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Economic Justice and Fair Trade
October 18-29, 2010
According the United Nations, 2.5 billion people in the global south still live on less than $2 dollars a day. Conversely, great amounts of financial wealth continue to be concentrated by an ever tightening percentage of the population. Catholic Relief Services seeks to provide economic sustainability for the most vulnerable global communities through its work on programs such as microfinance, livelihoods, and the promotion of fair and sustainable trade. As a model rooted in development of the human person instead of a financial bottom line, fair trade offers unique approaches to shifting the economy’s current orientation, while still operating with a market environment. It is also an important mechanism for building connections between consumers and producers, along a spectrum of economic justice concerns, such as confronting change.
This session will explore: how the fair trade model operates as an alternative to the conventional economic market model; the experiences—both positive and negative-- of fair trade coffee farmer cooperatives; the benefits and limits to the fair trade model along the corporate value chain; a look at current Church writings on economic justice and how those translate into responsible behavior on the part of consumers and businesses. Click here to register your class.
November 8-19, 2010
Much of Catholic Relief Service’s work occurs in locations that are recovering from or are on the edge of violence and war. Over time, CRS learned that the way it does emergency and development programming helps prevent or transform conflicts. If agencies like CRS ignore conflicts and their underlying causes then their work prolongs the conflict by providing new resources to the warring parties (like food and supplies), or their programs are destroyed in the chaos and violence. CRS works to help its partners address the injustices in their society that cause conflict and facilitate respectful relationships between conflicting parties then our work together builds sustainable peace.
This session will explore: status updates and background on current conflict areas such as Sudan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel and Palestine etc…; prevention and early warning; case studies from the field on peacebuilding programming; trauma healing and psychosocial work; the role of women in peacebuilding; inter-religious dialogue; the importance of advocacy and citizen diplomacy; the impact of business and micro-enterprise development; emergency response and post-conflict reconstruction. Click here to register your class.
February 14-25, 2011
Water is vital for sustaining the life of each person, for sustaining health and socio-economic well-being, and for making possible the very existence of life on our planet. Much of the world’s population lives in places where demand for water exceeds supply, or poor quality limits its use. Scarcity of water and inequities in access, use, and decision-making can threaten life itself, diminish the quality of life, and impede integral human development. CRS implements water projects in order to give more people access to clean, healthy water. These projects work to improve people's health, reduce time needed for collecting and transporting water, and increase food and incomes by promoting hearty harvests and livestock.
This session will explore: an overview of the current global water situation; conflicts that arises from physical scarcity or denied equitable access; girl’s education and water; best practices from the field on water and sanitation projects and their impact on community life (rainwater collection, borehole drilling, irrigation…); views on the human right to water, international law and connected Catholic social teaching; reviews in water and sanitation technology; environmental considerations. Click here to register your class.
March 14-25, 2011
Today almost 1 billion people experience chronic hunger and the devastating effects of severe malnutrition. To live a healthy and productive life, one needs a reliable supply of food. This concept is known as food security. Conversely, the food insecure individual or household does not consume a sufficient quantity (or quality) of food to survive; or, if there is sufficient food, the individual does not have the good health to use it properly. Food insecurity is measured by low consumption and high malnutrition and mortality rates. Over the past 60 plus years, CRS projects have moved beyond simply distributing food to supporting individuals' capacity to meet their own food needs. CRS works to both to alleviate immediate hunger through increased consumption, as well as to encourage sustainable food security by changing the conditions under which hunger develops and persists.
This session will explore: the state of global food insecurity; current legislation and recommendations to Congress in addressing global hunger; the impact of food insecurity on individuals and whole communities; regions and countries of the world who are most vulnerable; the role of aid agencies in providing food programs; the role of U.S. agriculture in global food insecurity. Click here to register your class.
April 5-16, 2011
Though migration is not a new phenomenon, the past 35 years have introduced major economic and social changes world-wide that have altered the face of migration. Currently the largest percentage of immigrants arriving to the United States is from Latin America. This movement of people is affecting both the U.S. towns receiving migrants as well as the communities left behind. Catholic Relief Services supports both the right of people to remain in their country in safety and with conditions worthy of human dignity as well as the protection and promotion of the rights of those who have little alternative but to migrate or flee their homes. CRS also supports efforts to address the root causes of migration and to respond to the needs of uprooted people.
This session will explore: an overview of current migration trends; the results of U.S. government policies on migration; the impact of migration on families; review of U.S. legislation now in Congress; unpacking Catholic leadership policy recommendations on migration; stories from the field of people affected by migration; the role of migration in the U.S. and Latin American economies. Click here to register your class.