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Awareness, Advocacy and Action for Justice

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The issues are everywhere and you are ready to get informed and to take positive action. This page is dedicated to ways that you can get involved.  Have some suggestions of your own?  Please email Mary Niebler.

Interested in learning about opportunities to put your faith into action through community engagement and social justice advocacy opportunities?  Sign up to receive our weekly Ways to Engage Newsletter!  Sent out every Tuesday, Ways to Engage will provide you with a list of timely opportunities to get involved in your local Dayton community. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Take a Stand

URGENT: Food for Peace Legislation

Please take a few minutes today to write to your Senators, asking them to oppose the American Farmers Feed the World Act.

Food for Peace Title II is a critical U.S. international food aid program in the Farm Bill. This past week, the American Farmers Feed the World Act, S. 2862, was introduced in the Senate. Like the House version that was introduced this past June, provisions in this bill would seriously harm Food for Peace Title II.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has joined 24 NGOs in a statement expressing our concerns with the bill. If enacted, Food for Peace programs—particularly long-term development programs—would become inoperable. At a time of rising global hunger and malnutrition, this bill is a deadly proposition for millions of children and families. With the loss of Food for Peace non-emergency programs alone, the U.S. would reach 3 million fewer people with critical assistance to build self-sufficiency.

Please consider sending the email below to the foreign affairs staffer in the offices of your Senators and asking your coalition members to do the same. In Ohio, these are the foriegn affairs staffers in Senator Brown and Senator Vance's offices: drew_martineau@brown.senate.gov and teresa_schuster@vance.senate.gov. If you're registered in a different state, you can simply send your email to the senators' offices. We would appreciate it if you would also send a copy of your email to cynthia.phillips@crs.org—so that the CRS Government Relations team can follow up appropriately. Please add your personal message to the indicated sections to increase the impact of your communication.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need contact information for your offices. Thank you for considering this request, and for all you do to sustain the mission of CRS. 

With prayers and gratitude, 

Sabrina Burton Schultz

Email to send to member

SUBJECT: Please oppose S. 2862, American Farmers Feed the World Act

Dear [elected official],  

As your constituent and a supporter of Catholic Relief Services, I am writing to express my concerns for the needs of our global family. I urge you to protect international hunger-reducing programs and to oppose the American Farmers Feed the World Act (S. 2862), a bill that would seriously harm Food for Peace Title II.

If enacted, Food for Peace programs—particularly long-term development programs—would become inoperable. At a time of rising global hunger and malnutrition, this bill is a deadly proposition for millions of children and families. With the loss of Food for Peace non-emergency programs alone, the U.S. would reach 3 million fewer people with critical assistance to build self-sufficiency.

Food assistance programs like Food for Peace provide people with the resources they need to feed their families and support long-term solutions to poverty by strengthening resilience and self-sufficiency. Programs are most effective when implementing organizations can provide the right response based on community needs—including U.S. commodities, locally supplied seeds for farmers, improving market access and other approaches. By investing in long-term development programs, it decreases the need for future humanitarian assistance.

[Add Personal Story] 

Please oppose the American Farmers Feed the World Act and protect lifesaving food assistance programs, so that all members of our global family—especially those who are most vulnerable—can survive and thrive.   

If you or your staff have questions or would like to discuss more in detail, you can contact me or Cynthia Phillips, Senior Director of Government Relations at Catholic Relief Services, at cynthia.phillips@crs.org.

Thank you for your time, your consideration and your leadership.  

[Signature] 

 

Faith Week to End Ohio's Death Penalty

Ohio House Bill 259 (H.B. 259), one of two bipartisan bills to end Ohio's death penalty, will have its first of four expected committee hearings next week on Wednesday, October 4 at 10:00 a.m. Here's why this is important. Every time we have a hearing on our bill, it demonstrates that there is legislative momentum behind ending the death penalty. Each hearing we have is a step closer to a vote. We hope you will join us to pack the room at the Statehouse, in person, to be present for H.B. 259's first hearing.

  • Wednesday, October 4
  • 10:00 a.m.
  • Room 313, Ohio Statehouse

This coincides with the previously scheduled Faith Week to End Ohio’s Death Penalty – October 2-10. Faith Week will culminate in Day of Prayer, a 24-hour, in-person prayer vigil at the Ohio Statehouse starting at 5pm on October 9 and ending at 5pm on October 10 – World Day Against the Death Penalty. Midway through the vigil, faith leaders will release a letter from over 400 Ohio faith leaders, calling on lawmakers to end the death penalty.

When you register for Faith Week, there’s an option to register to attend the vigil. Click that option, and a campaign organizer will reach out to you about scheduling.

Afghan Adjustment Act

Stand in Solidarity with Our Afghan Neighbors

Help answer Pope Francis’ call for us to “welcome, protect, promote, and integrate” these newcomers by completing this action alert in support of the Afghan Adjustment Act. 

Protect Vulnerable Immigrant Youth Act

Urge Congress to Safeguard Children in Need and Ensure Communities Have Access to Religious Workers

Help ensure vulnerable youth receive the protections they deserve and American communities can benefit from the contributions of religious workers by completing this action alert in support of the Protect Vulnerable Immigrant Youth Act.

Urge Congress to Reauthorize the Farm Bill

The U.S. Farm Bill, reauthorized every five years, is a multi-billion dollar piece of legislation that affects three major areas: food, farms, and foreign aid. The bill is up for reauthorization this fall, and it's going to take all of us advocating for consistent - and hopefully increased - financial resources to be allocated to the areas this bill covers.

If you navigate to CRS' Farm Bill page, you'll find a recording of a presentation they did explaining the legislation, as well as a number of other helpful resources.

Urge Congress to prioritize timely passage of the 2023 Farm Bill and to reauthorize existing international programs that address immediate hunger needs and support long-term solutions, including:

  • McGovern-Dole Food for Education, which provides free, nutritious school lunches for millions of children who might not otherwise have a daily meal.
  • Food for Peace, which has provided emergency and developmental support to more than 4 billion people around the world since 1954.
  • Farmer-to-Farmer, which enables U.S. volunteers to help train and support farmers in other countries so they can adapt to climate change and improve their harvests.

Tell Congress to Fund WIC for All Families in Need

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking American Catholics to contact their US Representatives and Senators about making sure that national budget. Here's their request: "Now is the time to remind them that our society can and must do more to protect and care for both women and their children. Providing adequate support for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will do just that by providing healthy food and nutrition support for vulnerable moms, infants, and young children." Details and link for action

 

Ohio March for Life

Registration is still open, so invite your friends and join Flyers for Life on Friday, October 6th to march through downtown Columbus with fellow pro-life students from around the state. This is a great opportunity to encourage Ohioans that the pro-life movement is alive and to vote NO this November!

 

Justice for Immigrants

Call on Congress to Pass Funding Measures that Further the Common Good

Much is at stake as Congress debates federal funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, including our nation’s fundamental commitment to humanitarian protection. 

In the midst of National Migration Week, celebrated September 18-24, the House majority put forward its proposal for a temporary funding measure that includes several provisions from the Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 2), a sweeping immigration bill that would eliminate longstanding protections in U.S. law. These include provisions that would endanger unaccompanied children and inflict harm on other vulnerable persons, decimate access to asylum, mandate damaging detention and removal practices, restrict access to legal employment, limit—and potentially eliminate—federal partnerships with faith-based and other nongovernmental organizations, undermine the rule of law, and more.

As Bishop Mark J. Seitz, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, stated in a letter addressing H.R. 2, “this legislation contains such a combination of harmful measures that we believe its passage, on the whole, is beyond justification.”

On September 11, 2023, the chairmen of three different USCCB committees sent a letter to Congress, outlining their continuing and emergency funding priorities in several areas. They further expressed their deep concern about including H.R. 2 in any appropriations measure. 

More recently, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the USCCB, stated in a letter responding to the House proposal: “Catholic social teaching clearly recognizes a country’s right to regulate its borders in accordance with the common good, but ‘the USCCB opposes measures that seriously contradict our nation’s fundamental commitment to humanitarian protection, especially those that would undermine protection for the sanctity of human life.’ Because many of these provisions from H.R. 2 would do just that, we urge you to reject their inclusion here. Proceeding with their inclusion would make the measure objectionable and untenable. Immigration reform is long overdue, and compromise is necessary to achieve it, but unjust ultimatums must be rejected.”

Join the U.S. bishops in calling for bipartisan cooperation in Congress to avoid a government shutdown and enact a just budget that reduces future unsustainable deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people, advances the common good, and promotes human life and dignity—without sacrificing vital humanitarian protections. 

 

Update on Plastic Free Petition at UD

The Sustainability Club is a student organization focused on service and social action. Our mission is to foster sustainable activity through education, leadership, and action. In Spring 2023, the club gathered 450+ signatures from University of Dayton students, faculty, and staff in support of our Plastic Free Petition. Please continue to share this petition with all your friends and classmates.

The Sustainability Club executive board had the opportunity to convene with University representatives involved with revising the terms of the Pouring Rights contract with PepsiCo. The contract is an exclusive marketing agreement to make available, sell, dispense, and serve PepsiCo beverages during university events. Attendees at this meeting were Sara Harrison, the Executive Director of Procurement and Payable Services, Joan Bauman, the Executive Director of Dining Services, Steven Kendig, the Executive Director of Energy Utilization & Environmental Sustainability, and Lindsay Girardin, the Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Services & Campus Operations.

The University of Dayton has signed another 10-year contract with PepsiCo. The University of Dayton administration has communicated with the PepsiCo Sustainability Team about our interest in alternative materials for soda bottles. We are investigating aluminum soda bottles that are lightweight, durable, and recyclable. The representatives of the contract committee generally agree with our sentiments to reduce the amount of plastic products sold on campus through our Pouring Rights contract. However, aluminum water cans are primarily only provided on the West Coast market due to a lack of demand in our region.

In the Fall of 2023, students in Psychology of Climate Change worked with Dining Services to put a two-day ban on plastic bottles on campus. Student survey responses were fairly negative and expressed concerns against more expensive plastic-free alternative products. While some appreciated the University's commitment to sustainability, many students were upset with the lack of alternatives and choice. The University needs to offer affordable and accessible products for students. While PepsiCo is willing to work on bringing plastic-free products to our region sooner, getting campus-wide student support will be an ongoing challenge. Positive outcomes from the Pouring Rights contract include permitting Dining Services to sell 10% non-Pepsi drink products from local vendors from minority or women-owned businesses this semester. The University of Dayton will continue to make further strides toward sustainability initiatives with PepsiCo.

Since 2017, several sustainability initiatives by the University’s Department of Energy and Sustainability have received financial aid through our PespiCo contract. For example, the purchase of the University’s first composting system tools and supplies for the urban garden located on the grounds of Old River Park. Apiary supplies, rain barrels, seeds, vermiculture supplies, and equipment were purchased for the solar prairie at Daniel J. Curran Place. PepsiCo's Sustainability and Sales Teams have expressed their willingness to engage in conversations with the University to broaden the impact of the sustainability support funds. Lastly, as part of recent contract discussions, PepsiCo has agreed to increase its annual contribution to the University’s sustainability initiatives from $5,000 to $15,000 annually.

The switch to aluminum soda bottles will be a laborious task for the bottle industry. Currently, bottling manufacturers are not equipped to provide aluminum soda bottles at the scale that the University demands. The University needs to sell PepsiCo products over an agreed sales volume to receive a partial refund, called a rebate. While aluminum can sales are eligible for rebate funds, current sales volume and demand are low in this area. The representatives of the contract will continue discussions on how the rebates will be adjusted as University demand shifts to aluminum cans and bottles.

We wrote this letter with the intent to provide you with transparency and proof that your voices are being heard. With your support, we can push the boundaries of sustainability on this campus. The best way to show continued support is, as Joan Bauman said, “Vote with your dollars!” Other action items include buying soda from the fountain, buying glass or aluminum cans when available, and refraining from buying plastic bottles! Inform your friends about this update so we can redirect campus demands toward aluminum products. Stay updated with the Sustainability Club by joining our organization in 1850, the campus engagement platform.

We greatly appreciate the willingness that all of you have to make a change for the common good. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Sustainability Club at UDsustainability@gmail.com.

 

Action at the Ohio Statehouse

The Catholic Conference of Ohio represents the Church's position before the Ohio General Assembly, various state departments, bureaus, agencies and other organizations important issues of social justice. Check out their constantly updated information on current legislation at the Statehouse and Action Alerts describing how you can take action along with other Catholics in Ohio.

Care for God's Creation

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Catholic Climate Covenant encourages people to take these actions for environmental sustainability:

Capital Punishment

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Ohio Death Penalty Update

Currently, a bipartisan group of Ohio legislators supports repeal of Ohio's death penalty. This is great news on the road to a more consistent ethic of life in Ohio. 

Over the past two years, the No Death Penalty Ohio Coalition built a movement that saw historic legislative progress. Though the legislation that would end Ohio’s death penalty did not pass, we are determined to keep pushing for repeal. It’s a new session and Senate Bill 101 is making its way through committee. A house bill has yet to be introduced this session.

We need people like you to join the bipartisan movement to end the death penalty and to contact your House member and Senator.

 

Catholic Mobilizing Network

Each semester, CMN welcomes college and graduate student interns to their team, working alongside them on efforts to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice. 

CMN interns get hands-on experience and insight into the inner workings of a faith-based non-profit, and explore how their faith calls them to work for justice.

Explore CMN Internships!

Young people of faith are critical in national efforts to transform our criminal legal system. 

CMN is proud to work with young justice seekers all year round, empowering them to cultivate forms of justice that prioritize healing, right relationship, and repair.

 

Also join the Catholic Mobilizing Network for virtual prayer vigils and other programs. 

More information and links to the events.

 

Death Penalty Action

Death Penalty Action is a national organization that works to stop executions and abolish the death penalty through advocacy, education, and action. There are always opportunities to take action, most of them online.

Gun Violence

"It'll take us all giving up a small chunk of time every few days to win these elections. You can do this as an event for your group as well! No matter where you live now, if we allow Ohio legislators to get away with making our schools more dangerous the effects will be felt nationwide -- I'm going all in to ensure we elect gun sense candidates in Ohio and I hope you'll join me."    Jay- Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

For more information about Students Demand Action, visit https://studentsdemandaction.org/

Hunger

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2023 Farm Bill

It's that time again! Every five years, Congress reauthorizes the massive legislation that is the Farm Bill. In it there is money for foreign aid, farm subsidies, and food. You can read more about it here.

On April 24, 2023, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to Congress laying out it's faith-based moral perspective on what should be included. The letter ends with "Now is a critical time to hear both the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth, to consider the needs of the hungry, of underserved farmers, and of rural communities." 

You can contact your Congressperson and Senator to let them what you believe ought to be in the bill based on your moral beliefs. They do pay attention to well-informed college students!

 

Immigration

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The US Conference of Catholic Bishops advocates for immigrants and refugees through its Justice for Immigrants program. There is always legislative action that can use your voice! 

Peace and Disarmament

Grounded in the Gospel and Catholic social teaching, Pax Christi USA is a membership organization that rejects war, preparation for war, every form of violence and domination, and personal and systemic racism. It is a section of Pax Christi International, the international Catholic peace and justice movement that seeks to model the peace of Christ in its witness to the mandate of the nonviolence of the Cross.

This faith-based organization offers up-to-date information and advocacy opportunities for you to take action on. Plus they offer many prayer resources.

Racial Justice

BREATHE Act

Please join organizations across the country such as the Movement for Black Lives and Faith in Public Life Action in asking your Congresspeople to co-sponsor the BREATHE Act.  

The BREATHE Act’s promise is simple: take money from systems of punishment and surveillance that disproportionately harm Black communities and invest in infrastructure that supports growth, learning and equity. We can create a moral budget when we fund schools, affordable housing, culturally competent mental health care and support for people who use drugs. Right now we have the chance to protect our environment, create and sustain community jobs and value the labor of all workers.

We cannot hold our breath any longer waiting for white supremacy to dismantle itself. We must act with the courage of our convictions to demand a future free from anti-Blackness, racist policing, the school-to-prison pipeline and mass incarceration. Building a multiracial coalition of support for the BREATHE Act is a first step. Visit https://breatheact.org/ for more information. 

Watch, Listen, Learn, Act and Pray

Racism is on the minds of a lot of people right now. We have adapted a resource that you can use by yourself or with a small faith community that includes videos, podcasts, readings, ideas for action, and prayers that could help in becoming an anti-racist. In adapting this from the Mercy Volunteer Corps, we added a number of items created by members of the UD and Marianist families.

Take the Anti-Racism Challenge

CONTACT

Campus Ministry's Center for Social Concern

Liberty Hall
300 College Park Ave.
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0408
937.229.2524
CSC Website