Vol. 37, No. 2
1) Election 2012: Catholics vote for the common good: This project, organized by NETWORK, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Franciscan Action Network, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and other Catholic groups, stems from momentum created during the 2008 election cycle. In 2012, the project's goal is to create common goo platforms for each state and the District of Columbia, which will be signed and delivered to candidates and public officials. The common good is defined as "the total of all those conditions of social living – economic, political, sociological and cultural – which make it possible for women and men readily and fully to achieve the perfection of their humanity. Individual rights are always experienced within the context of the promotion of the common good." ("Catholic Social Teaching, our best kept secret," Orbis Books, 2004) Learn more at www.commongood2012.org.
2) World Water Day: The UN's World Water Day is March 22. An estimated two-thirds of the earth's surface is water. Yet more than one billion people (one in six of us) don't have access to clean drinking water. This kills more children annually than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Visit the multi-language site for World Water Day events here.
3) "Is this the fast I seek?" Economy, livelihood and our national priorities: The tenth annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice will be held at the Doubletree Crystal City near Washington, D.C. from March 23-26. Learn more at www.advocacydays.org.
4) The Iran Primer: This website brings together 50 experts—both Western and Iranian—to offer comprehensive but concise overviews of Iran's politics, economy, military, foreign policy, and nuclear program. Each link connects to a complete chapter on one of 62 subjects in 10 categories. Printable PDF attachments also are at the bottom of each chapter. New analysis is added weekly, based on recent developments in Iran. Provided by the U.S. Institute of Peace.
5) Anti-trafficking resources: The U.S Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) effort to combat human trafficking is called the Blue Campaign, organized around the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Some resources available on the DHS website include the Human Trafficking "Coffee Break" Training PDF, which gives individuals a checklist of indicators to consider when faced with a possible trafficking situation, and a pamphlet entitled "Anti-Human Trafficking Resource for Worshipping Communities," for your organization's use in public outreach activities. Visit the DHS website to locate the resources.
6) Africa Renewal: This online resource, blog and magazine site, provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today. It also produces public information materials, including backgrounders, press releases and feature articles. It works with the media in Africa and beyond to promote the work of the United Nations, Africa and the international community to bring peace and development to Africa.
7) The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE): This project examines the negative side of an economy's striving for growth and expansion. A steady state economy is preferred since it is a sustainable alternative to perpetual economic growth.
8) Tackling urban violence in Latin America: Reversing exclusion through smart policing and social investment: This report from the Washington Office on Latin America shares new strategies to reduce violence in Rio de Janeiro, Medellin, Ciudad Juarez and Santa Tecla. These include implementing new violence protection programs and community councils and more investment in social services.