Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Haiti Speaks of Justice - Pax Christi NJ Assembly

"Until [Haiti] spoke no Christian nation had given to the world an organized effort to abolish slavery. Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of the world, and our land of liberty and light included." From Lecture on Haiti
The Haitian Pavilion Dedication Ceremonies
Delivered at the World's Fair, in Jackson Park, Chicago.
By the Hon. Frederick Douglass, Ex-Minister to Haiti.

“[I]n many lands, the Haitian Revolution became synonymous with freedom of the oppressed. Indeed many of those struggles were successful in their execution, as many new nations emerged, following the examples of Haiti and one should add, the United States. That the United States was a white nation that prospered and that Haiti was a black nation on the road to total impoverishment is also a fact that has not been lost on the world.” Guy S. Antoine

Every year Pax Christi NJ holds an assembly. This year it will be at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City on March 6th. Pax Christi NJ and its members have many ties to Haiti so in light of the earthquake and current conditions Haiti will be the main topic of discussion.

We want attendees to come away with a sense of:

*Why the rebuilding of Haiti needs to be supported by the international community
*How Haiti was helped into and kept in poverty by the international community
*Why solutions and programs that empower Haitians are the best way forward

Keynote Speaker - Marie Dennis, director of Maryknoll’s office of global concerns and co-president of Pax Christi International will be our keynote speaker.

An expert on Economics,War and Peace/Just War, Ms. Dennis is director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and serves as co-president of Pax Christi International and a Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace. She holds an M.A. in Moral Theology from Washington Theological Union and is co-author or author of six books on the spirituality of social justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

Ms. Dennis has traveled widely among the marginal communities where Maryknoll missioners work in Latin America. She has participated in election observer delegations to Mexico and Haiti and on solidarity delegations to many other countries. She serves on the board of directors of the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group, and the International Resource Center. She has lectured at universities, conferences, workshops, parishes and high schools over the past 30 years on topics such as Catholic Social Teaching, globalization, peacemaking, and economic justice. Ms. Dennis is a contributor to numerous publications.

Featured Speaker - Colleen Kelly - New York Coordinator, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Colleen Kelly is one of the founding members of and currently the New York Coordinator of the September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. In the memory of her brother who was lost in the tragedies of September 11th, Ms. Kelly transformed herself from an “average citizen” to a peace builder. Ms. Kelly found strength from her faith and her years as a nurse and co-founder of a free clinic in East Harlem and chose for herself a path of building peace in hopes that no one would have to live through another September 11th. She has just returned from a mission trip to Haiti.

We will also be honoring Anna J. Brown, professor at St. Peter's College and chair of the Social Justice Department with the Dorothy Day Peacemaker of the Year Award.

To RSVP or for more info contact Kathy O’Leary 908-273-0751

Free will donations accepted at the door

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The NJ Legislature's 1st Order of Business - Eliminate Affordable Housing

"We recognize that changes are needed to the COAH process, but what's really broken in this state isn't housing, but the fact that we aren't planning for our future, to link homes, jobs, transportation, and environmental protection in a way that gets us sound, sustainable growth," Staci Berger – Housing & Community Development Network in a statement to the press about a bill in the NJ Legislature that would eliminate the Council on Affordable Housing.
During the toughest economic times to hit our state, the first order of business for the NJ Legislature is not increasing funding to our overstretched food banks, or providing job training programs it is the complete elimination of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The bill S-1 would turn authority over how much affordable housing should be built to the individual municipalities. Just over two years ago these same municipalities we ordered by way of a new law from the NJ legislature to stop paying poorer communities to build their share of housing for them in an attempt to end decades of economic segregation.

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