VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Returning to Danger
Fair Food Label
For I Was Hungry
Child Labor
Children's Day
Buy Nothing Day
World AIDS Day
Half of All Wildlife - Gone
Small Farmers
Protect America's Water
St. Francis
New Universe Story - Advent Resource
Veterans Day
Tolerance
Against Gender-Based Violence
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November/2014
     
 
During the month of November we invite you to join SSNDs around the world in taking time to reflect on the realities facing children these days. How does your faith call you to respond?
 
May our eyes be open to see the beauty and the suffering of so many children near and far. May our ears hear the cry of the voiceless among your children, both in our neighborhood and in our global villages. Grant us what we need to be truly about the well-being of your children throughout the world.
       
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Human Life and Dignity             waveofprayer


Central Americans Returned to Danger  
The new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report You Don't Have Rights Here finds that the US is sending Central Americans back to the risk of serious harm. Based on interviews with deported migrants and asylum seekers as well as analysis of CBP data, HRW reports there are serious gaps in US protections for asylum seekers.

US Returning Migrants to Danger 
US Returning Migrants to Danger

HRW calls for the Obama administration to stop fast-tracking Central American migrants for deportation and reverse its decision to expand the detention of migrant families. Learn more, take action.   
 

Human Life and Dignity                    


CIW Launches Fair Food Label    
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has officially released a Fair Food label to help shoppers identify which tomatoes come from ethical farms. The label is available to all grocery stores and restaurants that participate in the Fair Food Program. Participants in the Program pay a small premium when they buy Florida tomatoes, with the premium going to increase wages for farmworkers. They also commit to a worker-created Code of Conduct to ensure safe working conditions and prevent forced labor, sexual harassment, and child labor in the fields.

The Fair Food Program,  
              
The Washington Post calls the Fair Food Program "one of the great human rights success stories of our day." Learn more.   

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Human Life and Dignity               


For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food        
Issued on November 12, 2003 by the USCCB, this document reminds us that "the presence of so much hunger and poverty in our communities, nation, and around the world is a grave moral scandal. The primary goals of agricultural policies should be providing food for all people and reducing poverty among farmers and farmworkers in this country and abroad."  Read more about poverty in the US and Canada.  Consider reflecting on this women in poverty infographic and this UNICEF report on child poverty.  
     
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Human Life and Dignity               


Child Labor Around the World          
The latest edition of the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report assesses efforts by more than 140 countries to reduce the worst forms of child labor and suggests actions they can take to eliminate child labor. "This report shines a light on the estimated 168 million children around the world who toil in the shadows - crawling underground in mine shafts, sewing in textile factories or serving in households as domestic workers," said US Secretary of Labor Perez. Learn more.  Relatedly, the labor ministers and representatives of 25 Latin American and Caribbean countries recently signed a declaration launching an initiative to rid the region of child labor. Learn more.

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Human Life and Dignity               


November 20 is Universal Children's Day       
Universal Children's Day marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the Declaration (in 1959) and the Convention on children's rights (in 1989). This year's Nobel Prize for Peace recognizes two individuals for their work in promoting children's rights.  Learn more about Kailash Satyarti of India and Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan.

Malala Yousafzai 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Speech
          
     
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Human Life and Dignity               


Buy Nothing Day - November 29          
The day after Thanksgiving (US) is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.  Many stores vie to see who can open the earliest and offer the most attractive deals on what you absolutely need to have this year. Buy Nothing Day is an opportunity to challenge our entrenched consumer culture, one person at a time. Learn more/take action.

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Human Life and Dignity               


World AIDS Day - December 1            
As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide. An estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, of which about 270,000 are children. Called to respond to the crises of our time, we invite you to learn more/take action 

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Integrity of Creation              


Earth Has Lost Half Its Wildlife in Past 40 years  
A new report from Britain's World Wildlife Fund says the planet has lost half its wild animals since 1970, according to a deeply troubling analysis of 10,000 different populations of mammals, fishes, and birds. The causes of the decline are the usual ones -- mainly 44 percent habitat loss and destruction, 37 percent "exploitation," and 7 percent climate change. The fastest declines were found in freshwater ecosystems, where numbers have plummeted by 75 percent since 1970. While the losses are staggering, the US Endangered Species Act provides some hope: more than 90 percent of all species protected by the Act have staved off extinction, and hundreds are on the path toward recovery. Learn more.
 
 

Integrity of Creation              


Small Farmers - the World's Main Food Producers            

A new study by the non-profit organization GRAIN reports that small farmers are the world's main food producers and they do it on a quarter of the land of large farms. Catholic Rural Life supports efforts to put land back in the hands of proprietary farmers and make the struggle for agrarian reform central to the push for better food systems. It's timely to do so during this International Year of the Family Farmer.     
 

Integrity of Creation              


Protect America's Water     
Forty years ago two-thirds of America's lakes, rivers, and coastal waters were unsafe for fishing and swimming. Because of the Clean Water Act, that number has since been cut in half. However, one-third of our nation's waters are still in trouble. The Obama administration has proposed a new protection to clarify which wetlands and streams in the U.S. are covered under the Clean Water Act. This proposal will finally restore protections, as originally intended, to almost all of the nation's fresh waters - ensuring safe drinking water for 117 million Americans and safe habitat for other living beings. Learn more, send a message of support.

Integrity of Creation              


Patron of Those Who Promote Ecology              

On November 29, 1979 Pope John Paul II named Saint Francis of Assisi the "heavenly patron of those who promote ecology."  Francis possessed a passionate and sensory love of all creation as God's handiwork. On this 35th anniversary of this significant event, let us consider deepening our understanding of what it means to call St. Francis the patron of ecology, and to explore our responsibility to care for creation as its stewards. Resources for individual, group reflection.      
 

Integrity of Creation              


Advent in the New Universe Story - Resource             

S. Terri MacKenzie (SHCJ) invites you to consider a four week Advent reflection to deepen your understanding of the Christmas/ Incarnation reality in the context of the New Universe Story.  The reflection combines a focus on Christianity within the new scientific understanding of the world with a practical concern for Earth. Download Advent reflection.     
 

Integrity of Creation              


OurVoices Campaign               
In follow-up to the People's Climate March, you are invited to consider joining the OurVoices Campaign, a multi-faith international campaign calling for a strong climate treaty at the Paris 2015 Climate Summit. As people of faith, we believe that climate change is a moral issue that requires our immediate and sustained attention. Learn more/take action.

       
 

Peace and Non-Violence               


Reflecting on Veterans Day / Remembrance Day 
On November 11 we take time to honor veterans and thank them for their sacrifices. While the parades and speeches are memorable in many ways, honoring veterans should also include advocacy for sufficient care and ongoing support for veterans coming home with injured bodies and traumatized spirits.  Honoring veterans also compels us to question the reasons for and purpose of military interventions in other countries. Reflection resource

Peace and Non-Violence               


Is Tolerance Enough?  
November 16 is the International Day of Tolerance, an invitation extended to member states since 1996 by the UN General Assembly. To tolerate means to accept or endure with patience or resignation. Can we move beyond that limited definition toward greater willingness to understand differences of opinion or lifestyle, greater acceptance of those differences as opportunities rather than obstacles, greater collaboration on common ground issues on which we might agree? How can we move beyond tolerance?  

Peace and Non-Violence               


16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence     
From November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

This year, the UN Secretary-General's Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites you to "Orange Your Neighbourhood." Take the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops, and businesses, and organize "Orange Events" in your own neighborhoods. Learn more/take action.  

The SSND International Shalom Network witnesses to the Gospel with audacity and hope as we collaborate to build just relationships and respond to the urgent needs of our times.    

Shalom LogoShalom News North America is an e-publication of the Shalom North America Contacts (SNAC) of the School Sisters of Notre Dame - Arlene Flaherty, Ethel Howley, Jeanne Wingenter, Paulette Zimmerman, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at tdewane@ssndcp.org.

Please only print this e-publication if necessary.