Promoters Meeting Creates New Strategies for Advocacy
|Dusty Farnan, OP (Adrian)
ADRIAN, MI June 21, 2009-- Justice promoters from across the United
States gathered at Weber Center to report on their progress on the
Dominican Call to Justice and to plan new strategies to combat violence
and poverty as well as to promote a compassionate, comprehensive
The Call to Justice document, which outlines the work and
goals for justice, peace and care of creation is reviewed annually
and revised every three years.
"The 'text' underneath global climate change is poverty, women,
and the use of water, among other issues," said Sharon Zayac,
OP (Springfield) in her presentation on the current status of climate
change. She offered a power pont presentation that offered graphic
illustration of the effects of climate change on the planet and described
the root causes of global warming related to issues of poverty in
developing countries and the use of natural resources in countries
like the United States.
27 participants also heard a presentation on the coming debate
in Congress over compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform,
including a look at the present position of the US Bishops on the
subject. Chuck Dahm, OP (St. Albert) offered a critique of the
pending legislation and where the lines of debate will be drawn.
Other presenters included Toni Harris, OP (Sinsinawa) International
Co-Promoter of Justice and Peace, who examined the recent work of
the International Justice and Peace Commission including its priorities:
1) peace and authentic human security, 2) migration – the
movement of peoples, and 3) economic injustices. (See
report on the most recent International Commission meeting.)
Margaret Mayce, OP (DLC/Amityville) NGO Representative at the United
Nations offers a presentation on the present agenda of the Dominicans
at the United Nations and an overview of the work being done there
by many religious communities.
Other presentations included a report from Ceil Lavan, OP (Blauvelt)
on the plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the corporate stance
nuclear disarmament by the Dominican Sisters USA (Federation) and
regional reports on local justice and peace efforts. (See related
|Sharon Zayac, OP (Springfield)
The meeting also began to strategize around the issues most commonly
pursued by justice promoters and considered the question of including
the full array of what has been called "life issues".
In order to build a common strategic plan for advocacy on common
issues, the group used the question: what
can we do better together that we cannot do as well alone?
And they shared some of their own best practices
for building support, proactive advocacy, and collaboration around
human trafficking, immigration, micro financing and the death penalty,
among many issues.
The justice promoters organized their work under three themes that
provide a framework for the issues they have committed their energies
to in the future.
Economic and Social Justice: promote the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) promote justice for immigrants
and migrants; work against human trafficking at all levels.
Culture of Peace: educate and act for non-violence;
promote peace in Iraq and aid to Iraqi refugees; promote peace
in the Middle East; promote nuclear disarmament.
Care of Creation: promote a consistent
ethic of life and integrity of Earth; mitigate global climate change;
promote water security.
The Dominican Call to Justice is the working document out
of which each Dominican congregation and province carries out its
local justice agenda. It is developed in concert with the work of
the International Justice and Peace Commission of the Order.
|In a lighter moment, justice
promoters broke into song during an evening social gathering.