Home » Programs » 2016 Biennial Poverty Conference

A biennial conference focusing on an aspect of poverty with stress on integral human development of the individual and the society. The Vincentian charism is a major focus, as is Catholic Social Thought.

2015-16: 9th Biennial Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference

 Care for Our Common Home: The Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor

January 30, 2016



The 2015-16 Poverty Conference: (http://www.stjohns.edu/about/news/2016-02-02/heeding-pope-francis-s-call-sju-hosts-conference-tackle-worldwide-crisis) addressed the current ecological crisis and how it impacts the world’s most vulnerable communities and people: the poor. In his encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, His Holiness Pope Francis notes that “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si’, 49).

Approximately 210 participants attended, including St. John’s faculty, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, SJU alumni and external partners, such as religious leaders, service-providers, community organizers and faculty from other institutions.

Keynote Address:                                          

The Evidence of Things Unsaid: The Silence about Racism in the Care for Creation

Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D. , Professor of Systematics/Ethics, Marquette University


Videos of the Poverty Conference





Panel Presentations included the following speakers in the plenary session:

Introductory Remarks: The Focus on Poverty

Elham Seyedsayamdost, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, Center for Governance and Sustainability, University of Massachusetts Boston

The UN Environment Assembly: Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of Agenda 2030

Juan Elias Chebly, M.B.A., Lead Adviser, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

 Laudato Si’ and Sustainable Development

Anthony Annett, Ph.D., Climate Change and Sustainable Development Advisor, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Renewable AND Accessible Energy: A Two-Sided Solution to the One Complex Crisis

Erin Lothes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology, College of St. Elizabeth

“How Natural Disasters Make the Rich Richer and the Poor Even Poorer”

John C. Mutter, Ph.D., Professor of International and Public Affairs, Sustainable Development, and Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University

  • Past Poverty Conference topics include
    • “Educational Justice for All” (2013)
    • “Poverty Eradication and Intergenerational Justice” (2011)
    • “Extreme Wealth and Poverty and the Virtue of Enough” (2009)