Ignatian Advocacy Alerts from the CCSJ

Thanks to the CCSJ Advocacy Teams for consistently laboring on behalf of many important local, national and international issues. Check out some Advocacy alerts below!

Migration: Presente.org

Support Immigration Reform
Since the Senate passed an immigration bill in June, it seems the House of Representatives has put immigration on the back burner. By failing to even allow an up or down vote on immigration reform, Speaker of the House, Representative John Boehner, risks squandering the summer’s momentum towards providing real relief for as many as 11 million immigrants. Ask Rep. Boehner to schedule a vote on immigration reform within two weeks of raising the debt ceiling here.

Sustainability: Sierra Club

Protect our communities from radioactive waste
For decades, nuclear power reactors all over the country have been able to operate without consideration to what would happen to the highly radioactive waste they produced. This put communities and the environment at risk across the nation. Now, federal courts are requiring the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to study the environmental and health impacts of storage if the plant cannot find a permanent repository. Tell the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to protect our communities and environment from radioactive waste by adopting rules that look at each nuclear plant closely.

Upcoming CCSJ Events

St. Francis’ Feast Day!!
Come celebrate in many ways! On October 4th, Fr. Lannon will preside at noon Mass in St. John’s Church. Following Mass, enjoy a complimentary lunch, discussion, and sustainability fair in Lower Saint John’s Church. We will be highlighting the opportunity to sign the St. Francis Climate Pledge found here.
OTOC: Cultural Night
On Saturday, October 5th, from 5-7:30pm, OTOC is hosting a cultural night at Creighton Prep in the commons. The night will include snacks and refreshments, time to speak with the performers, and dance and other performances in traditional dress. Tickets are $10 for individuals and $20 for families. Profits from the night will be used to support other activities in the refugee communities. To reserve a ticket, call 402-344-4401 or email iplomaha@gmail.com.

Creighton Students for Life: March for Life Trip to Washington, D.C.

In January Creighton Students for Life is taking a trip to Washington D.C. for the March for Life. This march is in support of the fight against pro-life issues such as abortion, the death penalty, stem-cell research, and euthanasia. As a club, CSFL advocates for the preservation of life because it believes each person, no matter how small, has inherent human dignity. You do not have to be a member of CSFL in order to attend this event! The trip costs $220/person. If interested, contact Bianca De Sousa at biancadesousa@creighton.edu with your full name, and a time you can meet at Skutt Fireplace on Friday, October 25th with payment!

What Cortina Was To Me: Galvanizing

The Cortina experience gave me a very real and human perspective on some of the most pressing social justice issues facing our world today. Most notably, my experience focused heavily on immigration. Through a half-week service trip and weekly volunteering at Pixan Ixim in south Omaha, I was presented with a salient example of the plights of modern immigrants in my own backyard. Relaxing around a dinner table and swapping stories in quasi-Spanglish was the best context for learning about individual immigrants’ decisions for coming to the U.S.,  their unique struggles within our own city, and their hopes and dreams for their lives. Nowhere in textbooks or newspaper articles could I find stories like I heard through immigrants firsthand. Combined with the information I was presented from the Cortina ethics class and conversations with fellow students, the valuable experiences in Cortina gave me a balanced view of the multi-faceted nature of immigration, as well as many other topics such as gay marriage, human trafficking, sustainability, the death penalty, etc.

Though my Cortina experienced has long since ended, the critical lens through which I view social justice issues continues to hone itself within the context of my education, my career decisions, and my political views. As a future dentist, I am cognizant of healthcare difficulties facing immigrants. My aim is to one day provide low-cost dental services to various under-treated populations. As a citizen, I try to be aware of current events affecting unjust practices in our world by listening to NPR, voting, and engaging with people of different worldviews than mine. Truly, the Cortina experience has shaped the way I approach my life. I live with greater gratitude for the opportunities afforded me. However, the concept of social justice mandates more than mere reflection. Social justice demands action, just as love demands action.  And it is through my actions that I hope to continually live out the values I acquired through my time at Creighton and in Cortina.

One word to describe my Cortina experience: galvanizing
-Theresa Greving, A Cortinian from 2009-2010

Theresa G

Advocacy Alerts

Thanks so much to the Advocacy team in the CCSJ for these reminders.

Sierra Club
No More Deepwater Horizons
Three years ago, the Gulf experienced one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation’s history, when an explosion on BP’s Deep Water Horizon rig left an oil well gushing. The damage from that disaster will be felt in the Gulf region for years to come. But Big Oil hasn’t learned its lesson. Oil companies continue to push for dangerous, devastating drilling projects on our coasts and in our public lands. Last year, Shell Oil had to abandon plans to drill in America’s Arctic when its equipment continually failed. And just this month, an Exxon Mobil pipeline in Arkansas ruptured, releasing 157,000 of gallons of oil into a small community. Tell President Obama that we need to protect our communities, coasts, and public lands from dangerous oil drilling and spills!

Amnesty International
Urge President Obama: No more drones!
You’ve helped convince Congress to hold hearings on the Obama administration’s killer drones. Now take the next step and urge President Obama and Congress to follow Amnesty International’s 5 Point Plan for reforming the U.S. drone strike policy. Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the Obama administration’s so-called ‘targeted killing’ program allows for the use of lethal force, including with drones, that violates the right to life under international law.

Health Care Conscience Rights Act
The Obama Administration’s contraceptive/abortifacient/sterilization mandate will begin to be enforced against nonprofit religious schools, charities and health care providers on August 1. In the days to come, Congress must decide whether to address this problem through must-pass legislation before that deadline. Members of the House should be urged to include the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940) in the next bill needed to keep the federal government operating. Please send an email asking Congress to protect conscience rights and religious liberty.

Upcoming Events
Omaha Together One Community
On Monday, May 6th at 7pm, OTOC is hosting a Candidates Accountability Night. The event will take place at Pius X Church at 6905 Blondo Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68104. Candidates for Mayor and City Council will be there so that the community can be educated on where each candidate stands on important issues. For more information, go to OTOC’s website.

Film Streams
A Place at the Table runs Friday, May 3 through May 16th at Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater. The film discusses food injustice-specifically food insecurity. Fifty million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite the fact that we have the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity. Their stories are interwoven with insights from experts-especially sociologists. A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it can be solved once and for all. Yet, the solution will only come when the American public decides that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all! For more information, or to watch the trailer, click here.

USCCB and Catholic Relief Services
On April 22, from 1-2pm EDT, Catholic Relief Services and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are hosting an online Catholics Confront Global Poverty discussion called Promoting Human Life and Dignity in the Year of Faith: Why People Migrate. Join the online discussion for an opportunity to hear about the Church’s ongoing work to address the root causes of migration through programs and advocacy efforts that protect life and human dignity. You will also be able to ask questions and engage in dialogue regarding how Catholics in the US, through the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative, can make a difference for our brothers and sisters living in poverty.

Tuesday Newsday [4.23.13]

So much is happening in the world of headlines that I have neither the space nor the emotional strength to digest it all. The tone of the country is somber and heavy, but it is not without glimpses of hope. I have chosen just a few articles, in hopes of balancing the intense weight. Please take the time to read up on a few issues that are actively shaping the moral and political, and literal climate of our country. _____________________________________________________


I am sorry to put such a disturbing article first on the list, but country is currently perpetrating (or at least ignoring, depending on your view) one of the most repulsive and flagrant human rights violations in the world. It has been happening for years, and we are just learning about it. Please, if you read nothing else, take a moment to read the Huffington Post article about this atrocity.


Read the BBC article here. Gotta mix the good news with the bad, you know?


According to a new report by the Pew Research Center, since the U.S. economy officially emerged from the recession in 2009, the net worth of the richest 7% of Americans has increased by 28%, while the net worth of the “other” 93% has decreased by 4%. Read the L.A. Times report here.


There are only 3 articles. Please read them. This stuff is important. The two greatest wastes of potential are uninformed minds and unread news.



Advocacy Alerts

Sierra Club
Tell President Obama: No more toxic sludge
Coal-fired power plants produce more toxic waste than any other industry in the United States, including the chemical, plastic, and paint manufacturing industries. They spew millions of pounds of pollutants into our waters every year. And the problem is only getting worse.
The EPA estimates that the amount of toxic wastewater from these plants is going to increase 28% over the next 15 years. That means more heavy metals and more toxic sludge in more streams and rivers, resulting in more contaminated rivers, more unhealthy streams, and more poisoned wildlife. Tell President Obama that you want pollution free water!

Contact your senators and urge them to help reduce gun violence!
The US bishops call for all people to work for a culture of life, and to do more to end violence in our homes. In particular, legislators should: Support measures that control the sale and use of firearms; support measures that make guns safer (especially efforts to prevent their unsupervised use by children and anyone other than the owner); call for sensible regulations of handguns; support legislative efforts that seek to protect society from the violence associated with easy access to deadly weapons, including assault weapons; and make a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime. Support the bishops and their call by sending a letter to your senators here!

Amnesty International
Stop the execution of Abdullah al-Qahtani in Iraq!
Saudi Arabian national Abdullah al-Qahtani is at imminent risk of execution in Iraq. He is one of six men accused of taking part in an armed raid on a Baghdad shop in 2009. While al-Qahtani and his co-defendants confessed to being members of al-Qa’ida, it was only after they were subjected to brutal torture, including severe beatings, partial asphyxiation, cigarette burns, and pulling on genitals. Four of these six men have already been executed; Abdullah al-Qahtani could be next. Act now to ask that justice is upheld!

Ignatian Solidarity Network
How you can be a “humane” immigration reform voice!
Tomorrow, April 10th, please call your US Senators and Representatives and relay the following message: I am a constituent calling from [your city]. As a member of the Ignatian Solidarity Network (if appropriate also share other institutional ties – ie. student, faculty, graduate, parishioner, etc. of/at [your institution]), I am calling to ask [Legislators Name] to support “humane” immigration reform that keeps families together, respects the rights of workers, protects vulnerable women and children, and provides young people with access to higher education. Can you please share this message for “humane” reform with [Legislators Name]? Click here to find the numbers for your elected officials, and help make immigration reform a reality!

Upcoming Events
Empowerment Network Monthly Meeting
Saturday, April 13th at 8:45 at the North High School Viking Center, is the Empowerment Network’s monthly meeting! All are welcome!

Immigration Resources

Below is an ever-expanding list of resources to further our understanding of immigration and issues surrounding immigration. Please comment below if you have additional resources to add to the list!

Enrique’s Journey
The Devil’s Highway
Dead in Their Tracks
Down by the River
Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexican Border
Crossing Over
Twilight on the Line
Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border
Forging the Tortilla Curtain
By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border
Nobody’s Son
Wandering Time
Children of Immigration
National Research Council: The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration
RAND Corporation: Immigration in a Changing Economy: The California Experience

Strangers No Longer, Together on the Journey of Hope -U.S. Catholic Bishops
Welcoming the Stranger Among us: Unity in Diversity -U.S. Catholic Bishops
N.Y. Times Photos of the U.S.-Mexico Border
Centerfor American Progress: Facts on Immigration Today
Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration and the Movement of Peoples
Immigration Policy Center: Giving Facts a Fighting Chance
KinoBorder Initiative: Documented Failures: The Consequences of Immigration Policy on the U.S.-Mexico Border
I’m Here but I’m There: The Meanings of Latina Transnational Motherhood
Potentially Traumatic Events Among Unaccompanied Migrant Children from Central America
WorldBank: The Effect of IMF and World Bank Programs on Poverty
Pew Hispanic Center: Unauthorized Migrants: Numbers and Characteristics
The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market
North America Free Trade Agreements

Dying to Live
Miracles in Mexico

Kino Border Initiative
Youth Empowerment Services
Annunciation House
Casa de Proyecto Libertad, Harlingen, Texas
Casa YMCA in Piedras Negras, Mexico
Grupo Beta
No More Deaths
Comité de Derechos Humanos
Corrections Corporations of America
US Border Patrol
United Nations Development Programs (across Latin America)
Humane Borders
Drug Enforcement Agency

Information/Research Centers:
US Department of Homeland Security: Office of Immigration Statistics
Pew Hispanic Center
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego
US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Mexico Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Central American Resource Center, CA
National Migration Institute of Mexico
Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec
Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica
US Department of Health and Human Services
Notre Dame Center for Latino Studies

Tuesday Newsday [3.19.13]

Happy Tuesday!!!

I hope you all had WONDERFUL spring breaks! I thought that because I spent my spring break out of cell phone range, the world would stop. Turns out, I was wrong. So, let’s get informed!

6 things you should know/6 articles you should read:

1) The new gun safety bill in the U.S. senate will NOT include an assault weapons ban, much to the dismay of senator Dianne Feinstein. And many other people.

2) Testimony continues today against New York’s stop-and-frisk laws. Testimony is getting personal.

3) Depending how you interpret his speech, Senator Rand Paul may or may not have suggested he supports a path to citizenship for undocumented workers in the United States.

4) Two girls were charged with intimidating a witness in the Stubenville case. Twitter comments have resulted in jail time.

5) A study presented to the American Heart Association blames sugary drinks for 25,000 deaths of adult in the United States.

6) Did you know the government has free access to your e-mail? Congress is looking at updating the law.


Thanks for reading! Have a great week.

Advocacy Alerts

Thanks to the CCSJ Advocacy Team for these Advocacy Alerts!

PICO National Network
Tell Speaker John Boehner: Renounce the hate!
A few days ago, a California congressman told 18-year-old aspiring American, Jessica, that he “hates illegals,” and threatened her and her family during a meeting in his office.
None of God’s children deserve hate – especially from our elected leaders. In response, the PICO National Network is calling on U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to publicly condemn the behavior of his colleague, U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48). We have Jessica’s back and we’re looking out for the 11 million other aspiring Americans like her who deserve a roadmap to citizenship from Congress. Ask John Boehner to renounce the hate.
Immigration Reform
On February 14 2013, the U.S. Jesuit Conference, JRS/USA, and the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) released a joint report that examines the experiences of Mexican and Central American migrants deported to Northern Mexico by U.S. immigration authorities. The comprehensive report highlights the stories of migrants needlessly separated from family members as a result of U.S. detention and deportation policies. The study also details incidents of denial of rights, physical and verbal abuse suffered by migrants at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol and Mexican police, as well as attacks on migrants perpetrated by criminals, human traffickers, robbers and gangs in Northern Mexico.
As our elected officials attempt to craft a viable immigration system, we urge them to place family unity, human dignity, transparency and accountability at the center of their debates.
We ask you to contact the Obama Administration and your representatives in Congress, and urge them to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Justice for Immigrants
Send a Justice for Immigrants postcard to Congress!
Show your U.S. Senators and Representatives that Catholics and other supporters of immigrants want our elected officials to enact meaningful and compassionate immigration reform legislation. Send a postcard now!
Sierra Club
Robust Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-income Americans
The government’s Weatherization Assistance Program is a remarkable success story. It has increased the comfort and reduced the energy bills of more than one million low-income families. Families receiving weatherization services see their annual energy bills reduced by an average of about $437, depending on fuel prices. Tell President Obama to make sure the Weatherization Assistance Program has adequate resources to continue its important work.
Interfaith Worker Justice
The United Mine Workers of America
The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) represents coal miners working in some of the most dangerous and demanding jobs. Workers in this industry endure daily peril which takes a heavy toll on miners’ bodies and their health, in order to help provide our nation’s energy needs. Through decades of collective bargaining, the UMWA has negotiated contracts that placed great emphasis on the health and safety of active miners and health care security for retired miners; they sacrificed wage and pension increases to secure these protections.
Today these collective bargaining gains made by working miners are threatened by Patriot’s bankruptcy proceedings. As persons of faith and from a moral perspective, The UMWA are committed to a public witness of justice and peace, and in that spirit they call on Patriot Coal, Arch Coal, and Peabody Energy to honor their contractual obligations to the current and retired UMWA workforce. Sign this petition to show your support for coal miner worker justice.
Nebraska Appleseed
LB 577 Support
Hard-working Nebraska families need the security of quality health care. A bill in front of your Senator could help 54,000 Nebraskans gain that security. 100% of the cost for this care is covered by the federal government thru 2016 to expand Medicaid to uninsured working Nebraskans, gradually decreasing permanently to 90%; the bill would returned $3 billion to Nebraska’s economy as a result of increased economic activity in the health sector due to federal funds from 2014-2020; expanding Medicaid eligibility will save the state over $128 million by 2020 and create thousands of jobs across the state; and increasing health coverage will make more Nebraskans healthier, give them access to the health care they need when they need it and save all of us more health care costs down the road. To support LB 577, call your Senator right now and ask them for their support to expand Nebraska’s Medicaid program. Find your senator’s phone number now.
Amnesty International
An Inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Passage of an inclusive VAWA would protect and support women throughout the U.S. from acts of violence and exploitation. VAWA in the 113th Congress must specifically include provisions addressing jurisdictional issues that currently make combating violence against Native American and Alaska Native women nearly impossible, provide greater protection to immigrant women who are survivors of domestic violence, and protect LGBT survivors of violence from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Passage of an inclusive VAWA is a critical step towards protecting and supporting Native women, immigrant women, and LGBT people. Reauthorizing an inclusive VAWA would help end the unacceptable levels of violence faced by all women and allow them the access to the justice that they deserve.  Please cosponsor the re-authorization of VAWA today!
Upcoming Events
Center for Service and Justice
Green Bag Lunch
On March 4th from 11:30-1pm in the CCSJ Multi-purpose room, Dr. Soraya Cardenas of the Creighton Sociology and Anthropology department will give a talk entitled, “Facing Environmental Challenges: Marginalized Peoples at Risk.” Join us to hear about how environmental changes in today’s world affect those who are poor and marginalized in society. Bring a simple lunch if you’d like; dessert will be provided. With questions, please contact Haley Warren at haleywarren@creighton.edu or Ken Reed-Bouley at krb@creighton.edu.
Restore Omaha Conference
This conference will take place this weekend, March 1-2nd, at the Metropolitan Community College. It opens with a reception Friday, March 1, and the conference is Saturday, March 2nd, 8am to 4 p.m. and includes a keynote lecture, three educational sessions, live demonstrations, exhibitors, lunch, and the Restore Jam where all interested attendees are invited to share their current restoration projects in five minutes or less. For more information click here!

Tuesday Newsday [2.26.12]


But, there is also other stuff going on! Grab a hot chocolate and let’s get informed, shall we?

National News

75 influential Republicans have signed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing FOR gay marriage. This monumental action may actually have an influence on the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in the Supreme pipeline. Read about the brief here!

The U.S. Senate has finally approved an up-or-down vote for Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nomination for Secretary of Defense. The official vote of approval should take place at 330 central time today, and Hagel is expected to be approved. Click here for some background info on this absurdly long confirmation process.

In response to expected budget cuts, the ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) have begun releasing detainees from immigration detention centers. The deportation cases have not been dropped, the individuals are on “supervised release.” Read about the unprecedented move here.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is has eliminated working from home from the company’s policy. The move has ignited some serious controversy.

Local News

The number of individuals seeking assistance from shelters like the Sienna-Francis house is increasing at a staggering rate. Read about it here.

Omaha Fashion is one of the many Omaha cultural icons continuing to put the city on the national map.


Thanks for reading! Stay informed, stay warm, and me mindful of those who are neither.




Advocacy Alerts

Support Immigration Reform with a Pathway to Citizenship!
Immigration reform will only happen if US citizens ask for it. Please take a moment to send a message to your senators to tell them that you support immigration reform, and that you look forward to seeing legislation pass in the 113th Congress. Also, take a look at what the Jesuits have to say on this issue.
Sierra Club
Protect the Grand Canyon!
Ranging from desert grasslands to lush, coniferous forests, the proposed Grand Canyon Watershed embraces one of America’s most spectacular landscapes-the Grand Canyon. This region encompasses a wild, rugged array of towering cliffs, deeply incised tributary canyons, and numerous springs that flow into Grand Canyon National Park’s Colorado River. In addition, the area hosts lands of great significance to the region’s indigenous people. Unfortunately, ill-conceived uranium mining, logging of ancient trees, and damaging livestock grazing threaten the Grand Canyon Watershed. Ask President Obama to protect this natural, cultural and archeological treasure by naming it as a national monument. A national monument designation will help preserve sacred indigenous sites and traditional values, give wildlife much needed room to roam, and prevent harmful uranium mining, logging and other destructive practices from destroying this beautiful part of America.
Economic Justice
Protect the Needs of Vulnerable People
House members are demanding spending cuts-equivalent to those mandated in the Sequester-by March 2nd. Supporters of the Pentagon-Industrial complex are lobbying hard so that no cuts are made to the Pentagon. Additionally, many House members are proposing a balanced budget in 10 years – 10 years sooner than demanded in the 2013 House-passed budget, which will require even deeper cuts in social needs programs. Email your Representative, and tell her/him to prioritize and protect the needs of the people in our nation who suffer the most: people who are unemployed, have health needs, have children, and others who are vulnerable in general.
Upcoming Events
Empowerment Network Community Meeting
On Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at North High School – Viking Center – 4410 N. 36th Street, the community meeting called “Unite & Transform!” will start at 8:45 a.m. First, there will be networking, breakfast, and table displays. At 9:30 a.m. there will be an Empowerment Network Update, and at 10 a.m. there will be presentations and announcements. Please attend if you are interested and able!
Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) Events
1. OTOC training “How to Organize a Successful Action”: Monday Feb. 11 at 7 pm at First United Methodist Church
2. OTOC training “How to develop an Action Agenda”: Monday March 11 at 7 pm at First United Methodist Church