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, cultural, and disability communities and encouraging their 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 for CSMG until they receive written confirmation of a scholarship award with registration instructions from the Chairs of the CSMG DOI Committee.

"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 take 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, cultural, 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, cultural, 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. Awardees do not have to be Catholic; however, they must work or serve with a Catholic entity.
  • 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 accommodations, 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?

To apply for assistance with the CSMG registration fee and/or hotel accommodations, applicants should complete the CSMG Financial Assistance Application (English | Spanish). All forms must be signed, dated, and submitted by email or post by Friday, December 6, 2024. Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis until depleted.

Scholarships will be awarded, and recipients will be notified by mid-December 2024. As part of the application process, applicants must include references from two 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. Email the completed application to @email. Please direct CSMG-DOI questions to Madeline Watkins and Yolanda Taylor-Burwell, Co-chairs of the CSMG-DOI Committee. Contact Madeline at @email or Phone: 202-541-3035. Contact Yolanda at @email or Phone: 202-541-3152. 

4. What will assistance cover? 

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

5. When should those needing financial assistance register for the Gathering?

  • 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 mid-December 2024.
  • Participants will not be reimbursed if they register for 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, cultural, and/or disability groups, and encourage them to attend CSMG
  • Nominate potential recipient(s) to receive financial aid to attend CSMG by emailing names and email addresses of nominees to @email. The individual(s) nominated will then need to complete and submit an application form.
  • Inform others and invite them to participate in CSMG and support our Diversity Outreach Initiative!
  • 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 and the scholarship program. Collaborating and sponsoring organizations may discuss contribution options by contacting Yohan Garcia at @email or Phone: 202-541-3373.

CSMG Diversity Committee Members

Madeline Watkins (Co-Chair)
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers

Yolanda Taylor-Burwell (Co-Chair)
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, 

Danielle Brown
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development

Fr. Michael Carson
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, Native American Affairs

Sr. Myrna Tordillo, MSCS
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, Asian and Pacific Island Affairs

Esther Garcia
National Catholic Partnership on Disability, Outreach and Diocesan Relations

Ronald Jackson 
Senior Director of Government Affairs; Catholic Charities USA

Jose Julián
La Red—National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana

Alba Orozco
National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry

Linda Arreola
Catholic Relief Services; National Hispanic Engagement, Mission and Mobilization      

Angelica (Vivi) Iglesias
Catholic Relief Services; National Advisor for Partnerships, Mission and Mobilization 

Cecilia Marie Flores 
Catholic Volunteer Network, Executive Director

Adrienne Curry
Office of Black Catholic Ministries, Archdiocese of Baltimore

Doris M. Barrow, III
Newman Center at Texas Southern University, Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Rudy Dehaney
Director, Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Faith Formation, St. Matthew Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Baltimore

Helder Hernandez
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Education & Outreach, Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development