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Grants Awarded to 28 Nonprofits

SC Ministry Foundation conducts semi-annual responsive grant cycles for funding requests from qualified nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations which align with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati mission.

In June the SC Ministry Foundation Board of Directors approved fifteen responsive grants for:

Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver, Denver, COto provide indigent and low-income immigrants in the Archdiocese of Denver legal advice and application assistance, deportation defense, including immigration education and parish outreach.

Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO – to provide immigrant families living at or below the poverty level services designed to help families successfully move out of crisis, build resiliency, and achieve stability.

Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, Cincinnati, OH – to serve and educate low-wage and immigrant workers and advocate against wage theft and unpaid wages to achieve positive systemic change.

Elder High School, Cincinnati, OH – to provide technological, educational, and community outreach programs within the Price Hill community through the tech-reach program.

FutureChurch, Lakewood, OH –  to support their Catholic Women Preach initiative to increase engagement of younger Catholics in Church life and leadership.

Holy Family School, Cincinnati, OH – to support the social worker program that contributes to the spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical development of each child.

Ohio Interfaith Power & Light, Columbus, OH – to expand energy stewardship activities for houses of worship and other faith-based nonprofits.

Ohioans to Stop Executions, Columbus, OH – to educate and raise awareness about the flaws in Ohio’s capital punishment and criminal justice system.

St. Joseph Orphanage, Cincinnati, OH – to support behavioral therapy training to support children and adults who struggle with mental health and behavioral concerns.

St. Lawrence School, Cincinnati, OH – to support the counselor/social worker program which supports the spiritual, academic and personal development of a diverse community of students.

St. William School, Cincinnati, OH – to support the social worker program to help students overcome barriers to their education which include their health, safety, socio-economic needs and concerns.

SBP (formerly St. Bernard Project), New Orleans, LA – to  support rebuilding homes in South Louisiana.

Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH – to support building better lives for people with disabilities that are filled with relationships, purpose, and meaningful contributions.

US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, Wayne, PA – to support education and advocacy in an effort to eradicate modern-day slavery.

Working in Neighborhoods, Cincinnati, OH – to support the net-zero energy housing development in South Cumminsville for low and moderate-income residents.

Also approved were thirteen director’s responsive grants awarded to organizations in Rome, Italy, Washington DC, Maryland, Colorado, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania that will advance our mission nationally and globally.

The semi-annual responsive grants represent one type of grant program provided by SC Ministry Foundation. In addition, the Foundation provides grants for sponsored ministries of the Sisters of Charity, capacity building grants, and discretionary grants. In 2014, the Sister Elise Grant was introduced as a small grant fund for programs where a small amount of money can make a big difference.

For more information, see:

Funding priorities

Responsive grant process

Sister Elise Grant

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The Future of the Energy Sector

FeaturedThe Future of the Energy Sector

“We’re living in a truly contentious time right now, but I do believe we have the capacity to find common ground if we have the right information.”
– Michael Bonfiglio, director of “From the Ashes”

One of the many challenges facing our country is our reliance on energy to keep us moving, working, operating, communicating, living. Do we fully understand where the energy comes from that illuminates a room when we flip a switch? What are the costs for this energy – not just from our wallets, but also our air, our water, our planet, our health and our jobs?

On June 15, SC Ministry Foundation hosted an advance preview screening of the National Geographic documentary, “From the Ashes,” to provide an opportunity to learn more about the coal industry and its effect on our lives. The screening was offered in partnership with one of the foundation’s grantees, Ohio Interfaith Power & Light (OhIPL), an organization which empowers a religious response to climate change by promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy with communities of all faiths. Sara Ward, executive director of OhIPL, facilitated a discussion with attendees following the film.

SC Ministry Foundation offered this learning opportunity as a way of promoting the mission of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, whose mission calls to “care for all creation,” and whose vision compels members to “live simply in a complex world.”

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“From the Ashes” features coal-mining communities across the country and the compelling and often heartbreaking personal stories from residents, environmentalists, and activists, to “put a human face on the complicated issues tied to coal production, such as the future of the energy sector, the risks to people’s health and livelihood, and the environment,” as stated by the film’s director Michael Bonfiglio.

The film explained the coal industry’s impact on health, evidenced by hazardous drinking water and increased cases of asthma from polluted air. The environmental impact of surface mining displaces plants and animals and leaves the land unusable for agriculture and/or development. The burning of coal not only pollutes the air we breathe, but is the single largest contributor to the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming.

As the coal industry suffered from decreased demand with the rise of natural gas use, and many coal mining jobs were replaced with technological advances, hundreds of coal mining towns and their residents felt the impact deeply, as was poignantly demonstrated in the film.

Hope for the Future

Despite the challenges surrounding the coal industry, there are alternatives and viable options for energy sources and for sustainable jobs. The film shared how organizations are taking action to help coal communities transition to renewable energy industries and create sustainable economies by producing solar panels and wind turbines.

Other groups, such as the Sierra Club, are strong advocates in the movement to end coal pollution and promote alternative energy technologies. They initiated the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy campaign, a nonpartisan initiative for local leaders to commit to leading their communities toward 100% clean renewable energy sources. Cincinnati’s Mayor John Cranley recently joined this initiative.

Director Michael Bonfiglio stated, “After making this film, I’ve concluded that the idea that we must poison our air and water and render our planet uninhabitable to have jobs in this country is a falsehood. Hopefully this film will be part of a sane and rational dialogue about how to move forward as a nation in the 21st century.”

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In the discussion that followed the screening of the film, one participant remarked that “the future of energy is not an either/or decision—clean energy or jobs—but that it is possible to have both clean energy and jobs through industries creating solar, wind, and other clean energy solutions.”

It is important for all of us living in the United States – no matter our political ties or region of the country – to support the efforts to transition to clean energy. The future of our children and many generations after them depend heavily on the decisions we make at this critical time in history.

For more information about the film:

“From the Ashes” film website: https://www.fromtheashesfilm.com/

A helpful educational resource from the film is available for download here.

The film will broadcast on National Geographic TV on Friday, June 30 at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

For a limited time, the National Geographic website is providing the opportunity for the film to be viewed online.

Video Clips from the film are also available online.

 

The Criminal Justice System through the Lens of Faith

The Criminal Justice System through the Lens of Faith

You are transported into a darkened room measuring 6×9 feet. Your landscape becomes a picture of blank, cracked walls, a sliver of a window, a small desk, sink, and a toilet. Now you must spend 22-24 hours alone and constrained within this space with no visitors. Having only minimal human interaction, it is not uncommon for a whisper of insanity to creep into your thoughts and actions.

The scene described above was experienced by more than 200 college students from Mount St. Joseph University and Xavier University through a virtual reality simulation. The Critical Issues in the Criminal Justice System project brought the experience to college campuses through partnerships with Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC), Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), and Ohioans to Stop Executions (OTSE), with support from the SC Ministry Foundation. The brief, nine minute virtual reality simulation is a method to increase awareness of the moral injustice of solitary confinement, and the need to reform our criminal justice system.

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Sister Andrea Koverman, SC prepares the gear for a Mount St. Joseph University student to participate in a virtual reality simulation of solitary confinement. Sister Andrea coordinates the anti-death penalty programs for the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center.

“Our goal with this project was to share these issues with the young adult population—which tend to be difficult to reach,” explained Sister Andrea Koverman, SC, who coordinates the anti-death penalty programs for IJPC. “The virtual reality technology truly immersed the students into a deeply impactful experience.”

These issues are examined through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, which promotes the life and dignity of every person and the right to basic needs for proper development, for all are created in the image and likeness of God. The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop of Cincinnati and later of Chicago, described life as a “seamless garment,” which symbolizes a “consistent ethic of life.” All issues concerning life are interconnected – such as the death penalty, euthanasia, human trafficking, the right to migrate, workers’ rights, and just warfare – and focused on all stages of life at the beginning, throughout our time on Earth and at the end of life.

Within the frame of Catholic Social Teaching, the Critical Issues in the Justice System project provides data-driven evidence of the unfairness and misperceptions of the U.S. criminal justice system. Some evidence challenges the effectiveness of the death penalty. In fact, according to the Death Penalty Information Center:

  • From 2000 to 2016, data affirmed that states that do not utilize the death penalty have lower rates of murder.
  • The grave possibility exists that an innocent person might be executed. Since 1973, more than 150 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence; nine were released from death row in Ohio.

Further increasing the injustice, the American Civil Liberties Union reports that 93% of states often place people on death row in solitary confinement, which the United Nations considers to be an act of torture. This practice has been proven to exacerbate existing mental illness and lead to mental illness in previously healthy individuals, often with an increased risk of suicide.

In 2007, the American Bar Association found that the state of Ohio failed to meet basic standards of fairness and equity in 93% of the capital punishment cases they reviewed. The Critical Issues in the Justice System project aimed particular focus on the lack of response from the Ohio legislature to the task force recommendations to correct those issues.

Students participating in the virtual reality experience were provided postcards to sign and send to Ohio’s governor and legislators to advocate for action. Students were emotionally overcome by the fact the virtual reality they experienced is an actual reality for many, which prompted more than 100 students to sign postcards.

Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center partnered with the Catholic Mobilizing Network to present the virtual reality experience of solitary confinement to more than 200 students at Mount St. Joseph and Xavier Universities.
Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center partnered with the Catholic Mobilizing Network to present the virtual reality experience of solitary confinement to more than 200 students at Mount St. Joseph and Xavier Universities.

Difficult issues such as the death penalty and solitary confinement are often hidden and from those not implicitly involved. Evidence shows that perpetuating a culture of violence and revenge may continue to put innocent lives at risk. As an alternative, IJPC, CMN, and OTSE are promoting restorative justice, a community-centered approach that focuses on victim’s needs and the offender’s rehabilitation and responsibility to repair harm and foster healing.

As people of faith, we are called to promote the seamless garment of life. Pope Francis shared, “In the face of unjust and painful situations, faith brings us the light which scatters the darkness.” To shine more light on these issues, consider taking action:

  • Sign up for email action alerts from the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center: ijpccincinnati.org
  • Ohioans may sign an electronic petition provided by Ohioans To Stop Executions, urging Governor Kasich not to resume executions in 2017: otse.org
  • Learn more about the national efforts of the Catholic Mobilizing Network to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice: catholicsmobilizing.org

Pathway to Empathy

Pathway to Empathy

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring,” shared Kyle Damen, a senior biology major from Mount St. Joseph University, as he quoted from Martin Luther King, Jr. to his peers who participated in the Mount’s Summer Employment Program. This unique program gives students the opportunity to gain awareness of social justice issues and make an impact in the local community by working with nonprofit agencies. Through the support of the SC Ministry Foundation, the program incorporates the Mount’s mission of integrating life and learning as well as community engagement, all the while helping to alleviate students’ expenses. This summer, 80 students from Mount St. Joseph University assisted 32 nonprofit agencies throughout Greater Cincinnati.

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Kyle Damen gained a better understanding of the Greater Cincinnati community through his summer experience with Working in Neighborhoods.

While many students identifed placements that align with their field of study, others chose to broaden their life experience. Kyle plans to attend medical school upon graduation, and while his experience as a development assistant with Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) may not have a direct correlation with his field of study, the experience has made a lasting impression. “It opened my eyes a lot,” Kyle shared. “I learned a lot about where people come from and gained a greater understanding of poverty. It really opened up a pathway to empathy.”

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Alex Combs’ experience at DePaul Cristo Rey High School provoked him to consider a nonprofit career.

For several students, this was their first time working for a nonprofit. Alex Combs, a senior majoring in financial economics, worked as a business office intern at DePaul Cristo Rey High School. Alex revealed, “Before working there I always thought about working for a bank or some company. Due to this experience, I now think I would also enjoy working for a nonprofit.” Alex further elaborated, “Working for a nonprofit lets you know that you are really part of something that is making a difference in the world.”

 

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Kenneth Mitchell’s experience with Cincinnati Works this summer has furthered his passion for helping others. 

Kenneth Mitchell, a sophomore majoring in history, shared that sentiment Alex expressed. Kenneth worked at Cincinnati Works as an employee relations assistant. He revealed, “I came to this hoping to be able to say I made a difference. Little did I know that the people I would cross paths with would make such a difference for me.” Kenneth added, “The people here build lasting, loving relationships with each other. It is a beautiful thing.”

Always Learning

A number of Mount students spent their summer assisting grade school students at summer learning camps coordinated through the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. These camps, also supported by the SC Ministry Foundation, provide learning enrichment and/or credit recovery for students who attend schools supported by the Catholic Inner City Schools Education Fund (CISE).

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Dominesha Washington-Colvin’s experience as a classroom aide with the CISE Summer Learning Camp confirmed her desire to become a teacher. 

Mount sophomore Dominesha Washington-Colvin spent her second summer as a classroom aide with the CISE Summer Learning Camp hosted at DePaul Cristo Rey High School. As a former student of St. Francis de Sales School and a 2015 graduate of DePaul Cristo Rey, Dominesha enjoys the opportunity to help other students and reconnect with the community. “My experience at the camp helped me to decide to major in Early Childhood Education,” Dominesha shared.

 

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Mount senior Michelle Bushle helped elementary school students improve their reading skills over the summer.  

Senior Michelle Bushle, a special education major, worked toward her career goal as an intervention specialist through her role this summer as a classroom aide in the Price Hill Summer Learning Camp, hosted at Seton High School. Michelle specifically worked with third grade students who needed extra assistance with reading skills. “This job gave me more experience in working one on one with students,”shared Michelle. “I have also built relationships with the students and the faculty.” Amanda Schrand, [pictured top, left], a senior majoring in early childhood education, was also a classroom aide with the camp. She shared, “I have learned tips for teaching in my first years, ideas for lesson plans, how to differentiate instruction, and the importance of manipulates.”

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Leandra McCrary enjoyed assisting students and building relationships with the teachers who served as her mentors.

Leandra McCrary, a junior, also worked as a classroom aide at the Price Hill Summer Learning Camp, which was a valuable experience pertaining to her major in early childhood education. Leandra said, “I have wanted to be a teacher since I was young and this summer experience has only reassured my decision.”  Leandra further admits, “The program was designed to provide quality instruction to students in need of remediation…I only wish I could aid the students more, that I could give students more one on one instruction throughout the entire summer.”

Community Engagement

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Toria Black gained valuable computer skills while serving as a technology assistant at DePaul Cristo Rey High School. 

Toria Black, a sophomore majoring in early childhood education, worked at DePaul Cristo Rey as a technology office intern. Through her experience, Toria said, “I have learned a lot more about computers than I could imagine.”  In addition to learning how to repair computers,  she also gained valuable organizational and communication skills. “I am now a better employee because I have worked on so many different skills and I have improved some skills that I already had.” Toria also shares the insight, “I have realized that the more you are able to learn, the more you can help others in the community.”

 

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Adam Dick gained greater insight for his social work major while staffing the thrift shop at Community Matters.

Adam Dick, a senior majoring in social work, worked at Community Matters as a thrift store assistant. He shared, “This summer job has impacted me by showing me what poverty in real life looks like when you are being faced with not getting the resources that you need for you and your family. It also made me think about how I shouldn’t take life for granted and that you need to earn it and live life to the fullest.”

Beyond Work Experience

The work experience is only a small segment of the many benefits the students receive from this program. The students strengthen values and realize the joys of service while contributing to the betterment of the Cincinnati community. They obtain knowledge of the world beyond their home and campus, an invaluable quality for future professionals. Kyle emphasizes, “While poverty is commonly known to all, it is often overlooked when it doesn’t directly affect you as an individual. This habitual tendency of looking the other way is the fuel that drives things like poverty in our country, and one of the greatest impacts that working through the summer program has had on me is just how important community involvement is.”

By assisting non-profit organizations through the summer employment program, the students become part of the change they wish to see and feel empowered because they know they are making a genuine impact—and that is something that cannot be taught.

Enriching Hearts and Minds

Enriching Hearts and Minds

“You can’t teach someone a great heart,” shared Carlos Crump, in praise of Seton High School students. “There are no classes for that. It has to be genuine.” Carlos had the opportunity to mentor Seton High School students as they assisted his team in the patient transport department at Good Samaritan Hospital as a part of the Seton/TriHealth Summer Employment Program. For 15 years, the SC Ministry Foundation has supported the program to give Seton students real-world experience in health care. Over a span of eight weeks this summer, 59 Seton students provided assistance to 17 locations across the Greater Cincinnati TriHealth network, in positions ranging from transporting patients, to serving as a clerk in the pharmacy, or staffing the registration desk.

Seton seniors Paola Rios and Zoey Bass, (pictured above), welcomed daily visitors to Good Samaritan Hospital during their service at the hospital registration center. Their mentor, Ashley Walriven shared that “Zoey and Paola encountered hundreds of people through this role. Their smiles set the tone for each person’s experience at Good Samaritan.”

This year was Seton junior Kim Tope’s first experience with the program, through which she worked in the senior behavioral health department at Good Samaritan.  While she said she was uncertain in the beginning, it ultimately turned into a great experience; “I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was really neat being with the patients and spending time with them and just making their day better.” Kim also added, “It was a challenge, but out of the challenge there was a bigger reward.”

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Seton 2016 graduate Maureen O’Brien (left), and junior Kim Tope (right) assisted their mentor Nicole Crump (center) in the senior behavioral health department. Kim and Maureen were often companions to patients as they spent time in conversation, or engaging in games, puzzles, or music.

Unforgettable Experience

Gaining real-world experience is a key factor in the success of this program. For Sydney Hoffmann and Abby Nutter, both 2016 Seton graduates, working in the labor and delivery department at Good Samaritan and observing births was a defining influence. Sydney revealed, “It has really helped me and opened my eyes on what I want to do for my career.” Both Abby and Sydney emphasized, “We are really grateful for this program.”

Isabella Timon, also a 2016 graduate, was able to expand her experience beyond her assigned post in the the post-anesthesia care unit to observe surgical procedures, including a gall bladder surgery and a hysterectomy. Because Isabella will be studying nursing in college this fall, she said, “It was really helpful for me to get the experience with the patients.” This was Isabella’s second summer with the program at TriHealth. During her senior year at Seton, Isabella chose the Seton/TriHealth Summer Employment Program as the focus of her senior project to help promote the value of the program to her peers. Isabella’s efforts contributed to a waiting list for student entry to the program for the first time since the program’s initiation fifteen years ago.

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Isabella Timon (left) and Joan Von Korff (right). Isabella enjoyed the opportunity to assist with the care of patients during their recovery from surgery.

Katie Tope, a 2016 graduate, explained how useful the experience was for her. “My major is going to be pre-med psychology,” she shared. “I got to learn a lot and see a lot before I go to college and see what my major is really going to be like.”

Jessica Lee, a Seton senior, worked at the TriHealth Fitness Pavilion in the Kids’ Life Center. Jessica happily reminisced that “I personally think I had the funnest job out of everyone because I got to play with kids all day and that’s what I love to do. It might not have been the most medical-based job, but I was still able to see different parts of the medical field.” Jessica learned that, “You don’t have to be in a hospital to be medically integrated.” Through her participation in the program, she also had the opportunity to observe a physical therapy session, which is a field she is considering for her college studies.

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Katie Roll (left) and Jessica Lee (right) spent their time assisting with the summer camp in the Kids’ Life Center with mentor LaShaunda Jones (center). Katie and Jessica helped prepare themed activities and would interact with the children during crafts, games, and story time. 

A Win-Win

TriHealth staff who serve as mentors provide invaluable support for the program, and in return, mentors recognize how the students have benefited their departments. LaShaunda Jones from the TriHealth Fitness Pavilion speaks for both herself and her department saying, “We look forward every year to having the Seton students. They are hard workers, they are really respectable, and they are such a great help to us.”

This summer, 55 TriHealth employees participated as mentors in the program, a significant increase from 31 in 2015. New mentor Brian Cameron from the Bethesda North surgery department positively asserted, “Our student, Kelsey Lively, was more efficient than I could have imagined. She would notice and attend to the details that really impact patient care. We see things the same way every day. It takes someone like Kelsey to see it differently.”

Continual Impact

The Seton/TriHealth Summer Employment Program not only provides support for departments, but also invaluable experience to Seton students and extra smiles for the patients they encounter. As one of the largest employers in Cincinnati, TriHealth often continues their connection with Seton students, and has hired many Seton graduates who have participated in the program.

This unique opportunity for Seton students is driven by a dynamic collaboration among four Cincinnati organizations: TriHealth, Inc., Seton High School, the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation and the SC Ministry Foundation. The common thread that intertwines these organizations is a shared mission based on the values of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, who founded Good Samaritan Hospital and Seton High School more than 160 years ago. The tradition of excellence in health care and education established by the Sisters of Charity continues today through all those connected with the Seton/TriHealth Summer Employment Program.

Immigration: the Facts, the Challenges and the Nonprofit Response

Immigration: the Facts, the Challenges and the Nonprofit Response

“Catholics have a long history of welcoming and working with immigrants.  The call to welcome is rooted in our faith and in our traditions.  We are an immigrant church in an immigrant nation.”  – Jeanne Atkinson

On August 31, SC Ministry Foundation hosted nearly 70 community partners and Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati for: “Immigration: the Facts, the Challenges and the Nonprofit Response,” presented by Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).

Since 2003, SC Ministry Foundation has supported the efforts of CLINIC, which provides legal, technical and advocacy support services to nearly 300 affiliates that assist vulnerable and low-income immigrants with family reunification, citizenship, and protection from persecution and violence.

jeanneatkinsonatcedars_083116_img4742_700pJeanne Atkinson’s expertise with immigration law stems from her current role with CLINIC, as well as her prior experience as the Director of Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services for the Archdiocese of Washington. Ms. Atkinson holds a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law and is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.

Jeanne presented factual data to foster understanding of the immigrant population in the United States and the need for comprehensive reform of immigration policies in our country. Reports show that 41 million immigrants are living in the U.S., including 11 million people who are unauthorized. Of those 11 million people, approximately 6 million have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years and nearly 2 million have lived in the U.S. for 20 years or more.

Who are We Talking About?

“We are talking about our neighbors, our kids’ playmates, our parents’ caregivers, our doctors and cashiers, our friends,” shared Jeanne. “As we look at the big picture of immigration, we see that we are talking about people who have made lives here and become part of our communities, participate in the labor market, and have created families.” In fact, 5.2 million children born in the U.S. live with at least one undocumented parent.

“We are talking about our workers,” Jeanne explained. “Unauthorized immigrants make up more than 5% of the U.S. labor force.” She added, “There are sectors of our economy that rely heavily on immigrant labor, including agriculture and the service industry.”

Jeanne cited a Brookings Institute Study which found that immigrants raise the overall standard of living of American workers by filling jobs that complement the jobs that employ American citizens.

She presented additional facts to dispel the misinformation that has been shared about immigrants, including:

  • Undocumented immigrants pay $11.6 billion a year in taxes;
  • Tax revenues of both legal and undocumented immigrants exceed the cost of the services they use;
  • Since 1990, the number of unauthorized immigrants has more than tripled. During the same period, the FBI reported that the violent crime rate fell by 48% and the property crime rate fell 41%.

How Are We ‘Welcoming the Stranger’?

Jeanne also discussed the unjust treatment of undocumented immigrants, especially concerning women and children held in detention centers. She shared how CLINIC is advocating for their needs, since many do not have access to adequate medical care, legal counsel, and language-appropriate services.

CLINIC is one of the partners involved with the CARA Pro Bono Representation Project that is dedicated to providing legal services to the women and children detained at the family detention centers in south Texas. SC Ministry Foundation has supported these efforts that have resulted in nearly 8,000 families initiating the process of seeking asylum through CLINIC’s involvement and assistance from 700+ volunteers.

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“There is no humane way to detain parents and their children,”shared Jeanne Atkinson. CLINIC organized the Diapers in Detention campaign to raise awareness of the inhumane practice of detaining babies in prison-like conditions.

In response to enforcement efforts by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last winter, CLINIC worked with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Education to provide clear communication to immigrant communities. CLINIC created an infographic (shown below) and distributed it in English and Spanish to assure immigrant families of the locations where ICE would not conduct enforcement actions or raids.

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For additional information, the program’s presentation slides and a list of resources on immigration issues is available on the SC Ministry Foundation website at: www.scministryfdn.org/programs/immigration-8-31-16.

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Sister Sally Duffy, SC, President and Executive Director of SC Ministry Foundation, introduces Jeanne Atkinson to the group gathered at the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Motherhouse. 

 

Heckmann Joins Foundation

Michael Heckmannmichael-photo joined the team of the SC Ministry Foundation in May to serve as the Grants Administrator and IT Coordinator. Among Michael’s responsibilities are administrating the grants management database and completing data analysis, while also utilizing his technical expertise to support various foundation operations, including communications and educational programming. Michael’s transition to the foundation team occurred in response to the retirement of long-time employee, Marybeth Schroer.

Michael has always felt drawn to the nonprofit sector. During his six years of nonprofit experience, he developed strong skills in database management and analysis, web-based technology, communications, marketing, and community outreach.

Michael is a Cincinnati native and a 2011 graduate of Mount St. Joseph University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and religious studies. While studying at the Mount, Michael served the SC Ministry Foundation as the Communications and Development Co-op. “The year of experience and the values of the Sisters of Charity that I gained from working at the foundation have directly influenced my professional life,” Michael shared. “These values of faith, advocacy, and communal impact have become part of who I am as an individual.”

Since graduating from the Mount, Michael kept himself immersed in places that shared his spiritual values and furthered his professional growth: serving as a project manager with Starfire Council, a student ministry producer with Crossroads Church, and beginning studies toward a Master of Divinity through Cincinnati Christian University.

Michael’s talents and past experiences have made him an excellent addition to the foundation’s team. “I have enjoyed seeing how everything has progressed since my co-op six years ago,” Michael shared. “Now I can continue to help it grow.”

In addition to his new role with the foundation, Michael and his wife Greta are also enjoying their new roles as parents of their newborn daughter, Joelle. When asked how fatherhood has affected him, Michael revealed, “It’s impossible to put into words. Parenthood is the craziest thing, but in a good way.”