WORK IN PROGRESS
Season for Social Justice 2017
“Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.”
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, excerpted from Hearts on Fire
This September, our annual Season for Social Justice embraces the deep truth that we are each a WORK IN PROGRESS. We are human – sometimes we get it right, sometimes we mess up. We also see and experience a country and a world with movements for justice that are certainly a work in progress, too. This is because the roots of injustice run deep and thus bear the fruit of daily violence in Chicago, the forces of white supremacy in Charlottesville and beyond, and the stress of our brothers and sisters trying to make ends meet. Do you know that anxious feeling of being in suspense, being incomplete, not knowing what to do? Don’t run away from it. Stay with it. There are no quick fixes, but there is real work for us to do as people of faith who seek justice. Join us for our Wednesday evening workshops listed below, and stop by our table after Masses on Sundays for resources and ways YOU can be a part of this movement.
Wednesdays in September – 6:00pm Check in | 6:15pm Program | 7:45pm End
September 6: Economic Justice (Hughes Hall)
“Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” -Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ
We know violence and poverty in Chicago are connected to a lack employment. In other words, how do we ensure that people have access to good and stable jobs? Recall your last job search. Think about the pieces that fell into place for you to get that job. These advantages are not spread equally in our city. So what can we do about it? Join us for a compelling examination of joblessness, poverty, and violence in Chicago – especially in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side. We will explore these issues and how the people of Old St. Pat’s are responding in compassion and kinship. Presentations by experts in the field, live testimonies by those most affected, and opportunities for give and take discussion will be featured. The evening will also proudly launch North Lawndale Works, a new initiative to provide jobs for North Lawndale residents in collaboration with members of Old St. Pat’s, The Cara Program, the North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN), and the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC).
- Maria Kim – President/CEO of The Cara Program and CleanSlate. The Cara Program is a social purpose organization successfully uplifting people and communities through the power of employment. Cleanslate is a social enterprise of The Cara Program, providing paid transitional jobs in neighborhood beautification for a dual purpose – to invigorate communities and to provide a platform for individuals to build skills to secure lasting careers.
- Brenda Palms Barber – Founding Executive Director of the North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN), and Chief Executive Officer of Sweet Beginnings, LLC. Since 1999, NLEN, an urban workforce development agency located in North Lawndale, has helped thousands of people to achieve economic advancement and an improved quality of life. Sweet Beginnings is a social enterprise of NLEN using urban beekeeping to create jobs for those with significant barriers to employment.
- Men and Women served by The Cara Program and NLEN
September 13: Criminal Justice & Restorative Justice (Hughes Hall)
What do you do when need a job, but you have a criminal record? Hear from our friends at Community Renewal Society and the FORCE project about their passion for reforming the criminal justice system and creating real opportunities for folks with records. We’ll also share updates on the North Lawndale Restorative Justice Community Court for 18-26 year olds – the first of its kind in the country!
September 20: Educational Justice (Room 25ABC, Fr. Jack Wall Mission Center)
How do the disciplinary systems in our schools impact children? How are we preparing the next generation for future jobs if we aren’t ensuring equal access to quality education for all youth? Join us as we listen to testimonies from students in Chicago as they tell stories of educational inequalities and often unfair discipline systems.
September 27: Racial Justice (Hughes Hall)
What does a healthy conversation on racial justice feel like? Is there really anything we can do with such a divisive topic? We invite you to join us for an introduction to systemic racism and the space to ask all the questions you’ve been running through your mind when you feel overwhelmed about the state of our city and country.
Season for Social Justice 2017