Sustainability Archive

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Dorothy Stang, S.N.D: A Modern Martyr

Ian FallonDorothy Stang was a Sister of Notre Dame. She was born in the United States, but worked and served poor communities in Brazil from the late 1960’s to February 12th, 2005, when she was murdered. She worked to organize Brazilian peasant farmers through the Pastoral Land Commission, a group that “fights for the rights of rural workers and peasants, and defends land reforms in Brazil.” Her ministry was integrated between advocacy for the protection of the Amazon Rainforest and for the dignity of the peasants she was called to serve.

I think it is important to remember modern day martyrs. They, along with modern day prophets (one does not necessarily need to die to be a dedicated Christian, otherwise there wouldn’t be any of us left) serve as reminders that these identifiers – prophet and martyr – are not meant to be parts of history that stay in our history textbooks and classrooms. A reality that we do not always see in a university bubble is that people die for justice today. The examples set by Simon Peter, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or the Jesuits during the colonial conquest of the Americas are not given to us by the church so that we can put them on high, exalt them for being holy, and then go back to our daily lives. They are examples that are meant to be reflected upon within our own world. Indeed, if we let Peter stay in first century Israel, the Jesuits in the early colonial Americas, and Bonhoeffer in Nazi Germany, they will have no effect on how we view our relationship to our world.

An appreciation of modern martyrs helps us to realize that there are pockets within our modernized country, and throughout the world, in which people are still dying for speaking truth to power. The world has not yet moved past poverty, starvation, and injustice; we just do not see them because we have organized systems that keep the poorest, most starving and broken people from our lives. People like Dorothy Stang inspire me, and should inspire all of us, to move outside of our comfort to find our call to act like Christ. When we go to the margins of our world, we find the reasons why people like her give their lives in the attempt to fight for justice.

For more information check out: http://www.sndohio.org/sister-dorothy/

Ian Fallon
Class of 2015
College of Arts and Sciences
CCSJ Student Coordinator

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Upcoming Events: Climate Action Meeting

We Matter WalkClimate Action Meeting

All are welcome to the meeting at Augustana Lutheran Church on Saturday, December 7th, from 11:45am-2pm.

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Sustainability: The Warming Arctic

Sierra ClubSierra Club

Sadly The Polar Bear Seas, off the coast of Alaska, are in danger: America’s Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the nation. Polar bears now must swim for miles to find food, and Alaska Native communities are finding it harder and harder to maintain their way of life. And Shell Oil, once again, is trying to drill in America’s Arctic. Also, the Obama administration is considering allowing even more oil and gas drilling in the Polar Bear Seas for years to come. This would move us away from a clean energy future that decreases our reliance on dirty fuels. Tell President Obama to protect the Polar Bear Seas.


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Sustainability: Nebraskans support strong carbon safeguards!

Sierra Club
Sierra Club

Tell EPA and NDEQ: Nebraskans support strong carbon safeguards!
Nebraska has been making big strides on clean energy and on cracking down on fossil fuel pollution. Now you have a chance to lock in that progress and move our state and federal agencies forward on climate starting with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the EPA. Send the EPA and NDEQ a message saying that Nebraskans want action on climate — and that you want strong safeguards against carbon pollution.

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White Rose Catholic Worker – Chicago Fall 2013

Chicago, IL – White Rose Catholic Worker House

The White Rose Catholic Worker serves in a number of different communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Generally students immerse themselves each day in one of the most diverse zip codes in the U.S. with over 80 languages represented and a high immigrant and refugee population. Each day of the week volunteers take on a different issue of social concern and explore the alternatives that they are organizing for and living in the house including environmental sustainability, torture & war/nonviolence, capitalism/green economics, and poverty/hospitality. There will be a series of educational and hands on experiences for each one. The White Rose Catholic Worker also has a farm, which students will stay at during their trip and students will mainly eat food grown on the farm to experience sustainable living.

Relevant Websites: Catholic Worker Movement, Poverty in Chicago, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Peace/Nonviolence, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice

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A Broken System

Haley Warren

My mother has always stressed the importance of eating healthful food. As a child, it was the norm for my family to eat home-cooked meals together around the dinner table. Not only did my mom put in the effort to go grocery shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, but she also put in the little to large amount of time freshly preparing what we ate. When I was younger, I didn’t realize how rare this practice of preparing and eating home-cooked meals had become. It wasn’t until I came to college that I was broken out of my health bubble and my eyes were opened to the flawed United States Food System.

My freshman year at Creighton I had a meal plan. I normally ate at Brandeis Dining Hall, but occasionally ate at Java Jay or one of the other meal locations. Due to the lack of fresh vegetarian protein options, as well as the lack of nutritious food in general, my body constantly craved more and more food. I was not being provided with the nutrients that my body needed to feel full, and that resulted in the consumption of larger than usual portions. Because I was eating more, and what I was eating lacked nutritional value, even though I was doing the same amount of physical activity as I had always done, I gained weight and consistently felt horrible. I got sick every few weeks, I was fatigued, and my mood was down. All aspects of my health-mental, physical, and emotional-were negatively affected.

Since then, I have returned to eating the healthful, nutritious food that my body craves. I hardly ever get sick, and I feel alive and healthy! That experience gave me the personal experience of the reality that diet affects everything! Yes, it is important to be physically active, but I am a firm believer that eating healthily is the number one thing you can do for your body.

This year’s theme for World Food Day is ‘Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.’ By definition, “sustainable food systems produce nutritious diets for all people today and protect the capacity of future generations to feed themselves. Yet, today almost 60 percent of the world’s ecosystems are degraded or used unsustainably, in large part because of environmentally harmful effects of our food systems…By using resources more efficiently at every stage along the food chain, we can increase the amount of healthy food available worldwide.”

The unsustainable practices of the current US food system are what fuel the processed food industry. 2 years ago, those are the types of foods I was eating. The reason processed foods are so much cheaper than local fruits and vegetables is due to subsidies by the US government. It’s hard to explain all of this in a short blog post, because it is a very complex issue, but basically the food system revolves around profits and is run by politics. As citizens of the US it is our duty to brainstorm and implement a path to a more sustainable food system that not only protects the environment, but also protects our rights to healthy food. You have the right to be happy and healthy—so let’s work together to make sure we can more easily access the food that makes that a reality.

For more information on World Food Day, visit http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/.

Haley Warren
Class of 2015
College of Arts and Sciences
Student Coordinator

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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