Center of Concern | Thu, Feb 11, 2016

I Am Miriam

Center of Concern announces the premiere of "I Am Miriam," an anti-human trafficking video, and a companion website entitled, "Against Humanity." The video tells the story of a 26-year-old Ethiopian woman who underwent sex trafficking as she sought asylum from violence against her family and herself in her homeland. The website provides educational and other resources for preventing, detecting, and responding to human trafficking through individual and collective efforts. 

Sister Dianna M. Ortiz, O.S.U., Editor of the Center’s award-winning Education for Justice (EFJ) and an internationally recognized champion for human rights, wrote and served as executive producer for the video. “This is the tragic, personal story of my friend, Miriam, who descended into the horrors of human trafficking as she fled violence against her family and herself in her native Ethiopia. This modern-day form of slavery ensnares nearly 21 million of our brothers and sisters, an experience that no one should have to endure. We must illuminate and eliminate the curse of human trafficking,” Ortiz stated.

These special bonus resources are possible through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Aligning the financial system with sustainable development

With the objective of exploring how to align the financial system with sustainable development, the United Nations Environmental Program recently released its Financial Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System report. In a blog appeared on RightingFinance, Center of Concern team member Aldo Caliari says that “there is a lot to welcome in the document that crowns this impressive exercise, starting with its systematic ambition.” But he also argues the report suffers of weaknesses, not the least of them its neglect of human rights. (Photo credit: UN Photo Library/ Logan Abassi. Check here for photo conditions of usage).

Center of Concern | Tue, Feb 2, 2016

Lenten Prayer for Peace

As Center of Concern prepares for the upcoming season of Lent, Education for Justice is pleased to share this free, bonus prayer resource taken from Creative Voice John Dear's Lenten Reflections 2016: Following Jesus on the Path of Nonviolence. This Lenten Prayer for Peace invites us to reflect on the life of the nonviolent Jesus and strive to be peacemakers in our world.

Copyright © 2016, Education for Justice, a project of Center of Concern.

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Tue, Jan 26, 2016

CoC attends Mexico-convened retreat on Financing for Development

On January 28-29, 2016, CoC team member Aldo Caliari will be in Mexico City to attend a retreat of the “Friends of Monterrey”, an informal group of countries convened by the Mexican government to support the follow-up and implementation of the Financing for Development Conference. The name of the group alludes to the first conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey (Mexico) in 2002. The most recent one took place last year in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and this year the first meeting of the renewed and strengthened follow up mechanism will take place in New York.

The day before, January 27, in Washington DC, he will be on a panel part of a consultation on the Situation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights called by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. At that occasion he will address impacts of US financial and investment policy.

Education for Justice | Mon, Jan 11, 2016

Close the Guantánamo Detention Site and End Indefinite Detention

Torture is a moral issue.

Support the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and sign this petition to close Guantanamo Bay, "a place where people were tortured and where almost all prisoners are held without charge or tiral. Over 100 detainees still remain at Guantanamo, and the U.S. is keeping it open at a cost of close to $400 million a year." Remind President Obama to fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo Bay before he delivers his final State of the Union Address on January 12, 2016. Sign the petition to close Guantanamo Bay here:

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Dec 28, 2015

IMF: Christmas Ghosts visit US Congress

As if inspired by the Ghost of Christmas Past, a few days before Christmas US Congress cleared the way for the US government to support long-awaited reforms of the capital and governance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In this article RBW Project Director Aldo Caliari assesses what the reform package, which had been agreed by the G20 back in 2010, will mean for the institution. (Photo credit: CC/Flickr/Ralph Keating).

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Sun, Dec 20, 2015

Not a good New Year’s resolution: the 2016 coming fiscal adjustment

Two new studies find that next year will mark the beginning of a second major period of contraction of expenditures globally in pursuit of austerity measures (e.g. reductions in wages, social safety nets and health and education subsidies). While the global financial crisis of 2008 seems far behind, this research shows that its effects are not, and budget reductions, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, are expected to impact 132 countries and hover around this level until 2020.

The good news, the authors state, is that austerity is not inevitable: alternatives to adjustment exist in all countries, if only the political will to implement them can be found.

Read more.

Center of Concern | Wed, Dec 16, 2015

Best Wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New Year!

“Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

 ~ Pope Francis, Laudato Sí: On Care for Our Common Home, 49


This Christmas, may each of us truly embrace and live the message of Laudato Sí, remembering always, “…the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.” In the spirit of St. Francis and Pope Francis, may we promote, by our faithful witness, the globalization of hope, in centers of concern around the globe. May we dedicate ourselves anew to caring for our common home and to building a better life for all members of the human family. The Center sincerely appreciates your financial and other support as we share your voice for global social justice throughout the year.


To request your copy of the 2016 Signs of the Times Social Justice Calendar or to make your donation to the Center, please click here. Supplies are limited, so get yours today!