SSJs Continue Push for Social Justice in 2017

January 9, 2017

Martin Luther King Day Remembrances

The Sisters of Saint Joseph are kicking off the new year with a continued push in raising awareness of injustices in our community and throughout the world. The SSJs hope to bring about more change by taking part in several local events this month. First, Nazareth College has invited alum Sisters Barbara Lum (’58) and Susan Nowak (’77) to speak to students on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 16. The event is part of an effort to continue the school’s philosophy of empowering students to work for social justice.

Sister Barbara was missioned in Selma, Alabama from 1959-1969, during the height of the Civil Rights era. In particular, she will share her account of Bloody Sunday which occurred on March 7, 1965. Sister Barbara was the nursing supervisor at Selma’s Good Samaritan Hospital and helped treat the protestors injured during the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. The march played a pivotal role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Sister Susan Nowak is a Professor and Chairperson of Religious Studies at Nazareth College. Sister Susan will speak about how the SSJ charism continues to evolve and thrive at the college. She will also host a discussion on ways we can help stop today’s social injustices afflicting our nation.

The Nazareth College presentation begins at 9 am in the Linehan Chapel, is free and open to the public.

Following the presentation at Nazareth College, Sister Barbara will speak to the employees of Harter Secrest & Emery LLC. The law firm is hosting a diversity day for its employees and invited Sister Barbara to speak of her Selma experiences.

Inaugurating Hope

The Sisters will then continue their mission for social justice by co-sponsoring an event aimed at creating positive change. Inaugurating Hope will take place on Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20 from 7 to 9 pm at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester. (Check-in time is 6:30 pm.) On this night of profound change in our world, the community will come together as one and take steps to move towards the openness of heart, aliveness of body and clarity of purpose needed to generate positive, creative responses to the world’s situation.

If you would like to take part in Inaugurating Hope, please register by typing the following link in your web browser: The event is free, however donations are accepted.

Other co-sponsors of the event include The Social Justice Committee of the First Unitarian Church, The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester (TIAR), The Sisters of Mercy, Mothers Out Front, Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace (GVCP), The Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition (RPCC), and the Greater Rochester Community of Churches (GRCC) – Faith In Action Network.

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