Dominicans have a deep history of working with human rights and the economic, social, and other systems that influence and shape our lives.
During a time of famine, the young philosophy and theology student, Dominic de Guzman, a son of Spanish nobility, sold his school books to help those who were starving and destitute. His preaching, teaching and forming others in the truth of the Gospel led to the founding of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans.
In the sixteenth century, Dominican missionaries, accompanying native peoples, shared experiences with the Dominicans at the University of Salamanca, Spain. Shining the light of faith on those experiences, Dominicans reflected, wrote and called for justice for native peoples oppressed by the system of colonialism. This experience led Francisco de Vitoria, OP to create the foundation of international law, and his name lives on as the one given to the original assembly hall at the United Nations.
To this day, Dominicans remain committed to justice, the promotion and defense of human rights, and care for creation. Our province has supported the work of Dominican friars at the United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva, Switzerland since its foundation. Parishes administered by our province always have a strong justice and peace program. Our university parish at Purdue twins with one in Haiti; our parish in Minneapolis has an active outreach to the poor and to Native Americans; our parish in Denver gives ten percent of its collection to the poor and provides lunches for the homeless and the hungry. These are but a few examples.
For more information and resources, see the North American Dominican Promoters of Justice, Peace and Care of Creation page on DomLife.org.