Washington, D.C. — The Center of Concern announces a new educational tool that provides both images and stories of twelve leaders of social justice. This year’s prominent leaders emerge from a global community of social justice activists, including thought, executive, and pastoral leaders in religious, business, governmental, diplomatic, and other fields. The 2014 honorees include: The Hon. John Lewis; the Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., co-founder of the Center of Concern; Pope Francis; Eleanor Roosevelt; Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, co-founder of the Center of Concern; the Madres de la Plaza De Mayo; The Hon. R. Sargent Shriver; the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, S.J.; César Estrada Chávez; Nuns on the Bus; Dorothy Day; and Kim Phuc.
The Center’s president, Dr. Lester A. Myers, says, “We are proud to share this celebration of the lives of heroic people whose courageous witness has inspired us at the Center of Concern.” The Center’s new educational tool offers schools, churches, and individuals access to trusted information on the powerful narratives of lives bravely lived for others. Myers says, “By their words and actions, these leaders of social justice serve as models to us all as we work to uphold basic human rights and human dignity.”
Director of the Center’s Education for Justice Project Pat Finan and Associate Director Sr. Dianna Ortiz, O.S.U., shaped the calendar’s content on a model of Catholic social tradition: remembering leaders’ examples, reflecting upon their contributions, and responding to present needs. Finan says, “We share the Center’s ‘Pastoral Circle’ model to apply Catholic social thought to the signs of the times, and engage people in a daily rhythm of linking faith, reflection, and action.”
Myers says, “The 2014 Signs of the Times Social Justice CalendarTM also prompts us to recall social justice leaders’ birthdays and feast days as inspiration for the work needed to transform systems and institutions to make them more humane, fair, and respectful of the dignity of the human person.” The print calendar is available as a gift to donors through the Center of Concern Web site . The on-line companion to the calendar goes live January 1, 2014, and provides additional resources, references, and links to opportunities to take action and improve the quality of human life throughout the world.
Founded in 1971 at the United Nations, the Center of Concern’s thought leaders contribute research, education, and advocacy from Catholic social tradition in order to create a world where economic, political, and cultural systems promote sustainable flourishing of the global community. The Center touches centers of influence through its core competencies in ecology and development, faith and justice education, global women’s issues, and multilateral finance and human rights.