Social Justice


We Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and all who partner with us in the work of the Spirit commit to promoting inclusive community that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of each person. As a congregation of women religious in partnership with many others we advocate and practice equity, diversity, and inclusion as the touchstones of the right relationships that describe justice for all aspects of creation, the human as well as the other-than-human.

In pursuit of our commitment to foster Gospel values and communities in communion we are led by the core values of openness to God’s Spirit, community, simplicity, and respect for all. We believe that mutual respect and the dignity given diversity stimulates equity in relationships, encourages creativity, promotes dialogue and the exchange of ideas, and enriches the whole community of life.

Investing & Hiring

The Poor Handmaids are committed to action and accountability to achieve racial equity. We continually examine our investments, and our purchasing and hiring practices to ensure that we are promoting racial and ethnic equity. We’ve committed to ending business relationships with entities that further systemic racism and are not in sync with our values. In addition, racial equity training is a requirement for all new hires in Poor Handmaid ministries.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

In the summer of 2020, as the echoes of police brutality and scourges of racism awakened our daily routines, Poor Handmaid leadership in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, announced their commitment to address systematic racism. The justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) group was created by a diverse group of coworkers and Sisters to provide several perspectives. The core JEDI group identifies guest speakers, events, and strategies to implement JEDI initiatives.

These JEDI Champions refuse to give the many communities that are fostered by the Poor Handmaids an excuse to not understand racism, bias, microaggressions, Jim Crow, Black Lives Matter, or any of the racialized truths and mistruths of what our history in America has been for Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC).

The Poor Handmaids and their ministries are engaging the head, heart, and lifestyle together – laity and Sisters. These are the choices we are making to be Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) champions.

Arleen Peterson, Executive Director of Relational Services

Most people recognize a champion as the one who steps up to the podium, but each champion has taken an amazing journey before ever reaching that podium. Champions must create a daily routine and experience failures and opportunities to improve before reaching champion status. Most of the time we only see the final glorious moment, but it’s a head, heart, and way of living that gets the champion to the podium. As lay people and PHJC Sisters we are being called to be champions of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). D...

Fort Wayne Ink Spot | By Tabitha Ervin, Editorial Director

I learned so much in this conversation that I first want to share my own thoughts. Have you ever wondered who you are, I mean before you were even a thought? Let’s say 80-100 years ago or more. Who was your family, where were they from? As I learned about Sharon’s book, “They Got Daddy”, and what led her to write it, it made me ask questions about my own background and history.

My oldest living relatives, a great aunt (Aunt Dean) and 2 great uncles (Uncle June, Aunt Dean’s husband and Uncle Frank, Aunt Dean’s brother) are all...

Meet Justine Johnson, the new Executive Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Justine’s work is essential to continuing the mission and charism of Saint Katharina Kasper, who was inspired to serve the poor and most in need.