May 2014 News – During May of 2014, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho have invited those interested to join their 30-day Forgiveness Challenge. I met Archbishop Tutu in Edinburgh at his honorary graduation, and I also know how important forgiveness is in my life and the world. As a result, I started the challenge on May 4th. If you are interested, check their website. I think you can start at any time.
May 26, 2014 – I just signed a letter to Pope Francis in support of U.S. Nuns – asking him to remove the Unjust Mandate Against LCWR (Leadership of Women Religious). If this speaks to you, please check the following link and join the campaign: http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/pope-francis-support-u-s-nuns-remove-the-unjust-mandate-against-lcwr.
In other sections I have talked about my pull to social justice, peace, and equality since my teen years. Here I’ll share some of the ways that has evolved. Growing up in the 1960s, I volunteered for Head Start right after graduating from high school, but before leaving for university.
Once at university in Omaha, I became actively involved in civil rights activities, which were being organized by several dedicated Vista Volunteers. Together we worked with local community activists, welfare mothers, police-community relations representatives, people involved in fair housing, and educators to address significant justice issues, especially in the Black Community.
At the same time, I chaired the Human Relations Committees of both the Student and Faculty Senates and was co-chair of the Student-Faculty Leadership Retreat at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. This was during the Vietnam War, and that prompted me to join Pax Christi, a Catholic peace organization to which I still belong. After university, I worked for and then became President of the Archdiocesan Human Relations Commission.
During the years we raised our son, my hands were full with him and with work, but I did what I could through letters, phone calls, and voting. In late 1995, I learned through Jean Houston about the first gathering of the Society for the Universal Human in the Portland area, and I decided to attend that and subsequent gatherings. People from all over the country and the world assembled. I even met nuns from the order of women who had taught me in Iowa.
In addition to Jean, other leaders convening these events included Gary Zukav, Joan Borysenko, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, and Mary Manin Morrissey. They all spoke, but their approach was collaborative with all the participants. The events were holistic and experiential, and I came away with a much larger understanding of the world and of my place in it.
Eventually I moved to Scotland, where the concept of ‘global’ continued to grow for me. I remained actively involved in political initiatives related to the Gulf War, Iraq, and other global issues involving my homeland’s policies and behavior. Being in the UK and living with people from all over the world provided even more opportunity to expand my understanding and perspective on global issues.
I’m pleased that the University of Edinburgh has started a Global Justice Academy, along with other Global Academies. I also hope that our Globally Just Leadership Group will continue to contribute in ways that make a positive difference.
Selected Resources for Universal Humans and Globally Just Societies
Creighton Center for Service and Justice at Creighton University http://blogs.creighton.edu/ccsj/
Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre http://peaceandjustice.org.uk/
Global Awareness Through Experience http://www.gate-travel.org/Articles/Home/
Global Justice Academy http://www.globaljusticeacademy.ed.ac.uk/. Also check out the Globally Just Leadership Group at the University of Edinburgh
Pax Christi USA www.paxchristiusa.org/
Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh http://www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/
BIBLIOGRAPHY (downloadable as pdf):