Nun on a bus to Memphis: Annual Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium

The Tenth Annual Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium invites a noted scholar and/or activist to address social and moral issues related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching.

This year the event will feature Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, a well-known advocate for the poor and disenfranchised, and leader of three “Nuns on the Bus” tours.

Sister Simone will speak at the Symposium, held Thursday, April 16, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the University Theater at Christian Brothers University.

Simone is a religious leader, attorney, and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare, and economic justice.

In 2012, she was instrumental in organizing the “Nuns on the Bus” tour of nine states to oppose the “Ryan Budget” approved by the House of Representatives. That tour was followed with a cross-country trip focused on immigration reform in 2013, and a “We the People” tour that encouraged people to vote and called upon candidates to commit to crafting a budget that benefits everyone, secures healthcare for all, protects immigrant rights, and promotes nonviolent solutions to conflict.
Sister Simone has often been featured in the national and international media, including appearances on 60 Minutes, Tavis Smiley, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She has received numerous awards, including a “Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award” and the "Defender of Democracy Award" from the international Parliamentarians for Global Action.

She recently authored A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community, published in April 2014 by HarperCollins, and plans to be available to sign copies of her book following the talk.
Also that evening, a Mid-South university student will be recognized with the Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award. Annually, this award is given to a student who best exemplifies the spirit and practice of nonviolence consistent with Dr. Vanderhaar’s life and work. The recipient will make a brief presentation of his/her work prior to the lecture.

The Vanderhaar Symposium was founded in honor of Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar, a professor of religion for 28 years at Christian Brothers University, who spent his lifetime promoting peace and active nonviolence. Each year, the Symposium invites a noted scholar and/or activist to address social and moral issues related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching.

The Symposium is free and open to the public. For more information visit the event website here.


Read more articles by Kate Crowder.

Kate Crowder is a freelance writer and veteran educator who has taught for over a decade in public schools. The longtime Memphian and mother of three is frequently found on the stage as musician, actor, or director when not filling her role as contributor and Assistant Editor at High Ground News.
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