Embracing Faith Through Advocacy: World Day of Social Justice

By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager


This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Advocacy.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” -Proverbs 31:8-9


On Thursday, February 20th, advocates will gather together at the United Nations Headquarters to observe World Day of Social Justice and discuss its 2020 theme, “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice.” (1)


This year’s World Day of Social Justice theme hopes to raise awareness that, “One in five workers still live in moderate or extreme poverty, geographical disparities impede access to decent work, many workers face stagnant wages, gender inequality prevails, and people are not benefitting equally from economic growth. Inequalities between and among countries are weakening social cohesion, preventing people from achieving their full potential and burdening economies.” (1)


The General Assembly of the United Nations first observed World Day of Social Justice in 2007. (1)


Since then, World Day of Social Justice has grown tremendously, and individuals, as well as organizations, including women religious congregations, have become more active in advocating for social justice issues.


The Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, have followed in the footsteps of their foundress, Mother Mary Ann Sammon, and have dedicated many of their ministries to understanding the causes of injustice, as well as creating systemic change.


Addressing the issue of homelessness is a cause that many of our sisters have advocated fiercely for in their ministries.


For 30 years, Sr. Mary Doris, OP has been helping homeless women and children through her ministry as Director of Siena House, a shelter in the Bronx.


Even though she has helped many homeless people change their lives and find homes, Sr. Mary knows that homelessness is an issue that will always need advocacy.


I hope that somehow, somewhere, there will be someone who can solve the problem of homelessness, which I guess will always be with us, but that is why we need to continue to advocate and be a voice for those who need one.”

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