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NewsNotes, May-June 2009

Remaining awake through a great revolution, Pax Christi USA’s national conference: This year’s gathering will be held July 16-19, in Chicago at the Wyndham O’Hare Hotel. Speakers include Maryknoll Fr. Miguel d’Escoto, president of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly; Claudette Werleigh, Secretary General of Pax Christi International; Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices in the Wilderness/Voices for Creative Nonviolence; and Bishop Leroy Matthiesen, this year’s recipient of the Teacher of Peace Award. Contact PCUSA for more information, 814-453-4955.

Delegations to Latin America: SOA Watch and the Marin Task Force on the Americas will sponsor three delegations to Latin America in 2009: Venezuela, June 17-26; Bolivia, August 14-24; and Chile, October 8-18. Check with SOA Watch for more information; call 202-234-3440.

Viva la cause: The story of César Chávez and a great movement for social justice: Free for schools, this DVD and guide share Chávez’s life and his legacy with young adults. “Viva La Causa” focuses on one of the seminal events in the march for human rights: the grape strike and boycott led by Chávez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. The 39-minute DVD shows how thousands of people from across the nation joined in a struggle for justice for the most exploited people in our country — the workers who put food on our tables. The kit includes a teacher’s guide with standards-based lesson plans. It meets content standards for social studies and language arts, grades 7-12.

Listening to Earth: Faith and action in a time of global climate change: How do we connect our responsibility to address global climate change with our work for justice and peace? What does care for creation have to do with our call to follow Christ? How can we renew community through prayer, study and action? This five-session resource from Pax Christi USA, “Listening to Earth,” features stories of environmental injustice and the hope that inspired grassroots solutions for change. Each session includes stories, small and large group discussions, prayers, and suggestions for action. NOTE: This is a PDF download. Go to Pax Christi's website for more information about purchasing and prices.

The St. Francis pledge to care for creation and the poor: Presented by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. The people most affected by the impact of climate change are the world’s poorest. As Catholics, our faith demands prudent action; this pledge is a small step toward responding in a faith-filled way. Those who sign the pledge promise to: 1) pray and reflect on the duty to care for God’s creation and protect poor and vulnerable people; 2) learn about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change; 3) assess how we contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc.; 4) act to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change; and 5) advocate for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable. To sign the pledge and learn more about the coalition, contact: Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, P.O. Box 60205, Washington, D.C. 20039; (301) 322-1180; email:

Economic Meltdown Funnies: Written by Chuck Collins and Nick Thorkelson, with illustrations by Thorkelson, this 16-page web-based resource is a useful primer on the economic crisis, presented in comic-book style. Co-produced by Jobs with Justice and the Institute for Policy Studies/Program on Inequality and the Common Good. With registration, you can download a free copy of the PDF version; hard copies are available for a donation. All information is available on the website.

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