wetlands Removed         
The Trump administration has finalized a rule to remove Obama-era clean water protections intended to protect rivers, streams, wetlands and other bodies of water from pollution and runoff from industrial facilities and agriculture. Farmers, fossil fuel producers, and real estate developers praised the new rule saying the old regulations created onerous and unnecessary burdens. Under the EPA's new rules, the federal government will no longer protect streams that only flow during some parts of the year or after heavy rain, or wetlands that are not connected to larger bodies of water. Learn more
 
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Integrity of Creation           

World Wetlands Day (2/2)   
Established in 1971, World Wetlands Day aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. Wetlands protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else. 87% of the world's wetlands have been lost globally in the last 300 years due to pollution, drainage and land conversion. Learn more/take action.

Wetland biodiversity matters for life to thrive
Wetland biodiversity matters for life to thrive

Human Life and Dignity          

Migrant Protection Protocols/Remain in Mexico         
January 29 marks the one year anniversary of the introduction of the harmful Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) which forces asylum seekers to Remain in Mexico while they await their asylum hearings in the United States. Immigration advocates believe this policy violates domestic and international law by sending asylum seekers to dangerous conditions without an adequate screening process, effectively denying them access to lawyers and interpreters and preventing many from receiving a fair day in court. Learn more. This week you are invited to join with other people of faith in marking this somber anniversary with prayer, letters to the editor, and letters to Washington.
 
MPP Webinar Recording 
MPP Webinar Recording
     
 
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Human Life and Dignity              

February is Black History Month       
Black History Month is celebrated in February in both the U.S. and Canada. In the United States, 2020 is an important election year and a landmark year for voting rights. 150 years ago, the Fifteenth Amendment established the right of black men to vote. Consequently this year's theme for Black History Month in the U.S. is "African Americans and the Vote", recognizing the ongoing struggle for voting rights among both black men and women. It is an ongoing struggle for people of color that continues into the 21st century. Prayer resource.  
 
 
 
Voting Rights and Selma
 Black History Month Canada 
Black History Month Canada
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Human Life and Dignity               

St. Josephine Bakhita (2/8)  
On February 8, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakhita, who spent 12 years of her life as a victim of human trafficking. She survived and became a Canossian Sister, and eventually the patron saint of human trafficking survivors. Click here to learn more about St. Bakhita. Click here for a prayer service in honor of St. Bakhita and all trafficking survivors. Click here to learn more about human trafficking and what you can do to eliminate it.   
 
St. Josephine Bakhita  
St. Josephine Bakhita


 
Human Life and Dignity              

Commodities and Forced Labor 
The link between commodities and some of the worst forms of labor abuse in the global economy is coming under increasing scrutiny from stakeholders around the world. Several global campaigns seek to raise public awareness about goods produced under forced labor conditions and modern forms of slavery. We invite you to click here to go to the Verité Forced Labor Commodity Atlas. Click on the images to learn about specific commodities and their relationship to forced labor and other forms of exploitation at the base of global supply chains. 
 
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Human Life and Dignity               

Combatting Trafficking, Forced Labor, and Child Exploitation
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published its first comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking, goods produced with forced labor, and child sexual exploitation. The Strategy articulates the Department's priorities over the next five years focusing on preventing exploitative crimes; protecting victims; investigating and prosecuting perpetrators; and improved collaboration. Learn more
   


    
Human Life and Dignity              

Progress Towards Realizing SDG 4  
The Global Education Monitoring Report has launched a new online interactive tool, Education Progress. Available in seven major languages, the site brings together data from various producers, notably the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, to explore the progress made towards SDG 4, the global education goal. It shows the progress being made by each country, as well as the bottlenecks and policy priorities from now until 2030 in five key themes. Learn more, explore the web tool
   
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Human Life and Dignity             

International Day of Women and Girls in Science (2/11)   
A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progress toward increasing their participation in higher education, they are still underrepresented in these fields. Therefore, the Commission on the Status of Women adopted a resolution in 2013 on access and participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology, and for the promotion of women's equal access to full employment and decent work. Learn more.  
 
 
Women and Girls in Science
Women and Girls in Science
Why the World Needs Women in Tech
Why the World Needs Women in Tech
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peace and Non-Violence              

Doomsday Clock    
Last week, the Doomsday Clock was reset to just 100 seconds before midnight - the closest we have ever been to the complete and total annihilation of the earth (well, at least metaphorically). The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists initiated the clock in 1947 to help illustrate the looming threat to humanity posed by the potential for nuclear war. The current clock setting highlights the dual threat of nuclear weapons and the climate crisis. Learn more.  
 
 
 
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Peace and Non-Violence              

World Day of Social Justice (2/20)  
On the World Day of Social Justice, we raise awareness of the need for better social justice both within nations and between nations. Promoting human rights, removing artificial social barriers based on race, gender, or religion, and standing up for the rights of migrants, the disabled, and the elderly. It is meant to bring the international community together to eliminate poverty, illiteracy, gender and physical discriminations, religious discrimination in the pursuit of a socially integrated society. The UN regards social justice as the underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence among the nations. This year's theme is "Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice." Learn more.  
 
Social Justice and Catholic Social Teaching
Social Justice and Catholic Social Teaching
 
 
Peace and Non-Violence              

Lent     
Looking for something to give up for Lent? We invite you to forego some of the staples of our consumeristic framework to focus on the interconnection of sustainability and water issues, justice for immigrants, ending human trafficking, and addressing poverty (focusing on development in Haiti). May we experience a transformation of consciousness and begin to embody the integral ecology paradigm, which "is ... made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness" (Laudato Si' 230). Click here for the resource. 
  
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The SSND International Shalom Network witnesses to the Gospel with audacity and hope as we collaborate to build just relationships and respond to the urgent needs of our times. 

Shalom LogoShalom News North America is an e-publication of the Shalom North America Contacts (SNAC) of the School Sisters of Notre Dame - Arlene Flaherty, Ethel Howley, Jeanne Wingenter, Kathleen Bonnette, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at tdewane@ssndcp.org.

Please only print this e-publication if necessary.