Session 3. What does the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul say about Diversity?

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Session 3 </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> What does the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul say about Diversity? </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> OPENING PRAYER All-inclusive God, you call us to be in relationship with one another and promise to dwell wherever two or three are gathered in your name. In our Society of St. Vincent de Paul we are many different people; we come from many different places, have many different cultures. Open our hearts that we may be bold participants in finding the treasures of diversity among us. Let us see through the eyes of a child. We pray in faith. Amen. </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> THE SOCIETY OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL The Bylaws approved by National Council of the Society in 2005 include the following nondiscrimination statement: The Society "actively seeks to recruit and retain volunteers without regard to race, creed (with the exception of active members), color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, age or physical handicap." </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> The following data is based on information collected by our National Office; it reveals some significant information about where the Society needs to look for growth in the future. The future of our Society rests especially with generational and cultural diversity. ACTIVE (FULL) MEMBER:ASSOCIATE MEMBERS: Categories Active Members Over 40: Active Members Under 40: Associate Members Over 40: Associate Members Under 40: Caucasian85.53%74.11%88.00%72.00% Hispanic8.70%17.79%8.00%20.00% Black3.98%4.30%3.00%4.00% Asian1.54%0.56%1.00%4.00% Pacific0.29%0.39%0% Alaskan0.12% N/A 0% </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> FOUNDATIONAL DOCUMENTS An examination of what our Mission Statement, the Rule and our Founders say about diversity is an important first step toward effecting that future change. Extracts from our MISSION STATEMENT The Mission Statement of the Society clearly identifies who we are and what we do. Below a key passage of the Mission statement is presented that specifically address the issue of diversity: .As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group and economic level. </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> THE RULE The following excerpts from The Rule (Part 1) also speak clearly and plainly to this issue: PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF OUR SERVICE: anyone in need The Society serves those in need regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender, or political opinions. 1.6 Adaptation to a Changing World Faithful to the spirit of its founders, the Society constantly strives for renewal, adapting to changing world conditions. It seeks to be ever aware of the changes that occur in human society and the new types of poverty that may be identified or anticipated. </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> OUR PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS WITH THE POOR: 1.8 Reverence for the poor Vincentians serve the poor cheerfully, listening to them and respecting their wishes, helping them to feel and recover their own dignity, for we are all created in God's image. MEMBERS, CONFERENCES, COUNCILS COMMUNITIES OF FAITH: 3.2 Equality The Society, in each of its Conferences, makes no distinction regarding gender, wealth, occupation, social status or ethnic origin. </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> RELATIONSHIP WITH CIVIL SOCIETY AND WORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: 7.7 Striving to change attitudes Vincentians oppose discrimination of all kinds and work to change the attitudes of those who view the weak or those who are different with prejudice, fear or scorn, attitudes which gravely wound the dignity of others. The Society promotes understanding, cooperation and mutual love among people of different cultures, religions, ethnic origins and social groups, and so contributes to the peace and unity of all peoples. </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> REFLECT AND SHARE: What in our Mission and Rule spoke to you most strongly? Why? How does our Mission and Rule challenge us? *How has this session changed your attitudes? </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> CLOSING PRAYER In my prayer, make me a baby girl who when born is considered to be a burden or curse on the family - that I may know what it is to feel unwanted. In my prayer, make me a girl whose brothers are the only ones sent to school - that I may understand: before our creator we are equal; still one is deprived. In my prayer, make me a young girl who is not married - that I may know the fear of how property will hinder my choice for marriage. In my prayer, make me a young girl married in a family exchange - that I may experience how miserable it is to marry a person of double or triple my age. (continued) </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> CLOSING PRAYER (cont) In my prayer, make me a widow who has no source of earning - that I may understand: without any source of income, how can I bring sweets for my children ? In my fast, make me an empty bowl - that you may fill the hollow space in me with love. In my almsgiving, make me a grain of rice - that in the company of others, my gifts may feed a starving world. O Lord, give me strength that I can share the sadness of my fellow beings and bring a light of hope for them. Amen ( Attique Swati, Pakistan) </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> End of Session 3 </li> </ul>