catholic campaign for human development:
2013-2014 Funded Groups in the Archdiocese of Hartford
Thanks to the generosity of our parishes, the 2012 Archdiocesan CCHD collection totaled $335,802.20, 75% of which was sent to the National CCHD Office in Washington, D.C. for distribution. The remaining funds were allocated within the Archdiocese in the form of grants to assist local community organizing groups, and to OCSJM for the purpose of parish justice education.
National CCHD Grants Awarded in 2013
Teach Our Children
Through direct-action organizing, Teach Our Children and Youth UnleashED develops leadership skills and make major improvements to the New Haven Public School system. Since 2006 the group has improved district translation services, discipline policies and increased funding for classroom materials. They have had success in adding $100,000 into the budget for textbooks at Hillhouse High School and another $200,000 for the District. They successfully negotiated the formation of a transportation committee with the New Haven Public School system to monitor and implement safety on the system’s school buses.
The group is aware of and respects Catholic social and moral teachings. It affirms the value and dignity of low income youth, and supports low income families by working to insure their children will receive a good education. They promote cultural diversity through their support for immigrant families and their insistence upon the provision of translation and language appropriate communications from the schools and Board of Education so that mono lingual parents may participate in their children’s education. The focus on the school system reflects an understanding that education is a pathway out of poverty.
The group reflects a priority for the poor and the principle of subsidiarity. The group’s members and leaders, all of them low/moderate income parents and students and primarily African-American and Latino, make decisions and set priorities for the group. Eighty percent of the Board of Directors is classified as low-income. Camelle Scott-Mjjahid is the Director.
Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
The Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ) is a 14 year old grassroots organization whose mission is to improve urban environmental health through educating the community, promoting changes in government policy, and promoting individual, corporate, and governmental responsibility toward our environment. The group defines environments as the places where we live, work, play, and go to school. In recent years CCEJ helped win State bans on asbestos and cadmium in children's toys, reduce diesel exhaust from Hartford's buses and garbage trucks and win passage of Connecticut's first environmental justice law.
The CCEJ has a long history of CCHD funding and continues to understand and respect Catholic social and moral teachings. Sister Mary Rouleau of the Sisters of St. Joseph has been a long standing CCEJ member and active participant in many of the coalition’s meetings and actions. The group’s work supports the Catholic social teaching principles of: Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Option for the Poor, and Care for God’s Creation. CCEJ’s focus on the environment presupposes a position which affirms the intrinsic value of human life of all people living in the environment and they seek to eliminate toxic chemicals and contaminants from the environment which endanger life.
The board of directors consists primarily of African-Americans and is sixty percent low-income. CCEJ focuses on the cities of Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven, CT. Sharon Lewis is the Executive Director. The Hartford area includes the majority of current CCEJ members and the office is located in Hartford.
Local CCHD Grants Awarded in 2013
Naugatuck Valley Housing Development Corporation
The Naugatuck Valley Housing Development Corporation is undertaking a major redevelopment and energy efficiency campaign for the Brookside Cooperatives housing project. The 20 year old housing cooperative is in need of timely repairs and energy efficiency measures to maintain affordable and sustainable housing for low and moderate income families. Current funding will be used to support leadership development as the members work on this campaign. The project will include training and development of new resident leaders, building relationships within the community, and connecting Brookside leaders with other NVP leadership and issue campaigns.
United Action Connecticut
United Action Connecticut (UACT) is an interfaith, multiracial, multilingual organization of congregations and community institutions which strives to make communities better places to live and work by organizing congregations and encouraging them to seek the common good. Current funding will be used to develop a bilingual Communications Team that will translate and provide news bulletins, call to action alerts, fact sheets and press releases to Communications Managers in ten new UACT congregations. The goal of this project is to improve communications to allow more leaders to develop and mobilize their communities for social justice.
United Connecticut Action for Neighborhoods, Inc.Established in 1978, United Connecticut Action for Neighborhoods, Inc. (UCAN) works to expand community organizing in Connecticut. Current funding will allow the group to strengthen the organizing efforts of UCAN and its Caring Families Coalition around the issue of health care. The proposed project consists of building leadership teams to mobilize and empower low income residents to protect health care services from destructive cuts, and to win support of their legislators to solve health care problems identified by the project’s participants.
Meriden Family Zone/Meriden Children First Initiative
Meriden Children First Initiative improves the quality of life for children and families through community-wide collaborative action and increased parent involvement in civic life. The Initiative was founded in 1995. Meriden Children First Initiative is the parent organization of the Meriden Family Zone. The Meriden Family Zone was launched by Meriden Children First in early 2010 to target a lower-income Meriden neighborhood to improve health, early learning and self-sufficiency outcomes for young children.
The Meriden Family Zone (MFZ) is a network of families, business and city services that help families located in the designated geographical zone obtain services. The MFZ aims to improve health, learning and self-sufficiency outcomes by strengthening resident leadership and addressing root causes of poverty for families and children in a targeted low-income neighborhood.