Friday, June 26, 2009

The Stoning of Soraya M.

Recommended by Immaculee Ilibagiza; her message to us: The Stoning of Soraya M. is a powerful and riveting true story about a deadly conspiracy . . . and one woman’s refusal to be silent. With disturbing reports of current events in Iran and the film’s focus on human rights abuses under Sharia law, it couldn’t be more timely. The Huffington Post said it best, “Women must see it, and keep in mind that by Iran's constitution the life of a female is worth half that of a male. . . . Indeed, for anyone who claims to care about the most basic of human rights, this film is a must.” The movie opens on Friday, June 26. Those behind this production need your support and the support of your friends to fill theatres on opening weekend, in order to send a message to those regimes that condone this form of punishment.

Vietnamese Workers in the Czech Republic

Those who read the SCC JPIC blog from Rome may have noticed a story about Vietnamese workers in the Czech Republic. As I searched for an English version of the story, here's what I found the June 5 NY Times article, "Crisis Strands Vietnamese Workers in a Czech Limbo," by Dan Bilefsky. Click here to link to the article.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Blessing to One Another

Alvernia University, Reading, PA -- an alma mater of your blog author -- is showing the exhibit, "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People," through July 30. While I had already seen it at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, I was in Reading and thought it was worth another look. And . . . it was worth another look! Unfortunately, since its opening at Alvernia on April 21, fewer than 2,ooo people have viewed this moving and informative exhibit. So, if you live within driving distance of Alvernia, get there before July 30. You won't regret it. Click here for more information on the Alvernia website. Additionally, here's a video to whet your appetite (e-mail subscribers, click here to view the video).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

EFJ Summer Reading

You'll recall that two weeks ago, this blog recommended a summer reading list from Education for Justice (EFJ). Today, we give you the second book (now a major motion picture) from the EFJ list, The Soloist, by Steve Lopez, covering the themes of dignity of the human person, homelessness, and mental illness.

Description from EFJ: When Steve Lopez saw Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he found it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years earlier, Ayers had been a promising classical bass student at Juilliard -- ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans -- until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless, paranoid, and deeply troubled, but glimmers of that brilliance are still there.

In the process of trying to save Ayers, Lopez finds that his own life is changing, and his sense of what one man can accomplish in the lives of others begins to expand him in new ways.

Monday, June 15, 2009

National Call-In Day on Afghanistan

From Pax Christi USA:
Even as momentum is building for an exit strategy for Afghanistan, we need to keep the pressure on. On Tuesday, June 16, a number of groups are participating in a national call-in day for an Afghanistan exit strategy, in support of Rep. McGovern's bill, HR 2404. Pax Christi USA has been a strong supporter of this legislation and we're being asked to help mobilize Catholic Members of Congress as co-sponsors. Click here to access three actions Pax Christi is asking us to take.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Women and girls bear most of the burden of lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Women are more than twice as likely as men to be responsible for water collection, and on average, women in the developing world walk three and a half miles each day to collect water. Right now, there's a bill -- the Durbin-Corker Water Act of 2009 -- that will enable 100 million people to gain access to clean water and sanitation by 2015. The bill needs about 15 more cosponsors to move forward. To help make this happen, please ask your senators to cosponsor the Water for the World Act. Clicking this link will take you to the website, where you can sign a petition asking your senators to co-sponsor the bill. While you are visiting this site, be sure to view the charity: water video (only 1 minute in length), which brings the message home quite uniquely and creatively. I'll embed the video here, but e-mail subscribers may have to go to the site to view it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Congress 2009: Women Religious in Network Against Trafficking in Persons

The UISG and the International Organization for Migration are conducting Congress 2009: Women Religious in Network Against Trafficking in Persons from June 15-18, 2009 in Rome. This second Congress aims to reinforce the network of women religious in their commitment in the field of trafficking. Click here to read the brochure that contains the objectives of Congress 2009 and a list of speakers. Let's keep this important meeting in our prayers as we renew our commitment to combat trafficking. Additionally, click here to read the declaration of the women religious who participated in last year's inaugural conference.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stop Trafficking Newsletter

So many times, we ask what audiovisual resources or books are available to spread the anti-trafficking message. This month's Stop Trafficking newsletter highlights these resources and is well worth reading. Additionally, page 7 of the newsletter contains an article (written by Sister Clare Nolan) about the SCC Spring 2009 assembly, "Living with a Heart of Justice." Click here to access the newsletter.

Friday, June 5, 2009

June is Torture Awareness Month

During this month the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) provides a number of resources for parishes, congregations, etc. and a Religious Witness at the White House on June 11, at noon, calling for a Commission of Inquiry into U.S. practice of torture. Please visit<> . TASSC (Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International) also has a series of events in DC and resources on their web site: <> .

Thursday, June 4, 2009

EFJ Summer Reading List

Education for Justice (EFJ) has suggested several different books for your reading pleasure this summer. Each book deals with the theme of Global Solidarity in some way. This blog will be featuring these books throughout the summer months. First is the novel, Right of Thirst, by Frank Huyler. According to EFJ, this book presents the sub-themes of wealth and poverty, the ethics of intervention, and human bonds and responsibilities.

Book description: Shattered by his wife's death, and by his own role in it,
successful cardiologist Charles Anderson volunteers to assist with earthquake relief in an impoverished Islamic country in a constant state of conflict with its neighbor. But when the refugees he's come to help do not appear and artillery begins to fall in the distance along the border, the story takes an unexpected turn.
This haunting, resonant tour de force about one man's desire to live a moral life offers a moving exploration of the tensions between poverty and wealth, the ethics of intervention, the deep cultural differences that divide the world, and the essential human similarities that unite it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Be a Voice Against Child Sex Tourism

End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT) ECPAT-USA now has a new project called The TassaTag Project, a high profile luggage tag project. This Project has three goals:
• To enhance a financial enterprise for high-risk women
in Thailand who make the luggage tags by hand.
• To raise awareness about how we can protect children from sexual exploitation;
• To raise funds to continue our fight against child prostitution and trafficking that feeds child sex tourism.

A TassaTag is a 4”x6”, bright hand-woven cotton luggage tag that helps you spot your luggage more easily while reclaiming children’s lives . It is practical, environmentally sensitive and fair trade.

With a TassaTag you, the traveler, will be part of the ECPAT-USA Project by increasing the recognition of the TassaTag logo as a symbol against the sexual slavery and trafficking of children, raising awareness of this major illegal trade around the world, and supporting the Tourism Industry’s efforts to protect children.

With a TassaTag you support The Regina Center in Nongkhai, Thailand, which provides education and income generating skills and opportunities for women. The project enables women to stay in their villages and keep their children in school, which are two major strategies in reducing sex trafficking. The Regina Center is one of the producing partners of Handcrafting Justice, a member of the Fair Trade Federation.

To purchase the color of your choice, go to: