I was inspired today at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s (CCHD) 50th Anniversary celebration.
As I reconnected with old friends from Notre Dame and met new community land trust & worker center leaders via the Hubilo (virtual conference) chat, I realized how much CCHD is part of me. The farmworker organizing my dad helped start in Immokalee was funded by CCHD. My mother was at CCHD’s 25th Anniversary and worked as a Diocesan Director for CCHD in the Diocese of Venice, FL while I was growing up.
Today’s gathering included dozens of organizers and leaders from IAF, PICO / Faith in Action, Gameliel, DART (the four major faith-based community organizing networks in the US), and economic development organizations — Democracy at Work Institute, US Federation of Worker Co-ops — as well as Bishops, lay advocates, national staff and 400+ others.
The experience reminded me of how much the work I’m doing today stands on the shoulders of 50 years of work by CCHD. They’ve poured more than $340 million in to more than 12,000 organizations.
They bring together the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching made real in the world through tens of thousands of people living the works of mercy and justice, building power, and changing institutions.
During today’s conference, I was asked to facilitate an “Economy of Francesco” breakout room.
The questions we received included:
How do we realize an Economy of Francesco when we live in capitalist system of winners and losers, where poor workers share little power with the corporate powers, who are the winners? – Tim Bell“Pope Francis talks often about “putting the economy in service of people”. What role do vehicles to redistribute / transfer wealth from the wealthiest individuals and corporations to the poor and working class play in the Economy of Francesco initiative?” – Joseph McKellar
“How can we create economies of scale for worker owned cooperatives, many of the projects are isolated and unconnected” – Jeff Stewart
The resources I shared ranged from:
- Kachuwa Impact Fund
- Resource Generation
- Candide Group’s – Black Lives Matter – Playbook for Financial Activists
- Solidarity Hall’s Economy of Francesco project page
- U.S. Economy of Francesco Slack workspace – invite link to join us
The questions got me thinking.
During the final wrap-up plenary session, I noticed somebody post a note along the lines of: “I wish there was a coordinated time each year when every parish preached about Catholic Social Teaching…. and we could all share resources and ways to engage more deeply.”
In response to her comment I offered: “I’d happily share resources on CST and Investing…”
More to come soon.