Shalom News North America  
An instrument of hope, formation, and action
concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Climate Action

Laudato Si'

Spring Equinox

World Water Day

Care of Creation

International Women's Day


Systemic Racism



Virtual Border Experience

Child Labor

Nuclear Weapons

Dear Friend,         
Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus discover what each of us can do about it. - Laudato Si' #19

May the resources in this e-newsletter help you do just that. Click here for a pdf version. 

Shalom North America Contacts

Integrity of Creation  
Climate Action - Stories & Opportunity
Everyday around the world, civil society takes action on climate change that inspires others and benefits the planet. Visit the UN Civil Society Climate Action Stories website to learn about these everyday efforts to combat climate change and inspire others to take climate action for a healthy planet. While visiting the website, consider taking the opportunity to share about your own climate action efforts! Learn about the Sacred People, Sacred Earth global grassroots campaign to address the climate emergency.
Integrity of Creation  
Laudato Si' Lenten Calendar      
The Global Catholic Climate Movement has put together a Laudato Si' inspired Lenten calendar that encourages reflection and ecological conversion, offering concrete actions we can take to reduce our ecological footprint. Click here to download this inspiring and motivational calendar.
Integrity of Creation  
Spring Equinox
There are only two times of the year when the Earth's axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a "nearly" equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes. These times are called the Autumnal and Spring Equinoxes. This year the Spring Equinox begins on Saturday, March 20th, 2021 at 5:37am EDT. Springtime is a metaphor for new life, hope, transformation and faith. As the chilled earth begins to soften under the intensifying warmth of her sun, we too, are being drawn to thaw. Spring invites us to consider the question, “where has my life become unyielding, hardened, closed, or without hope?”   As we prepare for the Spring Equinox, think of ways that you will welcome the transformational power that this glorious season holds. Take a walk, take notice, and take a moment with these Spring Prayers.
Integrity of Creation  
World Water Day (3/22)      
This year's World Water Day theme, “valuing water,” encourages us to examine the reasons why billions of people are left behind without obtaining clean fresh water for their daily needs. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. Beyond the issues of pricing, this topic includes the environmental, social and cultural value people place on water. Learn more/take action.
Integrity of Creation  
Care of Creation Advocacy Opportunities (U.S.)
Disposable, single-use plastic products are filling our waterways and ecosystems. Producing them pollutes nearby communities—especially communities of color—and requires even more of the same fossil fuels that we must keep in the ground to avoid climate catastrophe. Urge President Biden to take action.
Climate crisis. Racial injustice. Global pandemic. Mass unemployment. Our response to these crises will shape our society for decades. The THRIVE Agenda is a road map to a just recovery that will put millions of people back to work building an economy that prioritizes climate, racial, and economic justice. Urge President Biden to incorporate these principles into his plans for economic recovery.
Human Life and Dignity
International Women's Day (3/8)     
This year's focus for International Women's Day will be on Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” Click here to register for a webinar hosted by UN Women “highlighting the need for women’s leadership in COVID-19 recovery, and recognizing the incredible women who have played an essential role in their community’s COVID-19 response.” The month of March is known as Women’s History Month in the U.S., so click here for a calendar of Women’s History in the United States.
Human Life and Dignity
CSW65 - On the Status of Women
The sixty-fifth session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women will take place March 15-26, 2021. During the CSW65, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women will offer parallel events online. These presentations are prepared by civil society organizations from all over the world. The discussions will focus on the CSW65 priority theme, "Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls." Click here to view the schedule, click here to register to attend.
Special thanks to SSND UN-NGO Representative Sister Beatriz Martinez-Garcia for contributing to this and other UN related articles. Learn more about the SSND UN-NGO ministry here.
Human Life and Dignity
Working to End Racial Discrimination
The UN has designated March 21-27 as a Week of Solidarity with Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination, calling on the international community and all of us to redouble our efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. What more can you do to address racial bias and systemic racism? Explore this toolbox of resources, make use of this classroom exercise, pray a Novena for Racial Justice, or sign-up for a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Consider reaching out to your Shalom Contact to share what you are doing or to request assistance.
Human Life and Dignity
National Farmworker Awareness Week (3/25-3/31)
National Farmworker Awareness Week helps bring attention to the multiple challenges farmworkers face, as well as shed light on and bring honor to the important contributions farmworkers make to our daily lives. Take time to learn about and support the various farm worker campaigns the National Farm Worker Ministry endorses. Download this reflection to learn how COVID-19 has compounded preexisting injustices faced by farmworkers, and how a “return to normal” ignores the underlying injustices that CST calls us to address.
Human Life and Dignity
Immigration Policy Update (U.S.)
President Biden has signed a number of executive orders related to immigration, many of them reversing policies enacted by the Trump Administration, such as those preserving and fortifying DACA, rescinding the “Muslim Ban,” and limiting funding for a border wall. Click here for more details and analysis. Biden also has sent a bill to Congress entitled the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which will modernize the U.S. immigration system, address root causes of migration, and create a pathway to citizenship for many undocumented migrants. Resources for reflection and advocacy will be coming soon from our friends with the USCCB Justice for Immigrants Campaign.
Human Life and Dignity
Virtual Border Immersion Experience
Learn more about life and ministry at the U.S. border with Mexico by undertaking a SSND Virtual Border Immersion Experience the weekend of March 20-21. Sister Lucy Nigh, SSND, will facilitate a set of five online sessions to introduce participants to border humanitarian outreach organizations, immigrants and their stories, the impact of the border wall and of immigration laws and policies, and the reality of death in the desert. Learn more, register here.
Human Life and Dignity
Pandemic Relief Advocacy Alert (U.S.)
COVID relief legislation is being considered by Congress. Now is the perfect time to reach out to your elected officials in Washington to urge them to support relief legislation that helps everyone in need, not just documented citizens. Click here to learn more/send an email. Click here for instructions/assistance to make a call.
Human Life and Dignity
Human Trafficking and Child Labor
The UN has declared 2021 The International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor. Globally, at least 152 million children are engaged in forms of labor that include mining, brick-making, construction, agriculture, factory work, and domestic labor. Their work, often a critical contribution to their impoverished family’s sustainability, deprives them of their rights to childhood, education and safety guaranteed to them by The Convention on the Rights of the Child. Learn more. SSND has a collaboration with Beyond Borders to end child domestic labor in Haiti. Click here to learn more. Here are some inspiring prayers for your consideration and use.

Did you know the UN is sponsoring a Music Against Child Labor campaign? Learn more/join the effort.
Peace and Non-Violence
Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
The objective of the NPT is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. A total of 191 States have joined the Treaty (which went into effect on March 5, 1970), including the five with nuclear-weapons. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance. Learn more about this treaty and the current focus on the nuclear deal with Iran. Reflection resource.
Peace and Non-Violence
Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day (3/1)
March 1 is Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day in the Marshall Islands. This day commemorates the victims and survivors of nuclear testing done in the area. From 1946 to 1958, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands. Learn more. Join Pax Christi USA and others on March 4, 2021 for a virtual policy briefing and workshop series to call on the Biden administration to prioritize the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Learn more/register here.
Peace and Non-Violence
Mediation and Peacebuilding Action Guides
The United States Institute for Peace has developed a series of Action Guides focused on religion and conflict analysis, mediation, reconciliation and gender-inclusive religious peacebuilding in collaboration with the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and the Salam Institute for Peace and Justice. These Action Guides provide a practical overview of the religious peacebuilding field and the role religion plays in driving both conflict and peace, examples of how religious actors and institutions have contributed to the prevention and resolution of conflict, and considerations for how best to engage the religious sector in peacebuilding. Learn more/download the guides here.

Quick Links
The SSND 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 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

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