Category Archives: Midterms 2022

Colin Martinez Longmore and Sr. Eilis McCulloh, HM, of the NETWORK Grassroots Mobilization Team and co-hosts of the Just Politics podcast, stand with a cutout of Pope Francis at University of Detroit Mercy on Oct. 12, 2022, on NETWORK's Pope Francis Voter Tour.

Gen Z’s Voter Vision

Gen Z’s Voter Vision

Young Catholics See Connections to Their Faith When They Vote for Justice

Nora Bradbury-Haehl
April 19, 2023
Colin Martinez Longmore and Sr. Eilis McCulloh, HM, of the NETWORK Grassroots Mobilization Team and co-hosts of the Just Politics podcast, stand with a cutout of Pope Francis at University of Detroit Mercy on Oct. 12, 2022, on NETWORK's Pope Francis Voter Tour.

Colin Martinez Longmore and Sr. Eilis McCulloh, HM, of the NETWORK Grassroots Mobilization Team and co-hosts of the Just Politics podcast, stand with a cutout of Pope Francis at University of Detroit Mercy on Oct. 12, 2022, on NETWORK’s Pope Francis Voter Tour.


On Nov. 9, 2022, the day after the midterm elections, President Joe Biden expressed his gratitude to young voters. “I especially want to thank the young people of this nation, who voted in historic numbers,” he said, and named the issues they came out for: “They voted to continue addressing the climate crisis, gun violence, their personal rights and freedoms, and student debt relief.”

Gen Z has embraced a platform of social justice — economic, racial, climate, immigration — and they don’t just care about it, they vote about it. In 2018, young people ages 18-29 set a record for voter turnout, 28.2 percent, and again this past fall they came just short of that previous performance at 27 percent. Indeed, Gen Z voters, the largest and most diverse generation of American voters in history, are making waves — and stopping them. The much-hyped “Red Wave” of Republican victories in 2022 never came ashore. The nation’s youngest voters made sure of it.

The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) urges that “all citizens be mindful of their simultaneous right and duty to vote freely in the interest of advancing the common good.” The Venn diagram of Catholic Social Teaching and the values of Gen Z voters has a wide region of overlap.

But do Gen Z Catholics know it?

Seeing Connection

According to Colin Martinez Longmore, they do. Martinez Longmore is the Grassroots Outreach and Education Coordinator at NETWORK, where he works on equipping young justice-seekers with faith-based advocacy skills and opportunities. A co-host of NETWORK’s “Just Politics” podcast, produced in collaboration with U.S. Catholic magazine, Martinez Longmore spent several weeks in the fall of 2022 visiting college campuses and other venues as part of NETWORK’s Pope Francis Voter Tour, making the case for multi-issue voting across generational lines.

Gen Z voters, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse generations, “are also growing up surrounded by an American popular culture that is much more accepting of diversity than before,” says Martinez Longmore. He contends that because of this, their understanding of the equity and social justice aspects of Catholic Social Teaching is more innate than previous generations.

Emely Hernandez

Emely Hernandez

Emely Hernandez, a 24-year-old studying and working in Chicago, also makes the connection between the church’s social teaching and her own vote.

“There is so much beauty and thoughtfulness in the teachings of the Catholic Church that focuses on upholding the dignity and respect for every human,” she says, naming the call to family, community, and participation as the principle that motivates both her vote and her career. She describes the latter as “focused on advocacy work against human injustices” and “working to promote the greater good for those who are poor and vulnerable.” Her current position involves supporting unhoused individuals, low-income families, immigrants, and refugees.

Ethan Carrino is a Michigan-based college student and a recent convert. He describes a “disconnect” he encounters with some older church leaders over hot-button and social issues.

Ethan Carrino

Ethan Carrino

“As a mixed-race Catholic who’s felt racism in the church, raising awareness ending bias, and having inclusion is very important.” Carrino grew up going to Catholic schools but came into the church through a campus RCIA program.

“Our church calls all cultures/ethnicities to itself,” he points out. Regarding voting, Carrino says his faith pushes him to take note of things Jesus would speak on and think about what the Gospel calls him to do.

“It’s easy sometimes to only see an issue a certain way, but being Catholic helps me to see how the issue impacts everyone, especially those in need,” he says.

According to Tuft University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a non-partisan, independent research organization focused on youth civic engagement in the United States, “Youth are increasing their electoral participation, leading movements, and making their voices heard on key issues that affect their communities.” The first Gen Z member of Congress, 25-year-old Maxwell Frost, got his start organizing with the anti-gun-violence group March for Our Lives. Voters of Tomorrow, a pro-democracy research and advocacy organization, was founded in 2019 by then 17-year-old Santiago Mayer.

What is Meant by Catholic?

Do Gen Z Catholics see a connection between the church’s teachings and their vote? Christian Soenen, projects manager of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University and one of NETWORK’s 2022 Social Poets, says perhaps.

Christian Soenen

Christian Soenen

“I think this largely depends on which circles of Gen Z Catholics I am in,” Soenen says. He observes that very devout Catholics on both the left and the right connect their Catholic identity with their vote but that different aspects of religiosity inform their different conclusions on politics.

“Among my friends on the right, ritual, symbol, and personal discipline are components of their practice of faith that then create a cultural lens through which to understand politics” Soenen says, which in his observations translates to conservatism. On the left, “the social message of the Gospels and the prophets form the core of their understanding of their faith.”

Among left-leaning young Catholics, this understanding manifests as a desire for a more inclusive and equitable society that prioritizes issues like poverty and healthcare.

Audrey Carroll

Audrey Carroll

Audrey Carroll, 24, is a political communications professional and former NETWORK staff member. She says her faith provides a framework for the values she cares about and votes for, “by encouraging me to always be in pursuit of justice and the common good.” Carroll says being Catholic teaches her to avoid supporting “policies and legislation that only protect and benefit people with power and privilege” and to reject policies that “intentionally marginalize underserved communities and individuals.”

Nick Cook, 24, works in Rochester, New York at a refugee outreach center. He has worked with homeless veterans and, during college, volunteered with a Catholic organization that serves the people living in poverty in rural Pennsylvania. Cook says he votes the way he does because of his Catholic faith and Catholic Social Teaching. The issues that he identifies as a part of that influence also have wide appeal among his peers: “Respect for all God’s creation — environment, option for the poor and dignity of the human person — higher minimum wage, more expansive public benefits, care for refugees, the homeless, anti-death penalty, anti-gun.”

But he also identifies two big sticking points: “I disagree with a narrative I hear that Catholic voting should lead to voting for anti-abortion candidates without regard for any other issues, especially because I believe conservative candidates have more opinions opposing Catholic social teaching than more liberal candidates.”

His other concern is also common among Gen Z voters: “Thinking about the term ‘Catholicism’ sparks ideas of a lack of openness to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, even though I and many Catholics I know are open to that. I also believe respect for the gay and transgender community should be included in respecting the dignity of the human person too.”

Where We’re Rooted

Gen Z Catholics, depending on where they worship and what movements or media they are connected to, may or may not hear their own views and values supported by church leaders. Nonetheless, those who are committed to Catholic Social Teaching seem to be firmly rooted.

Martinez Longmore describes his own sense of it: “My Catholic faith instilled instilled in me a deep sense of reverence for the inherent dignity of every person, and an awareness of God’s unique preference for marginalized and shunned communities. So I see issues like creating a just immigration process, or reforming the criminal legal system, or addressing the root causes of poverty through public policy as a very Catholic thing — even if I don’t hear those issues talked about at my local parish or by faith leaders.”

Soenen at Georgetown offers a caveat on the importance of formation: “A Catholic whose faith formation hasn’t included any significant focus on the social dimension of the Gospel will have very little reason to reject the present destructive forces in politics: populist nationalism, nativism, and romanticized notions of the efficacy of capitalism, to name a few. In this case, faith might actually become an obstacle to social justice, especially if it is understood to place morals in a dimension that is somehow separate from the public square.”

But Soenen’s thinking on young Catholics whose faith causes them to care about social justice is that they will have “an extraordinarily impactful dedication to social justice and will carry with them a moral that is more consistent, coherent, and focused on the common good than another system of social values.”

He adds, “When faith and politics are understood together, the faith adds a sense of transcendent importance to the politics, while knowing that that importance is fully expressed in human terms. My Catholicism, for me, means that a political injustice offends both God and humans, and because of that, it has a much stronger hold over my conscience than it would have if the religious component were absent.”

Nora Bradbury-Haehl is the author of “The Twentysomething Handbook” and “The Freshman Survival Guide.”

This story was originally published in the 2nd Quarter issue of Connection. Download the full issue here.
A youtube screenshot showing peoples' faces

An Election-Time Prayer

An Election-Time Prayer

Sr. Erin Zubal, OSU
November 7, 2022

In the third episode of Just Politics podcast, our hosts discuss the importance of being a “Pope Francis Voter” and NETWORK Chief of Staff Sr. Erin Zubal offered this prayer.

Listen to the entire episode on  Apple | Google | Spotify.

O Lord,

We turn to you in these days before our country’s elections.

We know that your ways are not our ways and that your wisdom surpasses any human understanding.

We also know that – as a wise woman once said – the Holy Spirit does not have much use for comfort zones. And the systems and structures that we associate with stability and well being, we have also foolishly come to associate with permanence. Help us in our fear, and help us to see that we too, have a part to play.

We also believe that we are working to build up your kin-dom, and that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. And we know that, when chaos and lawlessness prevail, the most vulnerable among us suffer the most harm. Help us to feel the hope that encourages us to keep laboring, to keep building, to keep trusting in you.

Free us from the defeatism that says no amount of effort will ever make a difference. Save us from the cynicism that says people will do the wrong thing if it’s in their best interest.

Be with the people of our country as we contemplate the Signs of Our Times and discern our choice of elected leaders for the years ahead. Awaken in our souls a yearning for your tenderness and compassion manifested in the world. Spark in our hearts a solidarity for those who are most in need and pushed to the margins. Quench the destructive will to power and cultural dominance that too many of us have mistaken for your Good News.

Give us wisdom as we show up to vote.

May we see you at work in whatever happens. Reassure us with your faithfulness and the constancy found only in you. Surprise us with your lavish goodness.

May Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, intercede for us.


What does it look like to vote for the common good

National Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters: Vote for the Common Good

We are called to participate in politics to promote the common good. What does it look like to vote for the common good? This conversation helps us understand how important it is to use our vote to make lives better in our communities.

Our Presenters

NETWORK’s Grassroots Mobilization team visually displays how walls are built by some politicians and corporations to divide us. The walls of division, held firm with racism, sexism, misinformation, etc., make our communities unsafe and let those who divide us rig the economy and politics for their benefit.

Our speakers explain how when we vote for the common good we can help knock down walls of division.  And, when we rely on Pope Francis’ teachings, lessons learned from lived experiences–ours and those of others, our shared values, and respect for all of the issues (not one single issue, like abortion or climate change) that respect life, we can help all in our beloved community thrive.


Take the Pope Francis Voter Pledge!

Commit to using your vote as your voice to protect our democracy and promote the common good!


You Watched the Town Hall, Now What Can You Do?

Register to watch an interfaith call for reparations to finally repair the harm that racist policy and laws unleashed during and after slavery.

Let the words of Pope Francis be a resource as you make your candidate or ballot-issue decisions. Download and share the Equally Sacred Checklist.

Don’t forget Georgia, your vote is your voice! Be a voter. Make a plan.
Help friends and family make their plans, too.

Keep Up with NETWORK

Just Politics Catholic Podcast Season One

The Pope Francis Voter Tour Comes to Cleveland!

The Pope Francis Voter Tour Comes to Cleveland!

On October 18th, NETWORK’s Pope Francis Voter Tour stopped in Cleveland, OH and visited Esperanza Threads and hosted a Town Hall at Blessed Trinity Parish. At both the Site Visit and Town Hall, each speaker lifted up the power of community and connection. For three NETWORK staff members on tour — Eilis, Erin, and Julia — this stop was a homecoming and a chance to lift up the ministry of our community, parish, and hometown.

Founded by Sr. Mary Eileen Boyle, OSU in 1990, Esperanza Threads teaches low-income individuals how to sew industrially and works with local social service agencies and companies to place students in jobs. Many of the students at Esperanza Threads are former refugees who are looking for a job after having been resettled in Cleveland. For Eilis, this site visit was like coming full-circle. Prior to joining the staff at NETWORK, she ministered in refugee resettlement and sent many clients to Esperanza Threads for sewing and job skill training. Listening to the prophetic, community-building vision of Sr. Mary Eileen and Esperanza’s Executive Director Emily Tiell, reminded us about why we are Pope Francis voters who are committed to doing the work to build a multi-racial, inclusive democracy.

Following our inspiring site visit, on the evening of October 18th, NETWORK hosted our Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters. The Cleveland Town Hall featured three sisters from three different congregations: Humility of Mary Sister Anne Victory, Sister of St. Joseph Marilyn Nickol, and Incarnate Word Sister Margaret Taylor. Drawing on their life experiences, community charism, and ministry, each sister helped all of us see and understand the importance of multi-issue voting. In addition, our buzz question was asked by Jon Gromek, former NETWORK associate and longtime friend.

We begin each Town Hall with a buzz question. Part of that question and invitation to share with a neighbor is “What brings you hope.” Time and time again, we hear that NETWORK gives folks hope for the midterm elections. As one sister told me after the Town Hall finished, “it’s so easy to see that everything is horrible, but you all gave us hope to keep on fighting the good fight.” Another sister added, “it’s about the people and you all center that.” Each person with whom we spoke echoed this sentiment.

Sr. Margaret added to this idea when she explained her reasoning for being a multi-issue voter. She said, “My parents were faithful voters which inspires me to be one as well. We are people of good will who desire that all people have the opportunity to live a good life that promotes the freedom to vote; a life free from discrimination; a life that responds to the challenges of climate change; a life that does not tolerate racism and exclusion; a life that addresses the issues of poverty; a life that welcomes immigrants.”

The encounters we had in Cleveland can be summed up in one word: Community. It is clear that this is a place where people come together to support and celebrate one another.  The community of Cleveland shows up for each other, and we have no doubt this community will show up at the polls as Pope Francis Voters.

Equally Sacred Checklist - text graphic

Download and Share the Equally Sacred Checklist

The Equally Sacred Checklist is Here!

October 25, 2022

How can we know that we are voting for candidates who promote the common good? Pope Francis has given clear instructions for how Catholics and all people of good will are to position ourselves and prioritize social issues.

In his writing and speaking, Pope Francis makes it clear: abortion is not the only issue that matters. Catholics are called to be multi-issue voters in the 2022 midterm elections and in our continued participation in public life. Use the Equally Sacred Checklist as a guide to reflect on the concerns that Pope Francis says are “equally sacred” to the defense of the unborn.

Share the Equally Sacred Checklist with your friends, family, fellow activists, and faith community members.  

Check out these sources to learn more about what Pope Francis says:

What does White Supremacy in American Christianity mean?

Actions to Take to After Watching White Supremacy in Christianity

White Supremacy in American Christianity, Part II

What does White Supremacy in American Christianity mean? What are the beliefs of What Supremacy? Ethics professor Fr. Bryan N. Massingale and Author Robert P. Jones give viewers understanding in an engaging conversation moderated by NETWORK’s Joan F. Neal.

White Supremacy in American Christianity, Part I

We held our first White Supremacy in American Christianity conversation in April 2022. Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, Robert P. Jones, and Joan Neal were joined by Georgetown University’s Dr. Marcia Chatelain.

Our Guest Speakers

Robert P. Jones is the President and Founder of PRRI, and author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. Robert P. Jones speaks and writes regularly on politics, culture, and religion in national media outlets including CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others.

Fr. Bryan Massingale is the James and Nancy Buckman Professor of Theological and Social Ethics, as well as the Senior Ethics Fellow in Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education and author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Fr. Massingale is a noted authority on social and racial justice issues, particularly in Catholic spaces.

Professor Marcia Chatelain, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History for her book Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America. She is a professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University and the leading organizer behind the #FergusonSyllabus, an online educational resource that has shaped educational conversations about racism and police brutality since 2014. 

Tell President Biden

NOW is the time to sign an executive order for a reparations commission.

You've Seen the Conversation, Now What Can You Do?

Pray for Reparations during Black History Month 2023

A federal reparations commission must be established by March 2023 to allow 18 months of work (as prescribed in H.R.40) to be completed without risk of a new administration disbanding it. We must pray!

In November 2022, Jewish and Christian faith leaders gave spirited calls for reparations to finally repair the harm that racist policy and laws unleashed during and after slavery. Storytellers from the field shared why their communities deserve redress for education, homes, and more loss because of racist government action.

Learn why reparations are needed now. NETWORK staff and keynote speaker, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Ph.D, tell us the history of H.R.40, give us Christianity’s faith foundation for reparations, and help us learn to talk to friends and family about race and reparations. Reparations can heal the economic prosperity divide and lingering pain from Jim Crow, disenfranchisement, discrimination in tax policy, biased home lending, restrictive covenants and more.

Keep Up with NETWORK

Just Politics Catholic Podcast Season 2

Pope Francis Voter Tour Takes Toledo!

The Pope Francis Voter Tour Takes Toledo!

Colin Martinez-Longmore
October 26, 2022

The Pope Francis Voter tour made a stop in Toledo Ohio, where we took a few days to get some much needed rest and recharge before another week of political ministry.

Our site visit for Toledo was at the Center of Hope Family Services, a family-led nonprofit organization that provides a vast array of programs and services for both youth and adults in the community. We arrived on a cloudy Monday morning and were greeted warmly by Dr. Tracee Perryman, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Center of Hope. Dr. Perryman gave us a tour of the Center’s facility that is in the process of expanding. The impressive facility includes offices, meeting spaces, a direct service and programming area, and even a recording studio! After our tour, we all sat down in their conference room to hear more about the ways the Center of Hope has been a positive change agent for the community.

The Center of Hope Family Services has been serving youths, adults and families in Toledo for 25 years. It started from Center of Hope Community Baptist Church, and thanks to its success and growth, it was able to expand into its own 501©-3 nonprofit. One of the wonderful services we learned about was their court advocacy services that helped countless young people navigate the often-complex and daunting juvenile justice system. We also learned about their ELEVATE program which serves local students from grades K-4 who are at risk for academic failure. The program was such a success that it was expanded into a published curriculum, outlining an eight month afterschool education program that helps children thrive.

After our visit, we held a Speak out in their lobby to a small group of NETWORK supporters and members, and our broader online audience. Dr. Michael Carter, a pastor, community leader and an Elevate parent who has had his children involved in the program, was a featured speaker. He shared his experience about how the ELEVATE program has benefitted his son through their homework assistance program and even some at-home cooking classes that taught him how to cook quiche and dump cakes!

Organizations like the Center of Hope Family Services are inspiring for their innovation and unwavering commitment to underserved communities. We see the Pope Francis Voter spirit alive in their efforts as they tackle the multiple issues affecting their communities. If you are interested in supporting their organization, we encourage you to visit their website:

Pope Francis Voter Tour: Detroit Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters

Celebrating Community at the Detroit Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters

Catherine Gillette
October 26, 2022

On October 13, NETWORK’s Pope Francis Voter Tour continued on  with a Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters in Detroit, Michigan.  With more than 100 Spirit-filled advocates in attendance, this event was co-hosted by the IHM Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, and the Elephants in the Living Room.  It was held at the Marygrove Conservancy.

Due to the pandemic, I haven’t done many in-person trainings over the past few years.  While Zoom is nice (and certainly has its benefits), there is such a richness to spending time together…in-person! Perhaps that is why “community” was my big takeaway from this town hall. It popped up in a number of ways.

First, it is important to understand the significance of today’s Town Hall venue.  The Marygrove Conservancy was formed after Marygrove College’s 2019 closure.  It is a non-profit organization that cares for the 53-acre campus and “envisions the campus as an anchor and hub of a thriving Northwest Detroit community, in which all children and families are engaged in transformative educational experiences from cradle to career…”  It is a continuation of the Marygrove College legacy and a powerful commitment to the surrounding community.

Three older white ladies with gray hair wearing masks look at the camera

Local sisters (left to right) Sr. Elizabeth Walters, IHM, Barbara Beasley, IHM, and Karen Donahue, RSM, all spoke about the reasons they are Pope Francis Voters at the Detroit Town Hall

Beyond that, I have to give another shout-out to our hosts.  We are always grateful when someone is willing to collaborate with us to host a NETWORK event. That said, it is particularly exciting when multiple entities join forces and collaborate on an event.  Being hosted by the IHM Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, AND the Elephants in the Living Room was a treat. All of the folks I encountered throughout the day were open-minded, curious, supportive of our vision, and enthusiastic about engaging on the upcoming election. Being with the community our hosts brought together was an absolute joy.

Our program today began with a Buzz Question—asking folks how they are feeling about the upcoming election and where they find hope. To be honest, many people were feeling afraid, worried, or nervous. However, when we asked where they found hope, we heard “being here,” “young people,” and “community.” During challenging times, there is such comfort and power in coming together as a community.

Finally, I am perhaps most grateful for our Town Hall attendees’ willingness to take their learnings plus NETWORK’s Equally Sacred Checklist and share them with their own communities—parishes, congregations, schools, community groups, and more!  A significant part of being a Pope Francis Voter is a willingness and commitment to do the work. We must commit to having hard conversations with our families and friends. We must work together to grow the community of Pope Francis Voters, and I’m confident that our Detroit Town Hall attendees will go forth and do just that!

Our community is passionate, committed, and growing. That is what gives me hope during this election season.

This Saturday: White Supremacy and American Christianity


Earlier this year, thousands of justice-seekers joined us to hear from experts working at the intersection of religion and race — Fr. Bryan Massingale, Robert P. Jones, and Dr. Marcia Chatelain.

Join us this Saturday as Fr. Bryan Massingale and Robert P. Jones return to speak with NETWORK for a follow-up conversation on white supremacy and American Christianity, this time in light of the upcoming midterm elections. Together, we’ll continue learning about the intersection of white supremacy and American Christianity, with a focus on our politics.

If you’ve already registered — help us spread the word!
*Retweet Here*  * Share to Facebook*

White Supremacy and American Christianity
Saturday, October 29, 2022 | 12:30-2:00 PM Eastern

This event will take place on Zoom.
Co-Sponsored by the National Black Sisters’ Conference

Register and invite your friends and family!


Meet Our Speakers

Fr. Bryan Massingale, Robert P. Jones, Joan F. Neal headshots

Robert P. Jones is the President and Founder of PRRI, and author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. Robert P. Jones speaks and writes regularly on politics, culture, and religion in national media outlets including CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others.

Fr. Bryan Massingale is the James and Nancy Buckman Professor of Theological and Social Ethics, as well as the Senior Ethics Fellow in Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education and author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Fr. Massingale is a noted authority on social and racial justice issues, particularly in Catholic spaces.

Joan F. Neal is the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Equity Officer at NETWORK where she shares overall leadership of the organization and leads strategic planning and racial equity and justice transformation work. Joan F. Neal is an experienced organizational leader and an authority on the intersection of faith, justice, and federal policymaking.

The Pope Francis Voter Tour Visits the University of Detroit Mercy

The Pope Francis Voter Tour Visits the University of Detroit Mercy

Colin Martinez-Longmore
October 25, 2022

The Pope Francis Voter Tour made its first college stop in Detroit at the University of Detroit Mercy. UDM is a Catholic school sponsored by both the Jesuits and the Sisters of Mercy, serving over 5,000 students all throughout the metro Detroit area. The student body is diverse and vibrant, which provided a wonderful atmosphere of interfaith and ecumenical encounters during our time there.

We connected with the University Ministry for our visit, specifically with Sr. Erin McDonald, CSJ, who was our gracious host and collaborator for our events. Sr. Erin is a social worker and serves as the University Minister for Service and Justice, where she is in charge of building community relationships, as well as programming various service and social justice opportunities. Together, we planned to bring our Becoming Pope Francis Voters workshop to the students, to help mobilize and encourage young voters of faith to do the work of being multi-issue voters during the midterm elections!

Our day began with a bit of tabling at the University Library. We set up shop near the entrance, and began to have conversations with some of the students who were walking by. Using our website Turbovote link, we were able to help students check their voter registration status and register themselves if needed. We also shared some NETWORK resources, like our Equally Sacred Checklist, and invited them to join us for our workshop that evening. And since no tabling is complete without some fun goodies, we gave away lots of Halloween candy as well.

Later that evening, we moved over to the university’s beautifully designed Loranger Architecture Building, where we hosted our workshop. There were about 20 students who participated in the interactive workshop, where we talked about what it means to be a Pope Francis Voter. The room buzzed with conversation during the breakout small group sessions and we heard honest reflections from a few students about their hopes for the midterm elections and beyond.

It was a blessing to be able to spend time with the University of Detroit Mercy community. We’re grateful to Sr. Erin McDonald, CSJ, the University Ministry and all of the students who joined us in doing the work to build a multi-racial and inclusive democracy.