Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice

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Template:Infobox organization Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice at Loyola University New Orleans began in 1947 with the efforts of Fr. Louis J. Twomey, S.J., an early advocate for the rights of labor, and his distribution of the newsletter Christ's Blueprint for the South to his fellow Jesuits. Sixty-nine years later Twomey's efforts have expanded to a variety of programs in support of the faith that does justice.[1]

History

In 1947 Louis J. Twomey, S.J., founded the Institute of Industrial Relations to defend the rights of labor in the workplace. He published Christ's Blueprint for the South to advance this cause, and his struggle soon extended to opposing racism in a prophetic way that was unpopular with many in the churches and among his own Jesuit brethren at the time. He saw labor and race issues as "two sides of the same coin," with justice for both coming together.

The widening scope of Twomey's work is reflected in the name changes of his Center, to Human Relations Institute and then to Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice since 1991. By 2016 the Center could celebrate surviving cuts and consolidations in LU programs[2] and continue to pursue social justice on many fronts: human rights and workers' rights, conflict resolution, racism, the impoverished in general and educational opportunities for all.[3]

Twomey Center has been supported by funds from 16 organizations including Campaign for Human Development, USDA,[4] and Bread for the World for which it is the local affiliate.[5]

Activities

The Center facilitates, on and off the Loyola campus, involvement in community issues through various initiatives.

  • Bread for the World letter writing on legislative actions, and an annual Walk for the Hungry.
  • Use of Blueprint in schools and parishes to discuss and plan action for justice.[6]
  • Internships with the Center, from secondary to post-graduate students, to help analyze issues and to offer services as needed.[7]
  • The Center has over the years built up partnerships with agencies in New Orleans, including board membership, volunteering, research and analysis, mentoring, consulting, training and facilitation, speaking out, organizing and demonstrating.[8]
  • Pre-college Incubation Experience for Majoring in Math and the Natural Sciences (PRIEMMANS) revives a program of Fr. Twomey's, working with minority high school students on the LU campus, bettering their chances of finishing college in math and science while also teaching non-violent means of conflict resolution.[9]
  • Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP). Conflict resolution was a focus of Twomey's original work, revived in 1986 by Mennonite Volunteers who began an alternative dispute resolution program, first in the small claims court. Beginning in 1991 the Center's model of community mediation was adopted by dozens of inner-city schools in New Orleans, but interrupted by the devastation which Katrina brought to these schools. RCCP has become at once more necessary and more difficult with increasing violence in the schools. The Center persists today in offering its nationally recognized RCCP to Orleans Parish Public Schools and beyond.[10]
  • Training Center offers help to a wide variety of organizations with skills that foster peace, justice, and empowerment, overcoming prejudices that divide.[11]

Blueprint

Beginning in 1948, Christ's Blueprint for the South came to be circulated among Jesuits worldwide, with a special focus on those in studies, as a guide for social justice formation and the apostolate. Twomey died in 1969, after seeing his efforts confirmed and furthered by the Second Vatican Council of Catholic Bishops, and after his death the Blueprint began to be distributed beyond his preferred, Jesuit audience to the general public. Under various editors Blueprint expanded its coverage and spawned other efforts. It currently focuses on social justice with an emphasis on cultural diversity and inter-religious dialogue.[12] Recent issues are freely available on the Center's website and back issues are available in Loyola University library.
The Center has supported itself in part by soliciting business for its printing services.[13]

References

  1. "Faith that does justice: The mission of Pope Francis and Jesuit teaching". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/faith-does-justice-the-mission-francis-jesuit-teaching. 
  2. Times-Picayune. Accessed 3 May 2016.
  3. "About the Twomey Center | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/about-twomey-center. 
  4. "Get Involved | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/get-involved. 
  5. "Staff | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/staff. 
  6. "Volunteer | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/volunteer. 
  7. "Community Based Learning Interns | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/community-based-learning-interns. 
  8. "Urban Partners | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/urban-partners. 
  9. "PRIEMMANS | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/priemmans. 
  10. Antoine, Garibaldi,; Loren, Blanchard,; Steven, Brooks, (1996-10-01). "Conflict Resolution Training, Teacher Effectiveness, and Student Suspension: The Impact of a Health and Safety Initiative in the New Orleans Public Schools" (in en). The Journal of Negro Education 65 (4). ISSN 0022-2984. https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-29028323/conflict-resolution-training-teacher-effectiveness. 
  11. "Training Center | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/training-center. 
  12. "Blueprint documents social awareness | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/blueprint-documents-social-awareness. 
  13. "History of the Blueprint for Social Justice | Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice | Loyola University New Orleans" (in en). http://www.loyno.edu/twomey/blueprint-history. 

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