Friday, January 25, 2013

Press Release: “Nuns on the Bus" on Campus to Stand with People in Need for Economic Justice

For immediate release: January 25th, 2013
What: The University YMCA announces that the Spring 2013 Friday Forum lecture series, “Faith in Action,” will kickoff with a talk by Sister Mary Ellen Lacy, of the “Nuns on the Bus” tour, highlighting the work Catholic Sisters do to meet the needs of people at the economic margins and revealing how federal budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and passed by the House of Representatives will hurt struggling families here in Illinois.
When: February 8, 2013, 12 Noon
Where: Latzer Hall, University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois 
Details: Inspired by the national “Nuns on the Bus” tour organized by NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Sister Mary Ellen-Lacy will call attention to local needs and illustrate how faith-based social service agencies that serve people who will be further harmed by proposed budget cuts.  Local Church and political officials and the media are invited to meet with Sister Mary Ellen Lacy.
Background: Catholic Sisters stand with the Catholic Bishops in criticizing the Ryan budget and are committed to staying faithful to their mission to serve those in need. Because of their work, Sisters see the suffering of people in poverty on a daily basis. As a result, they recognize the harm that the Ryan budget will cause, including:
  •  Undermining the food stamp program (SNAP) at a time when millions need it to feed their families
  • Giving large tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of protections for struggling families
  •  Drastically cutting funding for health insurance programs for low-income people, causing millions to lose access to healthcare
  • Increasing Pentagon spending while cutting programs that serve people in need -- despite the Pentagon saying there are military programs that should be cut.
  • Beginning to shift Medicare to a voucher program, thus driving more seniors into poverty
The “Nuns on the Bus” tour was meant to focus attention on the enormous moral choices facing our country.  Do we choose to be a nation of individualism and fear where the rich get richer at the expense of those in need? Or do we reclaim the principles of our founders and work together for all the people to form a more perfect union?

“Nuns on the Bus” is a part of the Friday Forum Spring 2013 lecture series, “Faith in Action.”  The series will feature speakers from across the spectrum of faith traditions who are compelled by their faith to engage in bold and creative forms of action.  From the frontlines of interfaith activism, the series brings to life faith as a bridge of cooperation, rather than a barrier of division.  Speakers in the series schedule include Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Soulforce, Eboo Patel, member of President Obama’s Advisory Council and author of Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the promise of America and others. 

Sponsored by: University YMCA, Channing-Murray Foundation, The Chapel of Saint John the Divine Episcopal Church and Foundation, Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, Wesley United Methodist Church, Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois, UIUC Hillel/Cohen Center, Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, Interfaith in Action (RSO), LGBT Resource Center, Paid for by SORF.

Friday Forum is a weekly lecture series held during the fall and spring semesters that strives to raise awareness about national and international trends.  Lunch is available at the Y eatery for $6.50/3.00 student.  The Y Eatery now accepts credit cards.   For more information, including a complete list of sponsors, visit:

Additional Information: The views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect the views of the University YMCA, co-sponsors, or the Friday Forum committee.  A sign language interpreter is available within a 72 hour notice (contact Carol Nunn at 217-337-1500).  All forums are radio broadcast at 6:00pm on WEFT 90.1 the Monday following the lecture. 

Contact: Ann Rasmus, Program Director
Spring 2013 Friday Forum Schedule

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