Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. While public debate in our nation is often divided between those who focus on personal responsibility and those who focus on social responsibilities, our tradition insists that both are necessary. All people have the right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives. We are committed to work to ensure that all people have their voices heard, and to live out their faith in the public square, working together for justice. Corresponding to those rights are duties and responsibilities to respect the rights of others and work for the common good.
Our parish VOICE members work with other member organizations, collaborating to transform Buffalo through grassroots efforts to address policies and practices that negatively impact the region. Working groups include: Restorative Justice, Work Force Development, Refugee & Immigrant issues, Community Reinvestment & Disability Rights, Voter Registration, Police Reform.
St. Joseph’s Committee against Gun Violence.
This committee began in response to the concern about the number of gun related incidents in our community as well as in the country. Members work to educate the parish about the impact of gun violence in our community by sharing data, and engage in mobilization efforts to reduce the violence.
Every day, more than 300 people are directly impacted by gun violence in the United States; more than 110,000 are injured annually in gun violence events. Gun violence is the 2nd leading cause of death of American children and teens behind only automobile accidents.
Gun Violence Awareness month was created to draw attention to this tragic reality and demand life-saving change. Whether it is headline-grabbing mass shootings or the all too common domestic violence, street crime, suicide or accident, gun violence is a national epidemic and embarrassment.
We Wear Orange in honor of Hadiya Pendleton and all those impacted by gun violence.
Hadiya Pendleton was 15 years-old when she performed with her high school majorette squad at President Obama’s second inaugural parade. Hadiya was shot and killed in Chicago only one week later. Orange was her favorite color and it was the color that her friends wore in her honor. After her death, they asked us to stand up, speak out, and Wear Orange to raise awareness about gun violence.
Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015 – what would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Gun violence prevention advocates and organizations nationwide have taken up the color orange as the color of gun violence awareness and the Month of June is observed Gun Violence Awareness month; the first Friday in June is now honored as National Gun Violence Awareness Day and observed for the entire weekend. From San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to our own Niagara Falls, landmarks and iconic images are illuminated in the color orange in solemn tribute.
Gun Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to show the country just how powerful gun violence awareness advocates are. But the work doesn’t end there. The St. Joseph University Parish Social Justice Committee and its partners Gun Sense NY and Stop the Violence Coalition continue to do life-saving work so that we can get closer to a future free from gun violence. We wear orange to be seen, and demand that we be heard.
The University Heights Collaborative
The Collaborative is a community-based group of residents and other interested stakeholders working together to maintain and enhance the quality of life in the University Heights neighborhood. The Collaborative also serves as an umbrella organization for Block Clubs and Neighborhood Watch groups in the community surrounding our parish.