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CSMG Diversity Initiative


The Diversity Outreach Initiative (DOI) of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering seeks to develop leaders from diverse Catholic communities for ministry in the Church.  The initiative expresses our commitment to strengthen the Church's social ministry by reaching out to Catholic ethnic, racial, and disability communities and encouraging members to lift up the richness and diversity of their gifts in our shared mission.  Limited financial assistance to participate in CSMG is available (see notes 3, 4, and 5 below).  Applicants should not register online until they receive written confirmation of a scholarship award with registration instructions from the chairperson of the CSMG Diversity Committee. Diversity Scholaship Application deadline extended until Monday, November 26, 2018.

I was fortunate to participate in the CSMG as a diversity candidate. It was extremely beneficial to me personally, and to my Diocese. Not only did I learn so much about the Church’s position on important issues, but I was able to network and collaborate with my colleagues to plan for more effective dissemination of this information to the people we serve in eastern North Carolina."
Lauren Green
Director of African Ancestry Ministry & Evangelization, Diocese of Raleigh

  1. What are the goals and desired outcomes of the DOI?
  2. Who can participate in the DOI?
  3. What is the process for applying for financial assistance?
  4. What expenses would financial assistance cover?
  5. When should I register for CSMG if I am applying for financial assistance?
  6. How can CSMG collaborating and sponsoring organizations assist this initiative?

1. What are the goals and desired outcomes of the DOI?

  • Help our Gathering to reflect more fully the rich diversity of the Church.
  • Develop leaders from diverse Catholic communities who will share Catholic social teaching and action with their community and the broader Church.
  • Cultivate strong, long-term relationships of mutual respect between diocesan social action offices and offices that minister to ethnic, racial and disability communities within the Church.
  • Advance the social mission of the Church, within culturally diverse communities, through education, outreach, and advocacy.

  • Expand resources available to all who are working in social ministry in the Church.

2. Who can participate in DOI?

  • Leaders from under-represented ethnic, racial and disability communities working in Catholic institutions (parishes, schools, and social service agencies, etc.) may be eligible for limited financial assistance.  We also encourage participation from rural and mission dioceses.
  • When reviewing applications for financial assistance, priority is given to new applicants who 1) demonstrate leadership; 2) currently work with a national CSMG collaborating organization or diocesan social action office; or 3) meet the diversity criteria of this initiative and live in a USCCB designated home mission diocese.
  • CSMG participants are normally limited to no more than three years of scholarship assistance through the Diversity Outreach Initiative so that we can make this opportunity available to as many people as possible.  Returning applicants will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Scholarship assistance will be extended only for registration and/or hotel fees, and will not be provided for participant travel to and from Washington, D.C.
  • Anyone attending or supporting the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is encouraged to contact our Diversity Committee about opportunities to support or participate in the Diversity Outreach Initiative.

3. What is the process to apply for financial assistance?

The application form and recommendation form are available here, or by contacting our Diversity CommitteeAll forms must be signed, dated, and submitted by e-mail, fax or post by Monday, November 26, 2018.  Scholarships will be awarded and recipients notified by December 2018.  As part of the application process, applicants must obtain a recommendation from one of the following individuals: a CSMG committee member at one of our collaborating organizations; a campus coordinator for our Young Leaders Initiative; or a diocesan director in a related area like social action, human life & dignity, or cultural/disability concerns.  Forms and questions can be directed to Nicole Germain, Chair of the CSMG Diversity Committee (, Phone: 202-541-3380, Fax: 202-541-3339)

4. What expenses would financial assistance cover? 

Individuals are urged to fund their participation to the fullest extent possible through their own resources. Scholarship awards may be applied to cover the cost of registration and/or hotel accommodations.  The CSMG Diversity Committee does not extend scholarships to cover transportation or incidental expenses.

5. When should I register for the Gathering if I need financial assistance?

  • If you are applying for financial assistance, do not register for CSMG before receiving written approval of financial assistance and specific registration instructions for DOI participants.
  • Applicants will be notified of the status of financial assistance requests by December 2018.
  • Participants will not be reimbursed if they register for the CSMG in advance of receiving written approval of DOI financial assistance.

6.  How can CSMG collaborating and sponsoring organizations assist this initiative?

  • Identify leader(s) from diverse ethnic, racial and/or disability groups, and encourage them to attend CSMG.
  • Nominate potential recipient(s) to receive financial aid to attend CSMG using our recommendation form.  The individual nominated will then need to complete and submit an application form.
  • Check the box during online registration for CSMG to indicate your interest in supporting this initiative.
  • Give a financial or in-kind donation to support CSMG's Diversity Outreach Initiative.  Collaborating and sponsoring organizations may discuss contribution options by contacting Ivone Guillen (Phone: 202-541-3373).
  • Inform others and invite them to participate in CSMG and support our Diversity Outreach Initiative!

CSMG 2019 Diversity Committee Members

Nicole Germain (Chair)
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Office of National Collections

Jan Benton
National Catholic Partnership on Disability

Rev. Michael Carson
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church

Kim Mazyck
Catholic Charities U.S.A.; Engagement and Educational Outreach

Father Alejandro López Cardinale
National Catholic Network for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Richard Coll
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of National Collections

Fr. Henry Sands
Black and Indian Mission Office

Sr. Myrna Tordillo
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church

Deacon Al Turner
Retired - Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.;Office of Black Catholics

Chris West
Catholic Relief Services; Partnership, Training and Engagement

Danielle Brown
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Dept. of Justice, Peace & Human Development

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