April 2, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Director of NETWORK, a Catholic Social Justice Lobby, wanted to hear first-hand about some of the issues that plague rural America – from the perils faced by immigrants and migrant workers to the lack of affordable housing and transportation. She hosted a round-table discussion with community leaders from Adrian at the Dominican Life Center March 29, 2019. Among the speakers was Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Director of the Adrian Dominican Congregation’s Immigration Assistance Office, who spoke on the fear of deportation that undocumented immigrants face as they leave their homes. The discussion in Adrian was part of Sister Simone’s 18-stop fact-finding tour of rural areas in the United States. Read the entire Daily Telegram article by Spencer Durham.
Pictured: Sister Attracta Kelly, OP
April 1, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – In his 2018 book, Democratizing Finance: Origins of the Community Development Financial Institutions Movement, Clifford N. Rosenthal makes references to the key role Adrian Dominican Sisters played in the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) movement – and in bringing the Sisters’ social justice focus to finance.
The author notes the Congregation’s establishment in 1974 of the Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), which, rooted in Catholic social justice teachings, brings social justice to finance through shareholder advocacy with corporations and community investment (page 73).
He also cites the Congregation’s “leading role among faith-based community investors” when, in 1982, it awarded a $30,000 low-interest loan to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (CDCU). He notes that, of all community investors, “the Adrian Dominicans were distinguished by their strong engagement: they wanted to see the impact of their investment first-hand, and where needed, to try to help out with workouts when organizations ran into trouble” (pp. 121-122).
Finally, he cites the recent critique of CDFIs by Adrian Dominican Sister Corinne Florek, OP, consultant to the PAB and Director of the Religious Communities Investment Fund and the Mercy Partnership Fund. Sister Corinne has called on CDFIs to remember their original purpose, to grant loans to community organizations seen as too risky for commercial banks, and not to get side-tracked by focusing on the strength of their own financial performance.
For more information on the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ efforts in corporate responsibility and community investment, visit the PAB website.