‘Mercy and Justice Shall Meet… A Strategic Advocacy Workshop’
Earlier this month the the Mission Integration Unit hosted Dr Angela Reed RSM for an inspiring workshop – ‘Mercy and Justice Shall Meet… A Strategic Advocacy Workshop’.
This same workshop was held on successive days August 12 (Melbourne) and August 13 (Sydney) with a combined attendance of about ninety participants. Those present included Sisters of Mercy from around Australia and Papua New Guinea, our partners in ministry and friends from other justice-based agencies.
Angela is the Coordinator at the Mercy International Association – Mercy Global Action based in New York. As part of her work she engages in advocacy work at the U.N. She is a graduate of RMIT University’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, in Melbourne, where she completed her PhD on Human Trafficking. While living in the Philippines, her research focused on amplifying the voice of Filipino women who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation. Over the years Angela has integrated her professional background in education, social work and theology to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to research, service provision and public advocacy. Her primary research interest is on gendered violence and in particular human trafficking.
In her opening remarks Angela reflected on her recent paper “Speaking the Silence” in which she highlighted, through true stories, one of the key aspects which can be an impediment to good advocacy. Simply, that it is from our position of privilege, there can arise in us a tendency to revert to a default position of silence in the face of injustice – because we ‘don’t want to get involved.’
Our aim in offering this workshop was to re-ignite the importance and discipline of both theological reflection and self-reflection alongside sound analysis and solid research as we advocate for change in the service of justice. We recognise that this is a first step for many of us and that more is required as we move up the ‘pyramid’ Angela shared with us.
The legacy of Angela’s time with is an invigorated and renewed commitment to engage in systemic and strategic advocacy both within the Institute and alongside our partners in other like-minded organisations. If you are interested in learning more about “where to from here?” in relation to advocacy and public voice please contact Anne McGuire (Ministry Animation Co-ordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org or John Rochester (Communications Manager) email@example.com