Working for Justice
Sister Ellen Sinclair, SDS
I was motivated to become a lawyer because I saw it as a way to work for justice. As a Salvatorian I still work for justice. As a pro bono attorney I help clients navigate a system that is too complicated and many times seems weighted against them. I use my legal skills to hopefully get justice for this one person, on this one matter, at this time. I have assisted green card holders in applying for citizenship; individuals with disabilities in applying for social security; first responders in preparing wills; and most recently, dozens of tenants facing evictions. The client having an attorney helps “even the field” and often allows for a more positive outcome.
However, my pro bono attorney work is only a part of how I am working for justice. Most of the social justice ministry I have been involved with as a Salvatorian is not related to being an attorney and is no different than any other Salvatorian or parishioner – serving on committees, writing letters, staying informed, attending actions, etc.
Systemic justice works for the common good at a variety of levels. To be successful it requires many to work together. We work for systemic justice on a global scale with our involvement with UNANIMA International, where I serve as the SDS board member.
On the national level there are many organizations working for systemic justice. A few I support include Network, Justice for Immigrants, and U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. There are myriad other national organizations.
On the state/local level I participate with Black Lives Are Sacred – Milwaukee, LCWR Legislative Network, my parish justice and peace committee, and Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees. When many people work together, we are able to make changes to the systems that are causing the injustice.
Sister Ellen’s reflection is from the Salvatorian Family occasional newsletter, JusticeGram. Click the button to read more.