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Office of Peace, Justice and the Integrity of Creation, Advisory Board
Notes from The OPJCC Director

January 17, 2019

A Martin Luther King Day is January 21, 2019.

The following is a moving excerpt from “Standing in the Need of Prayer” by Coretta Scott King:

For my husband, Martin Luther King Jr., prayer was a daily source of courage and strength that gave him the ability to carry on in even the darkest hours of our struggle. I remember one very difficult day when he came home bone-weary from the stress that came with his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In the middle of that night, he was awakened by a threatening and abusive phone call, one of many we received throughout the movement. On this particular occasion, however, Martin had had enough.

After the call, he got up from bed and made himself some coffee. He began to worry about his family, and all of the burdens that came with our movement weighed heavily on his soul. With his head in his hands, Martin bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud to God: “Lord, I am taking a stand for what I believe is right. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I have nothing left. I have come to the point where I can’t face it alone.”

Later he told me, “At that moment, I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before. It seemed as though I could hear a voice saying: ‘Stand up for righteousness; stand up for truth; and God will be at our side forever.’” When Martin stood up from the table, he was imbued with a new sense of confidence, and he was ready to face anything.

Source:
The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change
Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


January 3, 2019

A Jan. 6-12, 2019 is National Migration Week. The Catholic Church in the United States encourages us to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. The 2019 theme Building Communities of Welcome “draws attention to the fact that each of our families have a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. Regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.”

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. According to End Slavery Now, “The most vulnerable people of human trafficking in our world today are refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons. They are often forced out of their homes with no identification documents and often travel to countries where they do not know the language. Human traffickers are known to wait for desperate and vulnerable migrants at the destination country and then exploit them upon arrival.”

Pope Francis has commended the approval of the Agenda 2030, with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The SDGs include the adoption of immediate and effective means for eradicating forced labor, putting an end to modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, and ensuring the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor.

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking suggests that ending slavery is everyone’s work. If you wish to learn more or to take action to end human trafficking, go to: sistersagainsttrafficking.org/take-action/opportunities-for-action/.

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


November 15, 2018

Save the date!
A Presentation from the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Motherhouse Rose Room

The Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition (called Coalition) has a program called “Voice of the Homeless Speakers’ Bureau.” The Speakers Bureau features a group of formerly or currently homeless individuals who are willing to share their experiences. A Coalition staff member accompanies a speaker and provides factual information on the homeless crisis in our community and beyond, while the speaker’s story helps to personalize the issue.

Join us as we welcome one of the speakers on the Speakers’ Bureau and a Coalition staff person to our Motherhouse. They will help us understand why our homeless sisters and brothers and their “tent cities” were controversial topics in Cincinnati this past summer.

Our guest speakers will also help us understand how and why people experience homelessness and what are possible solutions locally and nationally to resolve this crisis.

There will be time for questions and answers.

Another program of the Coalition is Streetvibes, a bi-weekly newspaper that covers issues of homelessness, social justice, and poverty. Streetvibes distributors purchase papers for 75 cents and sell them to the public for a $2 donation, keeping the profit they have earned.

Streetvibes distributors are usually homeless or formerly homeless individuals who are looking for work, individuals who are disabled, or elderly and on a fixed income.

We will have the latest issue of Streetvibes available for attendees.

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


November 1, 2018

November is Native American Heritage Month.

The month is a time to honor the contributions, achievements, sacrifices, and cultural and historical legacy of the original inhabitants, and their descendants, of what is now the United States.

The following are a few women who were inducted into the National Native American Hall of Fame in 2018:

Elouise Cobell/Yellow Bird Woman (Blackfeet) (1945-2011)
A respected tribal elder and the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit that challenged the United States’ mismanagement of trust funds belonging to more than 500,000 individual Native Americans. She was instrumental in the U.S. government awarding $3.4 billion settlement for the trust case, the largest settlement in history.

LaDonna Harris (Comanche Nation) (1931-)
As a national leader, LaDonna Harris has influenced the agendas of civil rights, feminist, environmental and world peace movements. She is an ardent spokesperson against poverty and for social injustice.

Lori Piestewa (Hopi) (1979-2003)
As a United States Army soldier, Lori Piestewa was the first Native American woman in history to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military, and the first woman killed in the Iraq War. Piestewa Peak in Arizona is named in her honor.
Maria Tallchief (Osage) (1925-2013)
She is considered the first U.S. prima ballerina. Maria Tallchief became the first star of the New York City Ballet. Her role as the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker transformed the ballet to America’s most popular.

Sources:
National Congress of American Indians
National Native American Hall of Fame
U.S. Department of the Interior-Indian Affairs

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director