March 13, 2018, Seattle, Washington – Faith-based shareholders – including the Adrian Dominican Sisters and other congregations of women religious – have found some success in their long-term campaign to work with gun manufacturers and dealers to reduce gun violence in the United States.
In the spring of 2016, Adrian Dominican Sister Judy Byron, OP, met with a group of faith-based members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) to address the issue of gun safety. In response, 15 religious communities, including the Adrian Dominican Sisters, bought stock in gun manufacturers Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands, and retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods so that they could work with these companies to reduce the availability of guns.
The faith-based investors requested a dialogue with the three companies. As a result of their discussions, Dick’s Sporting Goods decided to stop selling assault weapons in their stores. Because the other two companies did not respond to their request, the investors filed shareholder resolutions asking that the companies issue reports by February 2019 on their “activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with products produced by the company.”
Sister Judy said that when the issue of gun safety was brought up two years ago, “we never wanted to be where we are today, grieving our children and teachers who were murdered and wounded at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day. But we are here, and we are being led by the young people who are demanding that we take action to end gun violence.”
The religious communities’ work with the corporations is one example of the corporate responsibility work of organizations such as the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB). The PAB is also involved in community investment, granting low-interest loans to non-profit organizations that address the needs of local communities.
For more on the efforts in the area of gun violence, read the CNBC article and the report by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center.
November 11, 2017, Nogales, Arizona – Through the efforts of the Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, a contingent of Adrian Dominican Sisters are in Nogales, Arizona, for the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) Convergence on the Border. The group arrived November 10 and are blogging about their experience.
By Sister Marilyn Winter, OP
November 13, 2017
Sunday, our final day at the wall, we learned of the history of the movement of SOA Watch and its move from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Nogales, Arizona. Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of the movement, spoke for a short time, encouraging the people present to be constant in their dedication to justice. He also talked about and the need to correct our immigration laws.
Other speakers gave praise to accomplishments over the decades, sang songs, and taught chants. Poets inspired us and challenged us to continue the work. The names of those who recently died while crossing the border were proclaimed to the crowd and the response of recognition was a chanted “Presente.”
The puppetistas (large puppets representing the story of and need for the witness and work being done by SOA Watch) walked through the assembled people talking about what they represented and encouraging response. The program concluded as the puppetistas from both sides of the border shook hands across the wall.
November 12, 2017
Saturday was a day of beauty, sadness, challenge and grace. We passed a Veteran’s Day parade on in the United States as we walked to the wall separating our country from Mexico. Judy, Anne Guinan, OP, and I went into Mexico as Pat Erickson, OP, Helen Sohn, OP, and Michelle Salalila, OP, all stayed on the U.S. side of the wall. We passed murals that served as sad reminders of crossings. Teachings during the afternoon were very informative and challenging in the content and presentation. We were able at the wall to speak to those on the other side of the wall, and witnessed exchanges being made between friends and family. It is amazing and gratifying to see the commitment of many young people involved and the passion for change, justice and openness to a world of diversity.
Left: From left, Nasim Chatha, Maha Hilal, and Todd Miller gave a presentation on “Prison Imperialism.” Right: One of several murals we passed while crossing the border to Mexico.
November 11, 2017
We gathered Friday evening across the street from a detention center. During a very moving and challenging Vigil we witnessed our support for those held in the detention center. A couple people talked about their journey and struggle, and group of Peace Poets led us in singing and reflection as the group waved light sticks. Then group then processed closer to the detention buildings, where the people could hear our chants.
Feature photo (top): From left, Adrian Dominican Sisters Helen Sohn, OP, Pat Erickson, OP, Anne Guinan, OP, Marilyn Winter, OP, and Michelle Salalila, OP, arriving at the Vigil across from the Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona November 10.