Additional Information on the Thomas Merton Center

Additional Information on the Thomas Merton Center


* Some current programs and organizations with which TMC is closely allied, and which are not discussed in the TMC profile, include the following:

  • The Pittsburgh for CEDAW program “aims to bring the Convention to End all forms of Discrimination Against Women to Pittsburgh, to hold our city government accountable to the rights of all women.”
  • The Harambee Ujima program seeks to “establish an African-American social/economic generator for free trade development of neighborhoods to participate in regional and global community markets.”
  • The Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition organizes events in support of legislation designed to help protect the people of Darfur and “bring perpetrators of war crimes to justice.”

* Some noteworthy programs that TMC collaborated with or administered in the mid-2000s included the following:

  • The Anti-War Committee: A member organization of United for Peace and Justice, this Committee organized “interfaith vigils, rallies, teach-ins, a speakers bureau, legislative action, media outreach, and other activities to promote peaceful solutions to world conflicts.” In 2006 it assisted the ACLU in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Defense Department regarding a terrorist surveillance program.
  • The Azania Heritage International was “a community resource on African culture, ethnicity, languages and the economics of radical social change, as well as an empowerment project for Africans and African Americans in Pittsburgh.”
  • Canaries in the Coalfields was a group that tried “to build strength in Pittsburgh for the growing movement to transform Pennsylvania … into a leader for green energy practices that allow us to live in harmony with our environment and bring sustainable jobs to our communities.”
  • Code Pink for Peace: TMC worked closely with the Pittsburgh chapter of the national anti-war group bearing this name.
  • The Community Labor Solidarity Campaign worked “in solidarity with the labor movement … while bridging the gaps between unions and community groups.”
  • The “Conscience” project provided legal support and counseling to U.S. soldiers who wished to apply for conscientious objector status in order to avoid military duty. The Center also organized efforts to limit military recruiters’ access to local high schools in the Pittsburgh area.
  • Fed Up! — the Pittsburgh chapter of the Human Rights Coalition — worked to change the allegedly abusive conditions in regional prisons.
  • The Pittsburgh-area chapter of Food Not Bombs was managed by TMC.
  • The Healthcare Campaign was a project that worked for the establishment of universal, government-funded healthcare for all Americans.
  • New Voices Pittsburgh was an advocate of women’s unrestricted access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand. This project was devoted to “building a local movement for Reproductive Justice” and elevating the “powerful voices of women of color on human rights, reproductive oppression and the totality of our experiences as women of color.”
  • The Pittsburgh Bill of Rights Defense Campaign sought to “educate the people of Southwestern Pennsylvania to the current realities and the potentially damaging effects of the USA PATRIOT Act and other federal legislation that intrudes upon on our civil liberties.” Organizations that endorsed the Campaign’s anti-Patriot Act petition included the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Pittsburgh chapter, the American Muslim CouncilCode Pink for Peace, the NAACP’s Pittsburgh branch, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom of Greater Pittsburgh.
  • The Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee was founded to “foster information, dialogue and activities connected with the Palestinian People’s struggle for Independence.”
  • The Pittsburgh-area chapter of Raging Grannies was directed by TMC.
  • The RESYST project sought to “radicalize queer communities” through staged protests and street theater.
  • The War-Profiteering Education and Action Network aimed “to research, expose and confront the powerful corporate interests behind the war machine.”

* In 2004, TMC was a signatory to a letter sent to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, imploring the UN to monitor the American presidential election of that year. Drafted by the organization MADRE, the letter stated that the previous presidential election (four years earlier) “was plagued by allegations of widespread voter disenfranchisement, particularly in the state of Florida … irregular and wrongful purging of voter registration lists and questionable practices and policies relating to balloting, counting and certification procedures.”

* TMC endorsed a September 24, 2005 “Call to United Mass Action,” an Anti-Iraq War protest rally in Washington, DC, co-organized by International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice. Speakers at the event included Mahdi BrayRamsey ClarkGeorge GallowayRalph NaderAl SharptonCindy Sheehan, and Lynne Stewart. The event was attended by an estimated 300,000 people.

* In 2006, TMC endorsed the Declaration of Peace Campaign organized by United for Peace and Justice, an initiative aimed at bringing about “the immediate withdrawal of US troops” from Iraq. Fellow endorsers included Gold Star Families for PeaceSeptember 11th Families for Peaceful TomorrowsPeace Action, the Student Peace Action Network, the United Church of Christ, the War Resisters LeaguePeace Majority ReportCode PinkPax Christi USAGlobal Exchange, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and School Of the Americas Watch.

© Copyright 2024,