Justice Commission Working and Task Group


June 2020

The Justice Office and CSJ Justice Commission has been extremely active this Spring throughout the COVID-19 pandemic advocating for justice. Check out our online Take Action page and check out the updates from our various working and tasks groups to find ways that you personally can take action.

Consider becoming a member of the CSJ Justice Commission! The Justice Commission is currently looking for recommendations of Sisters, Consociates, Friends of St. Joseph, Agrégées, SJW alumni, partners, and justice seeking individuals as potential new commission members for 2020-2021. Contact the Justice Office for more information or to recommend any individuals.

Confronting Whiteness and Racism (formerly the Dismantling Racism) Working Group members hosted their monthly meeting via Zoom and share:

  • The Group is working with Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute to host a training of leaders for hosting discussions about racism and anti-racism efforts.
  • The Group is viewing the online documentary “Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary” to be discussed at our next meeting.
  • Encourages CSJ and Consociate community members to review the Lenten “Becoming Human” materials from the Basilica.  Contact Mary Noble and/or the Justice Office for links to the materials.  Rosemary Curran offered to host a group to discuss the videos.  Contact Rosemary or the Justice Office if you’re interested.

Criminal Justice Working Group strives to stay informed and share situations especially in our MN correctional facilities during this COVID-19 crisis. Signs of HOPE:

  • The MN Department of Corrections has moved forward with a plan to expand early release options through expanding the work release program during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is good news for some at risk people to be released early from detention.
  • The Ramsey County Board removed 11 fines and fees levied against people in jail during this time of COVID-19 which disproportionately hurt people who have a low income and people of color.

The Group continues to watch growing safety concerns in area detention centers, especially after the first death in an ICE detention facility, growing coronavirus cases, and concerns about ICE moving COVID cases to Minnesota detention centers.

Earth Partners Working Group members, together with our St. Kate’s Student interns,were very involved in presenting on the community’s environmental sustainability plans during a successful Zoom Community Assembly on May 9. The Justice website shared Congregational online speakers, events and resources for Laudato Si’ Week held from May 16-24.

Immigration Working Group members have been advocating together with the Legislative Advocacy Partners Working Group for our dear immigrant neighbors deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Groups have advocated for the Federal Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act along with the Minnesota Coronavirus Immigrant Relief Funding.  Also, watch for an upcoming online webinar about “Challenges of Life as an Asylee in Minnesota,” in collaboration with Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women sometime this summer.  We ask you to continue praying at this time for the U.S. Supreme Court as they rule on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program and the fate of DACA youth/Dreamers.

Legislative Advocacy Partners Working Group was also extremely active with LAP Action Alerts advocating for justice and systemic change at the end of the Minnesota Legislative Session.  The group continues to watch for ways we can continue to support our society’s most vulnerable members throughout this pandemic. Check out the advocacy action items.

Native American Awareness Working Group met online for several engaging presentations from St. Kate’s students including:

  • “Memory Places on the Prairie,” in which Frances Kelliher presented about her research of white women’s narratives erasing the genocide of the Dakota people in Southern Minnesota in the context of the history of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
  • “Injustice at St. Kates,” in which Anna Foster presented her Senior Honors research about the history of the St. Kate’s land and argues for incorporating land acknowledgements into campus norms.
  • The Group has been advocating with our U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar, along with Representative Betty McCollum, for the COVID-19 relief funds to be released to Tribal communities as was already approved by Congress.

Ritual Task Group invites the community to join us for a special June 11th Peace Prayer online with the St. Joseph Workers (SJWs).