Resources on Social Ethics

 

How can we respond effectively to issues of hunger, poverty, etc.?
Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic Justice and Peace Organizations
Faith-Based Magazines and Newspapers
World Hunger and Poverty
Poverty and Hunger in the U.S.
Third World Debt, Structural Adjustment
Central America
Corporations and the Third World
Economic Globalization, Free Trade
Fair Trade

Modern Slavery

Child Labor
Socially Reponsible Investment/Microlending/Alternative Banking
Alternative Development
Child Sponsorship
Human Rights
Nonviolence and War
Death Penalty
Vegetarianism

Simple Living Resources

Ecology/Global Warming
Meditation/Contemplative Prayer
Signs of Hope
 
 

How can we respond effectively to issues of hunger, poverty, etc.?

1) Educate ourselves and others. Numerous internet resources for further learning are listed in the sections which follow. To return to the listing of categories, click here

2) Make career, lifestyle, purchasing, and investment decisions with social and ecological implications in mind.
    Follow the links below for:
          several career guides that focus on social change and on incorporating social concern into a wide array of fields
          simple lifestyle resources
          resources concerning socially responsible purchasing
          resources concerning socially responsible investment

3) Provide financial support for grassroots development and grassroots social change organizations
  Several highly respected organizations that support excellent, inspiring grassroots projects include:
          Oxfam America
          World Neighbors
          Guatemala Partners
          Catholic Campaign for Human Development

4) Work to influence public policy. Many of the organizations listed in the various categories below undertake such advocacy activities, provide action alerts to give you information on a timely issue, etc.

5) Consider a post-graduation, summer, or school year volunteer commitment
   For an excellent source of both domestic and overseas volunteer opportunities with Catholic volunteer organizations (including a database that can be searched by desired location, type of volunteer work, etc.), visit the website of the Catholic Network of Volunteer Service
     For information on service opportunities available through Xavier University, see http://www.xavier.edu/cfj/community-engagement/Student-Volunteer-Opportunities.cfm

6)  Sponsor a child or elderly person in the Third World
   A highly respected Catholic sponsorship organization is:
       Christian Foundation for Children and Aging

7) Consider giving "gifts of service" as alternative presents for Christmas, birthdays, etc.
  A donation of $50, for example, can cover the cost of an operation to restore sight to a person blinded by cataracts in Nepal, Tibet, India, Guatemala, and several other countries. A card will be sent to your gift recipient (or to you, to give to the recipient) letting them know that a donation for this purpose has been made in their name. For general information visit the website of SEVA'a Gifts of Service program. For specific information on the eye surgery example mentioned above, click here
  
 
 

Catholic Social Teaching

U.S. Catholic Bishops - the website of the "Social Development and World Peace" division of the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference. Provides information on what the bishops consider to be some of the most urgent contemporary social issues.

Major CST Documents - on-line versions of many of the most important documents (papal encyclicals, etc.) of official Catholic Social Teaching.

 

Catholic Justice and Peace Organizations

Catholic Worker - information concerning the Catholic Worker movement, a movement founded in the 1930s by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. The Catholic Worker movement is committed to the works of mercy (sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, etc.) and to nonviolent action on behalf of social justice. There are over 150 Catholic Worker houses and farming communities in the United States.

Pax Christi USA- the major Catholic peace organization in the United States, which includes many bishops as members

Network - a national Catholic organization, founded by women religious, which is committed to lobbying Congress on a variety of social justice issues

Maryknoll Global Concerns - information on global issues provided by the Maryknoll missionary society

 

Faith-Based Magazines & Newspapers Emphasizing Social Justice

National Catholic Reporter - a weekly newspaper devoted to coverage of the Catholic Church and of domestic and global news. Many of its stories are posted on the website.

Sojourners - website of a monthly magazine founded by evangelical Christians committed to work for peace and social justice. A sharp contrast to the evangelical preachers commonly heard on radio and television.

 

World Hunger and Poverty

Center of Concern - a Catholic organization providing educational materials on international justice issues, including hunger, poverty, and economic globalization.

Bread for the World - an ecumenical Christian organization addressing issues of domestic and global hunger

Food First - a leading "think tank" on issues of global hunger, economic globalization, etc. Publishers of such ground-breaking works as  "World Hunger: Twelve Myths," widely considered to be the best introductory book on the topic of world hunger.

World Hunger Notes - good source of hunger information
 

Poverty and Hunger in the United States

Children's Defense Fund - well-known organization, founded by Marian Wright Edelman, that focuses upon a variety of  issues concerning children in the United States. Devotes particular attention to issues of poverty and hunger.

National Center for Children in Poverty - a research center focusing on children and poverty, located at Columbia University. Provides up-to-date data and analysis.

Food Research and Action Coalition - another good source of information and action suggestions concerning hunger in the United States

Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless - information on homelessness in Cincinnati and constructive ways to address the problem.

FreeStore/Foodbank - Cincinnati-based organization providing free food and clothing to those in need in the tri-state area.

Over-the-Rhine Community Housing - Organization based in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati which works on issues of affordable housing.

Drop Inn Center – shelter for homeless located in Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati

Contact Center – Cincinnati-based group that undertakes community organizing to end poverty

 

Third World Debt, Structural Adjustment

Jubilee USA  - The U.S. branch of the Jubilee campaign for Third World debt relief

Global Issues – good resources on poverty, hunger, structural adjustment, etc.

Share the World’s Resources – more resources on poverty, hunger, harmful IMF and World Bank policies, etc.

World Bank and International Monetary Fund -  official websites of the IMF and World Bank.
 

Central America

Rights Action - organization providing support for human rights and grassroots development  projects in Guatemala and elsewhere. Also a source of educational materials.

Guatemalan Human Rights Commission - Up-to-date information concerning human rights in Guatemala

 

Corporations and the Third World

Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (formerly the National Labor Committee) - one of the most prominent anti-sweatshop organizations

Corporate Watch - an excellent source of information, action alerts, etc. concerning the activities of corporations throughout the world. Devotes attention both to the impacts of individual corporations and to the broader systemic impacts of structural adjustment and  neoliberal economic globalization.

Multinational Monitor - website of a monthly magazine devoted to monitoring corporate activity and abuses. Founded by Ralph Nader.

 

Economic Globalization, Free Trade
(Also see the entries above under "world hunger and poverty," "third world
debt, structural adjustment," and "corporations and the Third World")

Global Issues - one of the best websites on globalization and many other global justice and ecological issues

Share the World’s Resources - another excellent website exploring many global justice issues

Global Exchange- works on a wide array of campaigns against 'free trade', in favor of 'fair trade,' etc.

Focus on the Global South - provides Third World perspectives on global policy issues.

Public Citizen Global Trade Watch - information concerning the World Trade Organization (WTO),  NAFTA, and other "free trade" issues.
 

Fair Trade

Fair Trade Federation - resources concerning fair trade and how to purchase fair trade products

Green America (formerly Coop America) - an excellent resource for socially responsible purchasing

Ten Thousand Villages - an online source for many different types of fair trade goods

SERRV - A Greater Gift - another source for fair trade goods

 

Modern Slavery

Free the Slaves - a leading anti-slavery organization; connected with Kevin Bales, one of the world’s foremost authorities on modern slavery

Anti-Slavery - another prominent anti-slavery organization; in existence since 1839!

Not for Sale Campaign - anti-slavery organization led by David Batstone, author of Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade - and How We Can Fight It

 

Child Labor

Free the Children - an organization of young people working to end child labor and to improve the lives of children around the world

Child Labor Coalition- stresses education and action to overcome child labor

Child Rights Information Network – organization devoted to protecting the rights of children

 

Socially Responsible Investment/Microlending/Alternative Banking

Community Investing  - excellent clearinghouse of information on community investing, including community development credit unions and banks, community loan funds, etc.

Cooperative Fund of New England - opportunity to invest in worker owned businesses, food and housing cooperatives, etc.

Calvert Foundation - offers investments in anti-poverty projects around the world

Self-Help Credit Union - one example of a community development credit union; a good place for investing in socially responsible, federally insured certificates of deposit (CDs), etc.

Kiva.org - nonprofit organization that enables you to make small loans (as little as $25) to specific Third World low-income borrowers to finance projects that can help them rise out of poverty. You choose the borrower from among numerous applicants on the website. The borrowers are screened by local nonprofit organizations in the borrower’s country.

Microplace.com - another organization that provides the opportunity to make small investments (minimum $100) in micro-lending. Unlike kiva.org (see above), you have the opportunity to receive interest on your loans. Microplace.com is an EBay company.

Grameen Bank- organization which pioneered the making of tiny loans to poor people as a way of empowering people to improve their lives. Emphasizes especially loans to poor women. This organization recently won the Nobel Peace Prize.


 

Alternative Development

Oxfam America - one of the most respected international grassroots development organizations. Focuses on projects that empower the poor, are ecologically sustainable, and respect the positive features of local culture.

World Neighbors - another excellent organization that supports grassroots alternative development projects in the Third World
 

Child Sponsorship

Unbound (formerly Christian Foundation for Children and Aging) -  highly respected child sponsorship organization founded by lay Catholics. Also provides the opportunity to sponsor elderly persons in need.
 

Human Rights

Human Rights Watch - information concerning human rights around the world. Publishes an annual overview of human rights abuses in each country, which is available on their website, along with numerous other special reports, action alerts, latest human rights news, etc.

Amnesty International - another organization working for human rights throughout the world

Speak Truth to Power - companion website to a play which dramatizes the work of human rights defenders from around the world (including Rigoberta Menchu, Dianna Ortiz, and many others). The website provides profiles of these human rights defenders, gives action suggestions, etc.
 

Nonviolence and War

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict – excellent site with extensive resources on nonviolent action as a tool for overthrowing dictatorships, bringing about positive social change, etc.

Albert Einstein Institution - organization committed to the study of nonviolent social change. Publishes in-depth reflections on the history of nonviolent action and nonviolent strategy, including many case studies of the successful use of nonviolence to overthrow dictators, resist occupation, etc. Founded by Gene Sharp, the world's foremost theorist of nonviolent action.

CANVAS (Centre for Applied Nonviolent Actions and Strategies)another website with excellent information on nonviolent action around the world, founded by leaders of the student movement that nonviolently overthrew the Milosevic regime in Serbia

A Force More Powerful - companion website to the recent 3-hour PBS documentary of the same title which highlighted numerous cases of successful nonviolent action in the 20th century - including, among others, Gandhi's campaign for Indian independence, Denmark's resistance to the Nazis, the Polish Solidarity movement, and the nonviolent campaigns which brought an end to the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. The website provides information on these and other cases.

Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans Against the Iraq War, Military Families Speak Out - organizations of US military personnel and their families who are critical of the war in Iraq

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows - family members of persons killed in the attacks of 9/11 who support alternatives to war

U.S. Department of Defense - official U.S. government website with information on U.S. military actions and policy

 

Vegetarianism, Animals

Christian Vegetarian Association- explores the biblical and ethical bases for Christian vegetarianism

FactoryFarm.org and FactoryFarming.org - websites with extensive information on the treatment of animals in modern “factory farms”

Vegan Outreach - information on the many reasons for choosing a vegan diet

Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians - explores the bases for vegetarianism in the world's religions, etc.

International Vegetarian Union - international organization providing extensive resources concerning vegetarianism

Vegetarian Pages - another source providing a vast amount of material related to vegetarianism

In a Vegetarian Kitchen - website with many excellent vegetarian/vegan recipes

 

Simple Living Resources  

Christian Simple Living

Center for a New American Dream

 

Ecology/Global Warming

Global Warming articles - lots of excellent articles on global climate change

Answers to Global Warming Skeptics - good resources that respond in detail to the arguments of global warming skeptics

Worldwatch Institute - excellent resource on various ecological and social justice issues; publisher of the annual State of the World reports

Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club - information on numerous ecological issues

 

Meditation/Contemplative Prayer

Zen meditation instructions - introduction to Zen meditation by Zen Master John Daido Loori

Buddhist Meditation - free online talks and interviews on Buddhist meditation, by a variety of teachers

World Community for Christian Meditation - website of an international community of Christian meditators, meditating in the tradition of  the Benedictine monk John Main. Lots of good information and articles concerning meditation.

Centering Prayer - extensive resources concerning the Christian practice of centering prayer.

Contemplative Outreach - another website devoted to centering prayer.
 

Signs of Hope

Yes! Magazine - magazine that focuses on positive, hopeful stories in the struggle for social justice and ecological sustainability throughout the world