September: Economic Justice

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What does economic justice mean to you – as a woman in the workforce, as an immigrant without health care, as a mother with many mouths to feed. For those in our society whose avenues of opportunity in seeking economic justice are limited by the status quo between the haves and the have-nots.

Panelists: Jake Barnett, Elizabeth Garlow, Kim Lamberty – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Ask your money manager: How does this align with my values?
  2. Join a local cooperative.
  3. Learn more about tax policy and buy one fair trade product per month.

Fair Trade Federation
Learn more about fair trade and find fair trade companies in your area. The Fair Trade Federation is a trade association of fair trade enterprises fully committed to equitable and sustainable trading partnerships. We strengthen and support our members in order to grow the global movement of trade that values the health of the planet, and the labor, dignity, and equality of all people.

Francesco Collaborative
Our faith, our ethics, our accompaniment of the poor and marginalized, and our Catholic Social Tradition has been the inspiration to pioneer new strategies to move our money in the direction of more mission-aligned and equitable futures. We have made important strides, and still, have so far to go. To carve new paths toward bold and concrete action, we need a new kind of consciousness.

Are you looking to go deeper? Join the Investing ini Livable Futures Workshop January 10 – February 18, 2022. Contact:

Network Lobby
Learn more about tax policy and its relationship to social and economic justice.

Ownership Matters
Learn more about the Solidarity Economy by subscribing to the Ownership Matters newsletter.

Meet Our Panelists

Jake Barnett
Impact Investment Advisor

As the director of Sustainable Investment Stewardship (SIS) for Wespath and its subsidiaries’ investment programs, Jake leads Wespath’s shareholder advocacy and engagement efforts. Specifically, the SIS team focuses on engagement efforts that align with the values of The United Methodist Church and support the transition to a sustainable global economy. Previously, Jake was an institutional consultant at Morgan Stanley’s Graystone Consulting where he focused on engagement with faith-based and impact-oriented institutional investors. 

Jake co-chairs the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative, serves on the Climate Crisis Leadership Group for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and serves on the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Stewardship Advisory Committee. 

Jake received his bachelor’s degree in economics, international studies and political science from Ohio Wesleyan University. He also holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation.

Leslie Washington
Educator, Advisor

Elizabeth Garlow is a fellow on faith and finance at the New America Foundation and co-founder of the Francesco Collaborative, a network of investors, entrepreneurs and changemakers drawing upon Catholic social teaching to transform the economy. 

Previously, Garlow helped lead impact investing for Lumina Foundation, where she invested in early stage ventures focused on designing new and more equitable education and work pathways. She previously served as a policy advisor with the Obama administration’s Community Solutions Task Force, where she managed the president’s Promise Zones initiative. She resides in Detroit, where she previously co-founded and led Michigan Corps, which launched the nation’s first statewide Social Entrepreneurship Challenge. 

Garlow is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and holds an MPA from Princeton University. In 2019, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Dominical School of Philosophy and Theology for her work in impact investing and with the Economy of Communion and various initiatives to build a new moral economy.

Kim Lamberty
Director, Founder

Dr. Kim Lamberty has been developing and managing faith-based justice, peace, cross-cultural, and community service programs for over 25 years. She is currently director of justice, peace and integrity of creation at the Society of the Sacred Heart United States — Canada Province. She is also founder and president of Just Haiti, a fair trade coffee company that focuses on economic justice for vulnerable small scale farmers, and co-owner of Conscious Coffees (with her brother), another fair trade coffee company.  

Kim specializes in root causes of poverty, especially relating to economic justice and consumption. She has accompanied vulnerable communities and human rights workers in Haiti, Colombia, Palestine, Guatemala, the U.S.-Mexico border, among others. 

She holds master’s degrees from Columbia University and Washington Theological Union, and a Doctor of Ministry degree, in cross-cultural ministry, from Catholic Theological Union.

August: Eliminating Gun Violence

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Gun violence has become a global human rights and public health issue that threatens the basic right to life. Gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, women and other marginalized groups in society. Armed violence and climate change are two of the root causes forcing millions of migrants and refugees to flee their homes and communities.

What are some reasonable measures that can be taken that would have immediate security implications? How do we address the underlying contributors to gun violence? How do we create a culture of gun safety?

Panelists: Sister Donna Liette, CPPS, Leslie Washington, Kim Westerman – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Participate in workshops on Restorative Justice Practices and a four-day circle training. Learn about them here.
  2. Visit and Text READY to 64433 to start volunteering with Moms Demand Action.
  3. Submit a comment by August 19 to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in favor of a rule prohibiting “ghost guns.” Click here or text GHOST to 64433 to go to Everytown for Gun Safety’s simple online form.

Be Smart
Learn how adults can take action to prevent child gun deaths and injuries.

Community Justice for Youth Institute
The mission of the Community Justice for Youth Institute is to build community capacity to resolve youth violence and conflict, help survivors of violence heal, and support families impacted by violent crime through restorative justice training, technical assistance, and advocacy.

Find research, reports and calls to action on a wide array of issues related to gun violence.

Giffords Law Center Annual Gun Law Scorecard
See how your state stacks up to others in regards to gun safety laws.

Moms Demand Action
Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. We pass stronger gun laws and work to close the loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families. We also work in our own communities and with business leaders to encourage a culture of responsible gun ownership. We know that gun violence is preventable, and we’re committed to doing what it takes to keep families safe.

National Organization for Victim Assistance
Find resources for victims and survivors of crime and crisis.

Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation works to build relationships among youth and families impacted by violence and/or conflict; create safe spaces where people can experience radical hospitality, hope, and healing; and promote a restorative justice approach to conflict and build a sense of community.

Meet Our Panelists

Sister Donna Liette, CPPS
Grief Counselor

Sister Donna Liette, CPPS is a Sister of the Precious Blood. She currently holds the position of restorative justice practitioner and director of the women’s programs at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. Sister received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Dayton and holds a Master of Arts in Education and Supervision from New York University and a master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago in Pastoral Counseling. She spent much of her career in the field of education, both in elementary schools and in the Education Department of St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. Following many years in education, Sister Donna took on the challenge of creating and directing a residential home in Ohio for women who were leaving prison. In 2010, she joined the staff at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. She has been trained as a peacemaking circle trainer and has offered this restorative practice in Cook County Juvenile Detention Center as well as places throughout the States and in Nicaragua and Chile. Currently, Sister offers hospitality and support services to families, particularly mothers, who have lost children to violence or incarceration.

Leslie Washington
Advocate, Survivor

Leslie Washington is a national trainer with Everytown for Gun Safety, and survivor fellow, state survivor lead and volunteer with Moms Demand Action for gun sense. She joined the grassroots movement in 2014 while in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Leslie’s cousin Reginald died by gun suicide and her cousin Keith was murdered in December of 2015; his murder remains unsolved. A survivor of domestic violence, Leslie’s ex-husband threatened her with a firearm when she left him after nine years of domestic abuse. Today, Leslie serves as a strong advocate for survivors and those impacted by gun violence, as well as gives voice for those trapped in abusive domestic situations, too fearful to speak up lest they or their family will be harmed.

Kim Westerman

Kim Westerman is a gun violence prevention activist from St. Louis, Missouri. For the past five years, she has been an active volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the nation’s largest grassroots movement to end gun violence. She currently serves as the leader of the St. Louis group for Moms Demand Action, coordinating local efforts and volunteers and serves on their national anti-racism steering committee. Kim works full-time as the congregational communications director for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and serves as vice-chair of the board of Communicators for Women Religious. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Truman State University and a Master’s of Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her free time, Kim can be found baking, camping with her husband, and walking her two rescue dogs. 

July: Ending Human Trafficking

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How can we help those we cannot see? How does one empower those who are in chains? Human trafficking, as far-reaching and insidious as a global pandemic, knows no boundaries—whether by online home invasions or physical coercions dressed as dreams.

Panelists: Bailey, Angela M. Aufdemberge, Sister Ann Oestreich, IHM – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Monitor the cell phones and social media accounts of your children.
  2. Support survivors of human trafficking through mentorship, friendship, or by writing notes of encouragement.
  3. Know the signs of human trafficking.

National Human Trafficking Hotline
If you or someone you know needs assistance, call or text the anonymous National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Call: 1-888-373-7888 | Text: “BeFree” to 233733

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
As the nation’s nonprofit clearinghouse and comprehensive reporting center for all issues related to the prevention of and recovery from child victimization, NCMEC leads the fight against abduction, abuse, and exploitation – because every child deserves a safe childhood.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center
Polaris responds to sex and labor trafficking as they happen, learn from that response, and share that learning. They use what they learned to pilot big, new ideas for slowly, carefully, finally, dismantling big, old systems that make trafficking possible.

Slavery Footprint Made in a Free World
Use this resource to discover how you are unconsciously supporting human trafficking.

US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking
U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) is a collaborative, faith-based national network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy to eradicate modern-day slavery. They work to inform the public, prevent this assault on human dignity, and assist survivors to live fulfilling lives. Members include 100+ congregations of Catholic Sisters, coalitions working against human trafficking and individuals who share the mission.

Vista Maria
Vista Maria is a place of healing for survivors of human trafficking. They provide a full continuum of care to address the unique needs of young trafficking survivors — from our residential services, to health and wellness, and foster care when appropriate.

Meet Our Panelists

Survivor, Advocate

A former client of Vista Maria, a nonprofit serving vulnerable children and families in Michigan, Bailey is now a 22-year-old advocate for young people. Bailey was one of the first young women in Vista Maria’s WINGS program, which helps human trafficking survivors. She then moved to Vista Maria’s Shepherd Hall Transitional Living program to learn independent living skills and work on her relationship with her grandparents.

Now a graduate of Michigan’s Women Who Weld program, Bailey is a full-time welder who lives independently in her own home and reports a strong connection with her grandparents. She credits Vista Maria with helping her by providing never-ending support. “They have always been there for me—helping me find my first job and being there emotionally when I found that college wasn’t for me,” she says.

Angela M. Aufdemberge
President, CEO
Vista Maria

Angela Aufdemberge is president and CEO of Vista Maria, the oldest, longest standing nonprofit serving vulnerable children and families in Michigan.

Under her leadership, Vista Maria has experienced accelerated growth and expansion. She is the driving force behind the successful development of a continuum of care for children up to age 24. One of the most significant expansions is the addition of trauma informed emergency, stabilization and reintegration programming for adolescent survivors of human trafficking.

As an advocate for children, Angela regularly provides briefings on sexual exploitation, aging out of ‘the system’ and other barriers youth face.  A recent Eugene Miller Fellow, Angela studied best practices as well as the need to improve legislation to disrupt patterns of sexual exploitation.

Aufdemberge serves as board chair of InSight Youth and Family Connections and executive leader of the Child Welfare Partnership Council for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Sister Ann Oestrich, IHM
Sister, Educator, Justice Advocate
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Sister Ann Oestreich, IHM, a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, Michigan, has served in education, communications and social justice ministries. She was executive director of the Center for Justice in Buffalo, New York, and the justice coordinator for the Sisters of the Holy Cross in South Bend, Indiana. She also served as communications director for the Monroe IHM Congregation and national coordinator of the National Catholic Sisters Project. She now works with A Nun’s Life Ministry as a podcast consultant and content developer.

Sister Ann has extensive board experience, including service on the boards of the Africa Faith and Justice Network, Jubilee USA Network and the charitable trust board of the Sisters of Mercy, Detroit Regional Community. She currently serves on the boards of directors for Friends in Solidarity and Sisters Rising Worldwide, and as board president of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Sister Ann also is the North American representative on the Talitha Kum International Coordination Committee.

June: Racial Justice

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How do we deal with our country’s racist history and the long-term consequences? How do we support racial justice today and work to become an anti-racist society? And how does racial justice intersect with the critical issues of migration and climate we also face? Join us as our next episode of “Exploring Intersections: Catholic Sisters on Racism, Migration and Climate”—airing live at 3 p.m. Central on Wednesday, June 9—addresses these issues and more. Our three panelists, Emily Lazor; Sister Patricia Rogers, OP; and Sister Mary Lou Specha, PBVM, will bring diverse perspectives and personal experiences to the table as they engage with host Charish Badzinski in lively and eye-opening conversation. Registration is free and open to the public.

Panelists: Emily Lazor, Patricia Rogers, OP, Mary Lou Specha, PBVM – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Start a discussion group in your parish to read and talk about the book: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church by Father Bryan Massingale.
  2. Not only people of color, but also white people have to figure out and share their story when it comes to racial incidents – how did they honestly feel and react.
  3. Attend a training on systemic racism – at least three days or more.

Center for Racial Justice in Education
The Center for Racial Justice in Education’s mission is to train and empower educators to dismantle patterns of racism and injustice in our schools and communities. At the Center for Racial Justice in Education, we envision a world where all young people learn and thrive in racially equitable, liberating, and empowering educational spaces.

Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training
Crossroads’ mission is to equip institutions with shared language, frameworks, practices and tools that will assist them in:diagnosing how their institutions are structured to uphold white supremacy culture and systemic racism and deploying strategies aimed at animating antiracist ways of being that result in racially equitable institutional culture and practices.

Eliminating Racism & Claiming/Celebrating Equality
The mission of ERACCE is to eliminate systemic racism and build antiracist multicultural diversity within Michigan institutions by providing education, networking, technical assistance, and supportive resources to the region.

The Disconnect in How We Tell History
“There are people still alive today who loved who were raised by, who knew, who were in community with people who had been born into chattel slavery. And I think when you realize our proximity to that, you gain a different understanding of how the idea that what our society and what our country looks like today would not be impacted by that is both morally and intellectually disingenuous.”

Project Implicit
Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.

The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America
In his new book, The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America, the scholar and public health researcher illuminates the process of “spatial racism,” a force that has bound oppression up with the geography that African Americans occupy, and the public health effects of this historical trauma

Meet Our Panelists

Emily Lazor
Teacher, Advocate
Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep

Born and raised in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Emily Lazor has been a lifelong advocate in the pursuit of racial justice within the Catholic Church and its teachings. With an education in Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America and a Master’s in Education from Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Teaching Fellows program, Emily began teaching in Jackson, Mississippi, where she soon discovered her passion for teaching high school-age students and helping them to realize their developing social awareness. 

Growing up biracial with very different personal experiences in both Asian-American and white arenas, Emily has felt especially drawn to work that helps hold white Catholics accountable and committed to the Church’s call to racial justice. 

Currently teaching AP Seminar and AP Research at Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, Emily works with predominantly first-generation Mexican-American students as they pursue academic research around topics related to the common good and social justice.

Patricia Rogers, OP
Executive Director, Dominican Center for Women, Inc.
Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa

Sister Patricia Rogers, OP, Executive Director of the Dominican Center for Women in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is dedicated to resident-led community development, providing support to the Amani residents in the critical areas of safety, housing, economic development, education and family well-being.

In her senior year of high school, Sister Patricia was one of ten students to integrate the all-white Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas. While a layperson teaching in a predominantly Black Catholic high school in Chicago, she prayed for God’s intervention for a Sister of color to join the white Sisters; God called her to fill the void. Her call to religious life led Sister Patricia to the Motherhouse of the Sinsinawa Dominicans in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin; she then served in the cities of Milwaukee, Tuskegee and Montgomery, St. Louis and New Orleans.

Upon Sister Patricia’s return to Milwaukee, she was co-chair for ARTT (the Sinsinawa Antiracism Transformational Team) for five years. Today, she serves on the leadership team of COLE (Coalition on Lead Emergency), which helps in creating a sustainable lead-safe environment in Milwaukee.

Mary Lou Specha, PBVM
Executive Director, Hotel Hope New Orleans
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sister Mary Lou Specha, a member of the Sisters Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary congregation, has been in New Orleans since 2008.  A leader in the nonprofit and civic community, Sister Mary Lou was previously Executive Director of Café Reconcile, a nonprofit organization committed to interrupting the cycle of generational poverty and violence in New Orleans. Presently, she is Executive Director of Hotel Hope, an organization serving the most vulnerable in the community: women. Whatever the societal or economic barriers– homelessness, abuse, incarceration, poverty, behavioral health issues, lack of education or jobs – Hotel Hope’s programs and services are designed to promote and provide equal opportunities and a path to self-sufficiency in the lives of all women and their families.

Sister Mary Lou has served on the Police Community Advisory Board to help reduce crime, address issues of bias-based policing and improve interaction between the NOPD and citizens.  She lives in Central City, an economically challenged neighborhood in New Orleans, where she is committed to neighborhood revitalization and diligent in addressing systemic racism and racial injustice in her ministry and daily interactions.  

May: Migration

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How can we show compassion without borders and love without boundaries? What does it take to navigate legal systems to become a citizen of a different country? What are the root causes of inequity for those who migrate? Join migration experts Lesly Gonzalez-Barragan, Sister Denise LaRock, DC and Sister JoAnn Mark, ASC, for our “Exploring Intersections: Catholic Sisters on Racism, Migration, and Climate” discussion. Registration is free and open to the public as we provide a forum for constructive conversation on these important issues.

Panelists: Lesly Gonzalez-Barragan, Denise LaRock, DC, Joann Mark, ASC – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Seek out ways to support those who migrate.
  2. Find local new immigrants through parishes and Catholic Charities and support those in need.
  3. Welcome migrants at your comfort and capability. There are always services to donate to: non-profits, law offices, consulates, or your own profession etc. Migrants don’t stop being migrants after entering the country. View the neighbors at your own parishes with the eyes of Christ.

American Immigration Council
The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring.

Casa Marianella
Casa Marianella welcomes displaced immigrants and promotes self-sufficiency by providing shelter and support services.Their ultimate vision is that all immigrants arriving in Austin will have safe housing and access to the services they need to be successful.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., has been on the cutting edge of training nonprofit immigration legal service providers to provide affordable, quality legal representation to immigrants since its founding in 1988. Today the network includes more than 380 nonprofit organizations in 49 states.

Justice for Immigrants
In 2004, the Catholic bishops of the United States committed to immigration reform as a priority of the U.S. Catholic Church, and to creating a culture of welcome in which all migrants are treated with respect and dignity. A diverse group of Catholic organizations with national networks joined the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) in an effort to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of goodwill in support of immigration reform.

La Posada Providencia
La Posada Providencia strives to satisfy the basic subsistence needs of poor immigrants, asylees and asylum seekers in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and to promote their successful integration into U. S. society.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
For 80 years, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has offered welcome and hope to more than half a million refugees. Since 1939, LIRS has transformed lives, with the support of people like you, to welcome the most vulnerable to the United States — from sea to shining sea. Together we have supported, equipped and empowered these new Americans, while advocating for policy that protects all of God’s children.

Witness at the Border
The Witness project began in Tornillo TX in 2018. Then Homestead FL in 2019. Our 65-day long vigil in Brownsville TX in 2020 was suspended due to Covid-19. We track ICE Air flights, which began with watching at the Brownsville airport. See our posts detailing expulsions, deportations, and prisoner transfers in Death Flights. Follow other witnessing activity in Bearing Witness, as we continue the “subversive act of seeing.”

USCCB Immigrant & Refugee Foster Care Program
The USCCB/MRS Foster Care team is fortunate to work with foster care programs across the nation who are dedicated to finding foster families who can provide a safe environment and a loving home to youth in need.

Meet Our Panelists

Lesly Gonzalez-Barragan
Activist, Advocate
National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry

Lesly Gonzalez-Barragan is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and theology from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. 

Born and raised in an immigrant community, she has encountered the effects of migration firsthand among loved ones and community members. Her background and experiences have influenced her interest in faith-based social justice work, particularly working with migrant and marginalized communities—especially youth and young adults.

Lesly has worked at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. All her experiences involve work with Latino communities and the marginalized, where migration is a constant topic and issue. She currently works in the Diversity and Inclusion Department of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in Washington, D.C. 

Denise LaRock, DC
Sister, Teacher
Daughters of Charity

Sister Denise LaRock, currently a member of the Daughters of Charity leadership team, most recently served in San Antonio, Texas, where her ministry was to make newcomers who arrived from the border feel welcomed.

 A Baltimore native, Sister Denise spent a year improving her Spanish while living in Miami, Florida, with Daughters from the Caribbean Province. Once in San Antonio and equipped with Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) clearance, she began her ministry as part of the Interfaith Coalition Commission, greeting weary–and fearful–asylum seekers from Central America. During her daily presence at the city’s bus station, she assisted with interpretation, bus schedules and tickets while handing out backpacks filled with essentials and providing assurance that the asylum seekers were now in good hands.

 A Daughter of Charity for 30 years, Sister Denise has ministered as a grade-school teacher; in a tutoring program for Hispanic and at-risk students in Macon, Georgia; and as the community’s vocation director.

Joann Mark, ASC
Sister, Advocate
Adorers of the Blood of Christ

Sister JoAnn Mark, a Nebraska native, spent most of her ministry in higher education, primarily at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, and Brescia College in Owensboro, Kentucky. She taught college math and science and served as academic dean and vice president. She has been to 12 countries, and taught English in Bucharest, Romania, and Tanzania, East Africa, and was active in her congregation’s leadership locally and as a delegate to Rome.

Her experiences inspired a keen interest in social justice, especially with minorities and asylum seekers. In 2015, she left Wichita to direct Partnership for Global Justice, a nonprofit in New York City, which took her to the United Nations. In 2018, she initiated a program in her community to open a vacant wing in the Adorers’ convent to families of asylum seekers, primarily from the Congo. She prepared their legal papers for asylum applications and work permits, accompanied them to immigration court, and tutored and taught their children.

April: Care of Creation

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Care of Creation will examine the massive environmental challenges we face and our responsibilities to address them. What exactly does it mean to care for creation? How do the impacts of climate change affect the most vulnerable? And what are some of the steps we can make to be wise stewards of the earth’s resources, and create a sustainable future for humankind?

Panelists: Leah Clyburn, Catherine McComas-Bussa, Christin Tomy, OP – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Shift toward a plant-based diet.
  2. Have a mindful conversation with a child about Earth.
  3. Get involved in community environmental organizations.

How This Activist Farmer Fights Racism Through Food
Determined to end racism and injustice in the modern food system, Leah Penniman co-founded Soul Fire Farm, a community farm dedicated to training people of color. Through education and advocacy, Penniman has dedicated her life to mentoring the next generation of activist farmers.

Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law
Environmental Racism in St. Louis
This report was prepared by the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law to assist the following organizations in educating the St. Louis community about environmental injustices that disproportionately endanger public health for people of color and low-income individuals in St. Louis, and in advocating for systemic changes to remedy these injustices and enhance public health.

What is the Climate Impact of Eating Meat and Dairy?
In this interactive Q&A, Carbon Brief explores how greenhouse gas emissions from meat, dairy and other diets compare, as well as whether changes to the production and transportation of meat could help to stem its climate impact.

What’s Your Diet’s Carbon Footprint?
Switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change. But what is the difference between beef and chicken? Does a bowl of rice produce more climate warming greenhouse gases than a plate of chips? Is wine more environmentally friendly than beer?

What is a Plant-Based Diet and Why Should You Try It?
Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.

Simply in Season Cookbook
Simply in Season serves up more than three hundred recipes organized by season, along with a popular and expanded fruit and vegetable guide.

The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges
The next decade is critical to averting the worst impacts of the climate crisis and transforming our economy to run entirely on clean energy. Science shows that unless utilities retire all their coal plants by 2030, abandon all plans to build gas plants, and aggressively build out renewable energy resources, we risk destabilizing our livable climate. Despite this pressing deadline, utilities are either not moving fast enough toward these goals, or not moving at all. Dozens of utilities may have pledged to become “carbon neutral” by 2050 — but research conducted by the Sierra Club shows that all but a handful of utilities in the United States aren’t moving toward clean energy in the time frame needed to avoid the worst of the climate crisis.

Exposure to Air Pollution and COVID-19 Mortality in the United States
United States government scientists estimate that COVID-19 may kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. The majority of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death for COVID-19 are the same diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to air pollution. We investigate whether long-term average exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) increases the risk of COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

Native Land Digital
We strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see the history of their countries and peoples. We hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning.

Recipe for a Green Life: A Holistic Sustainable Living Handbook & Recipe Book
Download this guide book and recipe book for more sustainable living by CS Sherin for FREE. You will get 433 pages with photography and copious endnotes. It includes a holistic, inclusive approach to the green living movement, tons of recipes (green cleaning, hygiene and meals), and helpful information on a wide variety of topics related to sustainability, health, the environment, communities and the challenges we all face.

Meet Our Panelists

Leah Clyburn
Activist, Organizer

Leah Clyburn is an activist and organizer in St. Louis, Missouri, who advocates for the advancement of underrepresented constituents, fighting for social, economic, educational and environmental justice for all through a spiritual lens. Her focus includes community base- building, education and leadership training.

Ms. Clyburn’s personal and professional experiences have enabled her to effectively advocate for families from all demographics and to be a leading advocate for Missouri to raise the minimum wage and for democratic reform during the 2018 election year. Currently, Leah is the senior organizing representative with Missouri Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal  national campaign and co-founder of Community First Plus. In these roles, she partners with community leaders and local organizations throughout Missouri in addressing environmental justice concerns in relation to our daily lives.

Catherine McComas-Bussa
Student, Advocate
Northland College

Catherine McComas-Bussais a sophomore at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where she is student body president and is designing a major focused on climate justice. Raised in Shakopee, Minnesota, and surrounded by the state’s natural beauty, Ms. McComas-Bussa’s Catholic parents instilled in her the need to prioritize justice and to find the sanctity of the feminine divine, especially in creation. Her love of nature has led to work experiences at a YMCA family camp on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and in community at a Catholic Worker farm in Lake City, Minnesota. 

Ms. McComas-Bussa is committed to seeking food justice, water protection and youth advocacy; a commitment demonstrated by her work with the state legislature and like-minded young people in bringing about a time when no decision is made about youth without youth.

Her list of seasonal outdoor favorites includes camping, canoeing, pruning tomatoes, eating crisp apples, and taking in the beauty of Lake Superior.

Sister Christin Tomy, OP
Sister, Farmer, Student
Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa

Sister Christin Tomy, OP, has spent the past several years working on sustainable agriculture and food justice in the rural Midwest. Although she hails from the heart of farm country (Iowa), her passion for farming and gardening came later.

While pursuing her undergraduate degree in Spanish and peace and conflict studies, Sister Christin volunteered with a local nonprofit that served Central American immigrants, many of whom had been farm workers. Upon graduating, she became a social worker with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Belize. When she returned to the United States, she coordinated a food pantry. This combination of experiences opened her eyes to the intersections between environmental degradation and various forms of oppression, with a focus on food and agriculture.

Since joining the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa eight years ago, Sister Christin has volunteered at an organic produce farm, interned at an eco-justice center, and coordinated a summer farming program for high school students. She spent the past five years at her community’s motherhouse farm in rural Wisconsin, where she ran a collaborative farming program to train and support beginning farmers, facilitated retreats and educational experiences, and grew fresh produce for sisters, guests and area food pantries.

Now living in Chicago, Sister Christin is working on a Master of Divinity degree at Catholic Theological Union and looking forward to getting involved in the Windy City’s urban garden scene.

March: Gender Equity

Listen as a podcast!

Gender equity or the equal access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender is a fundamental human right and essential to achieve full human potential and sustainable societal development. This webinar discusses how gender equality is interconnected with issues of racism, migration and climate change.

Gender discrimination can be shaped by someone’s race or ethnicity. Racism and gender oppression both use stereotypes to rationalize the subordination and domination of minorities. For migrant women, the discriminatory social institutions they seek to escape, many times social institutions that do not allow women to receive the same level of education as men, may not prepare women for a successful migration. Women are also more likely than men to live in poverty therefore are more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources that are threatened by climate change.

Panelists: Beth Allen, Ga’Nea Jones and Joan Mitchell, CSJ – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Raise your voice against gender stereotypes in the entertainment media industry.
  2. Learn about the goals and journeys of women around you and find ways to support them.
  3. Reclaim the strength, power and leadership roles of women of the Bible and church history.
RESOURCES Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
The Geena Davis Institute has multiple research studies available to share at, including the intersections of gender, race, and LGBTQ+ in on-screen representation. With kids and teens engaging in media more than seven hours a day on average, media is one of the most important factors influencing our values in the 21st century.

Tyler Clementi Foundation
God Is On Your Side: A Statement from Catholic Bishops on Protecting LGBT Youth
U.S. Catholic Bishops joins the Tyler Clementi Foundation in standing up for at-risk LGBT youth in our country who have considerably higher suicide attempts than their straight counterparts, and are the target of violent acts at alarming rates. Read their statement, “God is on Your Side: A Statement from Catholic Bishops on Protecting LGBT Youth.”

Meet Our Panelists

Director of Affiliation
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

Beth Allen has served as the director of affiliation for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin, since 2018 and has been an affiliate in the community for 15 years. Her education includes master’s degrees in counselor education and pastoral ministries. She is also a certified chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. 

Ms. Allen is passionate about gender equity and resists gender discrimination in all forms. Her published guidebook, “The Way in the 21st Century,” conveys the lifting up of the beautiful language found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that emphasizes this truth: ‘God is the first origin of everything … is goodness and loving … transcends the human distinction between the sexes. … is neither man nor woman … transcends human fatherhood and motherhood.’ She believes to truly embrace the Gospel message is to join the effort that not only promotes gender equity but human dignity for all in social, religious and political arenas.

Missouri State University

Ga’Nea Jones is a senior majoring in social work at Missouri State University. Currently interning at a local school district, Ms. Jones is also applying to graduate school for her master’s in social work. She plans on becoming a licensed clinical social worker within a health care or school system, and she would like to start a nonprofit that supports minorities in education, health and mental health.  

Ms. Jones grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, attended Marian Middle School and graduated from Incarnate Word Academy. Throughout her school years, she volunteered at Saint Louis Children’s Hospital, which helped her to realize her passion for helping young children and families in a hospital setting. 

In addition to her educational and work experience, Ms. Jones has been enriched by her membership in a local sorority, which afforded her the opportunity to work with incredibly strong women. This sense of belonging has fueled her passion for advocating for women’s rights and the impact and voice they can have within their communities and states.

Teacher, Writer, Editor
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Sister Joan Mitchell, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, has created religious education programs for over 35 years; as an editor for Winston Press and as general editor for Pflaum Gospel Weeklies. With Sister Therese Sherlock, CSJ, she created and produced five levels of the Gospel Weeklies (preschool through eighth grade). In 1988, Sister Joan set up Good Ground Press to publish similar programs for teens and adults.

Her passion for exploring gender equity began after taking Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza’s course, “Gospel Women and Discovered Feminist Scripture Study.” For 26 years, Sister Joan has joined in the work of reclaiming women’s significance in scripture and Church history, richly populating the programs with women.

Sister Joan earned a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Catherine University, a master’s degree in American literature from the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a doctorate in New Testament from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Upcoming Episode: Food Security

Food security means having physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food at all times to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life. How does food insecurity lead to migration? What is the impact of climate change in food production and access? How is food security stratified across racial lines?     

Join our conversation on October 13 at 3 p.m. CDT as host Charish Badzinski joins a panel of experts to explore existing and emerging challenges to global food security and actions we can take against hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity.

October 13, 2021

3:00 PM (CST)


Ashley Bailey
Educator, Activist

Ashley grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in St. Louis and received her education in the Ladue School District. Shortly after graduating from high school, however, she had her first child and moved to public housing. While living there, she noticed the vast difference in resources and the lack of opportunities for those who lived in that setting. She has since moved away from public housing and has obtained a master’s degree in education.

During the pandemic, Ashley discovered a passion for urban farming. She says it has been very therapeutic and empowering for her, and it is her mission to share urban farming with others who look like her. Learning to grow your own food is a revolutionary act, she says.

Jamie Daugherty, Ph.D., RD, CSSD

A dietitian for 17 years, Jamie brings many ingredients to the table. She spends her time in a few varied spaces within the food, nutrition and wellness realm—the kitchen, the classroom and outdoors, seeking new adventures around every corner.

Growing up in the Midwest led Jamie to want to continually explore other parts of the globe, while providing opportunities to build meaningful relationships with food and nutrition. She received a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

After realizing she did not know anything about food, which was discouraging when meeting with patients and clients, she went back to school to learn how to cook and received a certificate in culinary arts from Boston University. She also holds a master’s degree in nutrition and physical performance from St. Louis University and a doctoral degree in higher education and student affairs leadership from the University of Northern Colorado. Her dissertation was on students’ experience with food insecurity and campus food pantries.

Currently she is an assistant professor at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri, where she developed an on-campus food pantry.

Sister Richelle Friedman, PBVM

Sister Richelle is the director of public policy for the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) in Washington, D.C.  CHN is an alliance of national organizations working together to promote public policies that address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable populations.

Sister Richelle has more than 30 years of legislative experience on a wide range of issues that include food, healthcare, housing, labor, immigration, taxes and the federal budget. Before working at CHN, she worked at the Children’s Defense Fund, McAuley Institute and NETWORK as a policy analyst and lobbyist. Previously she was a secondary and junior high teacher.She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University in Chicago. She is a passionate advocate and has extensive experience in public speaking and participating in panels and webinars.


By registering here, you will receive email reminders for the upcoming episodes. During the live event, you will be able to submit questions for our panelists to answer.

Meet Our Host: Charish Badzinski

Charish Badzinski is a writer, public relations consultant and founder of Rollerbag Goddess Global Communications, a small business committed to powerful storytelling. Badzinski has an extensive background in television, radio and print journalism, as well as marketing and communications. She credits her past position in communications with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration as the most transformative role of her career, as it helped forge her personal and professional values. 

Badzinski strives to better understand our world and the complex issues humankind faces through her work and her travels, which have taken her to 49 countries and six continents. She is passionate about social justice, human rights, preservation of the planet, and the availability of potable water for all people. Badzinski holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She was born in Washington D.C., raised in the Upper Midwest, and now calls Tucson, Arizona home, where she lives with her husband of 25 years, Joel, and their dog, Brooklyn. 

Learn more about Charish at