for Peace & Justice
NEW - Countering a Culture of Violence
We are doing the planning for a new initiative, dedicated to the legacy of Jim McGinnis, on specific ways to counter the culture of violence. The initiative will include work on advocacy on gun issues, recommitment to the Pledge of Nonviolence, alternatives to violent entertainment and attention to the community’s response to those who are mentally ill.
SOS - (Classes on Solving Our Situations):
1. We conducted seven eight-week sessions. We have served 35 women in these programs.
2. We have begun our after-care/maintenance program. At this point that has involved two training sessions with mentors of the women and follow-up sessions after the eight-week sessions.
3. We had three active ex-offender facilitators, with one other woman ready to begin her training.
Other Mentoring Work: We are facilitating a partnership with Project Cope—two congregations working as a team to mentor an ex-offender.
40 Corners Program - Young Artists for Justice and Peace
The Young Artists for Justice and Peace have performed at invited events 6 times this past year, those events ranging from the opening of an art exhibit at an African American art gallery to a Martin Luther King essay contest celebration to an ordination. They have added some new teens to the program this year, and had a session with a Missouri state senator, as part of their own learning and as an opportunity for them to voice their own concerns.
Most of our advocacy work has been done through our WEBSITE and our FACEBOOK page.
We have a staff member who is part of the Social Justice Advocacy Council of Catholic Charities here in St. Louis.
Racial Justice Work
Most of our racial justice work has been done in St. Louis through the Diversity Coalition, a group of Catholics working to advance racial justice in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. We have been part of setting up four racial dialogue sessions. Father Bryan Massingale came to St. Louis last Fall to do a full day workshop.
One of our staff members has also been active in racial justice issues in one of the suburban communities in St. Louis. We are beginning the planning on a new racial justice interfaith initiative in the St. Louis area.
Our first 2 ”Peace Pieces” Quarterly Electronic Newsletters were on ”Respect for Muslims” & “Women Power: A Way Out of Global Poverty”.
Our next issue, due out soon, will focus on “Voting Rights: Still a Struggle”
We continue to give talks and workshops on a variety of peace and justice related issues:
eg., nonviolence, faith and peacemaking, stewardship—as well as facilitate peace camps and high school presentations.