Membership in U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking is open to all congregations of women religious, coalitions working against human trafficking in which women religious participate, and individuals (individual sisters, lay associate members of congregations, etc.).
Our structure currently consists of a board of directors, executive committee and several working groups.
Responsibilities of the board of directors:
- Ensure the vitality of the network;
- Set direction for the network;
- Set priorities and goals;
- Participate in/lead working groups;
- Communicate with and solicit feedback from network members;
- Assist the Executive Committee with resource generation/funding streams; and
- Setting terms for the rotation of current members to move off and bring new members on.
Board of Directors 2015-Present
- Kathleen Bryant, RSC (Los Angeles, CA)
- Jeanne Christensen, RSM (Kansas City, MO)
- Kathleen Coll, SSJ (Philadelphia, PA)
- Carol Davis, OP (Albany, NY)
- Joan S. Dawber, SC (New York, NY)
- Sally Duffy, SC (Cincinnati, OH)
- Linda Haydock, SNJM (Seattle, WA)
- Michele Morek, OSU (New York, NY)
- Maryann Agnes Mueller, CSSF (Enfield, CT)
- Ann Oestreich, IHM (South Bend, IN)
- Jean Schafer, SDS (Citrus Heights, CA)
- Ann Scholz, SSND (Silver Spring, MD)
- Anne Victory, HM (Rocky River, OH)
- Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA (LaCrosse, WI)
The Executive Committee consists of three members. Their responsibilities are:
- Provide the board members and network members with opportunities to dialogue with one another and share helpful practices, initiatives and resources;
- Propose strategies for addressing aspects of the issue of human trafficking;
- Facilitate opportunities to learn more about human trafficking concerns;
- Liaison with Talitha Kum;
- Follow-up on/seek out opportunities for funding network activities and meetings; and
- Rotation of current members off the Executive Committee and bringing new members on.
Executive Committee Members
Communications Working Group
- Ann Oestreich, IHM – Chair
Educational Resources Working Group
The Educational Resources Working Group is responsible for identifying existing resources; developing faith-based educational resources, including modules for use with groups; and promoting, through various media, the use of these resources in religious communities, faith congregations, and with others who share faith-values. The goal includes: raising awareness, analyzing causes and impacts, reflecting on how faith affects one’s response and determining what actions can be taken.
- Jeanne Christensen, RSM – Chair
Survivor Support Working Group
The Survivor Support working group empowers survivors by facilitating education and employment opportunities. This working group reaches out to congregations, associates, colleagues and business partners to create links to education and employment.
- Carol Davis, OP – Chair
Advocacy Working Group
As women religious committed to the abolition of human trafficking in all its forms, we partner with all faith groups who share our values-based commitment. We raise our voices in support of legislation, administrative policies and business practices that guarantee the human rights of all people and seek to end modern-day slavery of every type.
What we hope to do related to human trafficking:
- Advocate for national legislation that:
- addresses the evil of human rights violations against trafficked persons
- allocates resources for human trafficking victims’ essential services
- Build positive relationships with legislators and their staffs, other advocates in coalitions and USCSAHT members
- Meet regularly with legislator and their staff members, in district and on the Hill
- Encourage USCSAHT members to be in regular contact with legislators and their staff members
- Provide legislative and policy updates for inclusion on USCSAHT’s website, including action alerts for response by members and others
- Participate in events or actions addressing human trafficking as appropriate
- Collaborate with other USCSAHT working groups
Ann Scholz, SSND -Chair
Finance Working Group
The Finance Working Group seeks sources of financial support (grants and gifts) to support the ongoing mission of US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Their efforts are aimed at making USCSAHT financially sustainable into the future.
- Kathleen Coll, SSJ – Chair