Black Catholic History Month seeks to promote cultural awareness at Notre Dame

first_imgDuring the month of November, American Catholics will observe Black Catholic History Month. Notre Dame will also participate in this commemoration. Deacon Mel Tardy, who is a member of the committee planning the events at Notre Dame, said the event was established by the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, which is a gathering of African American priests, deacons, bishops and seminarians, because many individuals felt like the experience of African American Catholics was being overlooked.“The Clergy Caucus selected November as Black Catholic History Month because the stories of African American Catholics were not being told and how the Church relates to African Americans in particular was not being addressed,” he said. “They felt that some attention to the history would be good.”At Notre Dame, the month will be celebrated in a variety of ways, including Masses, a panel discussion titled “Is Black Lives Matter a Pro-Life Issue?” and a closing ceremony with Bishop Fernand Cheri of New Orleans. The kickoff event for the month was a Mass this past Sunday in Dunne Hall. The goal of these events is to educate Notre Dame students, faculty and staff about African American Catholicism.Eric Styles, the rector of Carroll Hall and member of the organizing committee, said he hopes the month will dispel stereotypes of what it means to be Catholic in the United States.“A lot of assumptions are made about what Catholicism is and that usually translates in the United States to being white American and that’s not always the case,” he said. “So, [a goal is] making students more aware of that, making faculty and staff more aware of that and celebrating the diversity that is already in the Catholic Church.”Tardy spoke of his desire for the month to demonstrate the unique aspects of African American Catholicism.“I would like to see that more people would be aware of Black Catholic History Month and why it’s significant, that people would understand that there are some unique gifts and forms of expressions that come out of the African American experience that are viable for the Catholic liturgy and for Catholic religious thought and imagination,” he said.The goal of these events throughout the month is to open a dialogue for further change at the University level. Organizers said they hope this dialogue will take root in classes being taught about African American Catholic theology and influence how community members view certain social justice issues that affect African Americans and in creating an inclusive community within the liturgy at Notre Dame for more than just November.Becky Ruvalcaba, Campus Ministry’s assistant director of multicultural ministries and chair of the committee that planned the events of Black Catholic History month at Notre Dame, said in an email her goal for the month is to present a genuine view of the Catholic Church.“We desire that the celebration not just be for a month. That as we grow in love and understanding of the world church in and through the Black Catholic community; that we, as part of that universal church, come to represent it here at the University of Notre Dame authentically in our liturgical celebrations, in social teaching, and in Christian living,” she said. “In the end, my vision is to work and live in a truly authentic representation of God’s Church: where all of his children … stand hand in hand worshiping and praying as one.”Tags: African American community, Black Catholic History Month, Campus Ministry, Catholicism, Diversitylast_img read more

Why wealthy Chinese are lining up to pay $500k for U.S. visas

first_imgby Alec MacfarlaneCNN MONEYThe Kushner family wants a piece of the huge tide of money that’s been flowing out of China.Over the weekend, the Kushners’ business was trying to drum up millions of dollars in Chinese investment for a New Jersey skyscraper project. To do so, they’re promoting a program that allows people to pay big money to emigrate to the U.S.Wealthy Chinese citizens have been falling over themselves to participate in the EB-5 program, which makes immigrants eligible to apply for a green card if they invest over $500,000 in a project that creates U.S. jobs.It has attracted tens of thousands of applicants and billions of dollars from China in recent years.Chinese citizens have snapped up more than 80% of the visas issued under the program since 2011, according to Invest in the USA, an industry association, and there’s a huge backlog of applications.Growing middle classChina’s growing middle class is attracted by the prospect of better opportunities for their children and what they perceive as a safer place to funnel some of their money, according to industry experts.“Chinese people are pretty affluent now,” said Stella Guo, a marketing director at CanAchieve Consultants, which helps Chinese clients obtain visas under the EB-5 program. “Their main reason for wanting to immigrate is … for their kids’ education.”The program, which has been around since 1990, is big business for developers like Kushner Companies, whose former CEO, Jared Kushner, is President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. The firm has already raised money from Chinese investors through the EB-5 program for another tower in New Jersey, which licensed the Trump name.Jared Kushner has stepped away from the business since taking a key role in Trump’s White House. His attorney, Blake Roberts, said Kushner is not involved in the operation of Kushner Companies and divested his interests in the New Jersey project by selling them to a family trust that he, his wife and his children are not beneficiaries of, which was suggested by the Office of Government Ethics.Chinese investors often seek a country offering a Western education system and better quality of life than China. After Australia and Canada changed their immigration rules, the U.S. program is one of the cheapest and least restrictive, according to experts.“It’s the usual reasons: education, political uncertainty, pollution, quality of life issues, and how much bang can you get for your buck,” said Eugene Chow, an immigration lawyer at Chow King & Associates in Hong Kong.Three-year waiting listThe EB-5 program also gives wealthy Chinese the opportunity to move a big chunk of their savings abroad at a time of uncertainty about the future of the world’s second-largest economy.But soaring Chinese demand in recent years has made the visas increasingly hard to obtain. Only 10,000 people a year are granted one, and the U.S. government has limited the number that can be issued to citizens of a particular country in a single year.That’s helped drive up the waiting time for Chinese investors to around three years, according to immigration law firm Wolfsdorf Rosenthal.And the big investments in U.S. projects don’t always work out.“It’s not the best vehicle for getting into America, although it could be the right one for certain Chinese who don’t care about losing a half a million so long as they get their green cards,” Chow said.That may be the case for the super rich. But according to Guo, the money matters a lot to the growing numbers of middle class Chinese applicants.“They care about the cost, they care about the green card, they care about the security of their investment,” she said.Under fire in the U.S.The program has stoked controversy in the U.S.President Trump has taken a tough stance on immigration and vowed to severely tighten the use of work visas. The EB-5 program has come under fire by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.A Government Accountability Office report has found that the program is susceptible to fraud. Its defenders say it’s created or sustained hundreds of thousands of American jobs.Last week, Congress extended the program without any changes until Sept. 30.In Beijing on Saturday, potential investors in the Kushner project were told they should act quickly because the minimum investment for the EB-5 program could go up.In January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposed increasing the amount to $1.35 million from $500,000, which experts say has caused an additional flurry of applications.But interest isn’t expected to wane even if the price goes up.“We have every reason to believe there will continue to be a lot of demand for visas for the U.S. from Chinese investors,” said Dave Platter, global communications director at, a property search engine that lists real estate around the world for Chinese buyers. Share Sharing is caring! Tweet Sharecenter_img Share InternationalLifestyleMoneyPrint Why wealthy Chinese are lining up to pay $500k for U.S. visas by: – May 8, 2017 188 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

PlayMoreGolf is England Golf’s latest ‘preferred partner’

first_imgEngland Golf has partnered with PlayMoreGolf to help clubs to offer flexible memberships which fit around their customers’ lives and golfing needs.PlayMoreGolf is the latest business to join England Golf’s Preferred Partner network. It gives clubs the chance to offer a flexible membership to golfers who don’t want the classic package – and to run this alongside their traditional membership.It links clubs across the UK and golfers simply join online, choose their preferred home club, and receive 100 points for an annual subscription. Of this, 80 points will be used at home and 20 can be used ‘away’ at other PlayMoreGolf partner clubs.Clubs affiliated to England Golf clubs can click here to book a free one-to-one consultation with PlayMoreGolf on how to build a profitable flexible membership category. Clubs which sign up to the service will receive a 28% discount on the licence fee.The typical profile of a PlayMoreGolf member is someone aged 44 who plays eight to 12 rounds per year – with 65% playing at off peak times.  On average 10% of members upgrade to a club’s full membership within the first year. Tags: England Golf, Flexible Membership, PlayMoreGolf Iain Lancaster, England Golf’s Club Engagement Manager, said: “I am delighted to welcome PlayMoreGolf as one of our Preferred Partners. Our research tells us that clubs which offer flexible packages are the most likely to increase their membership and I am sure there will be enormous interest in this new partnership and the discount offer.”Jamie Carroll, PlayMoreGolf Sales and Marketing Director, commented: “We partner with golf clubs to grow their existing, or launch a new, flexible membership category to complement their traditional membership options. With PlayMoreGolf, each club controls and customises how their flexible membership operates to fit their requirements and enable growth of overall membership revenue.“In addition to providing the online platform that administers the membership for clubs, reducing both time and costs, our club specific marketing activity and dedicated Club Support Managers drive new flexible members to clubs, generating guaranteed contracted revenue and reducing the seasonality of pay and play golf to help golf clubs thrive and succeed.“We are delighted to be partnering with England Golf whose research shows there are over 2million golfers who enjoy golf but are not attached to a golf club.  PlayMoreGolf provides both the network and infrastructure to meet the demands of the modern younger golfer, providing the benefits of membership and catering for the desire to play at other courses, whilst fitting these around busy modern lifestyles.”England Golf’s 1900+ affiliated clubs can access the network of Preferred Partners. For a full list of partners click herecenter_img 28 Feb 2018 PlayMoreGolf is England Golf’s latest ‘preferred partner’ last_img read more