The Columbus School of Law’s Office of Law and Social Justice Initiatives partnered with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services to host “Haiti: One Table Many Partners,” over the weekend of June 1-3 on the campus of The Catholic University of America.
Billed as a ‘National Solidarity Conference” for parishes and organizations working with partners in Haiti to improve the lives of the Haitian people, the conference drew more than 300 participants, representing dioceses and parishes throughout the United States, partnership organizations, Catholic institutions, and representatives from Haitian dioceses and parishes.
The keynote presentations and workshops examined best practices in partnership; from partnerships that yield self-sufficiency, to efforts in advocating for human rights and social justice, to relationships that embody and embrace cultural diversity.
“The conference will be an opportunity for parishes and others in the United States to hear from leaders of the Church in Haiti about constructive partnership relationships,” wrote co-chairs Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Portland, Maine, Catholic Relief Services; and Most Rev. Guy Sansaricq, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, NY, USCCB Haiti Advisory Group.
“The conference was designed to be an opportunity to share information on earthquake response and rebuilding, especially through the Partnership for Church Reconstruction in Haiti,” they continued.
Catholic media coverage of the event was widespread, including attention from the Catholic News Service, the National Catholic Reporter
and Catholic News Agency.
Catholic University’s Office of Law and Social Justice Initiatives was created in 2006 as a center within the Columbus School of Law dedicated to supporting students, staff, and faculty in their efforts to make a lifetime commitment to service in the common good.
Its outreach includes CUA-Haiti Initiatives, which is working to establish the first law school-affiliated criminal justice clinic in Haiti. It has partnered with a sister law school in Jérémie, Haiti, to train nearly 200 students who, as lawyers, public officials, and teachers, are contributing to the rule of law and securing greater protections for the people of Haiti.