April 2024 Newsletter
Issue #86
To maintain our standard of living, every person in the U.S. uses over 40,000 pounds of minerals 
each year

In 2022, the revenue of the top 40 global mining companies, amounted to a record
$943 billion
The top 10 countries with the most natural resources:(in trillions of dollars)
1. Russia: 75
2. US: 45
3. Saudi Arabia: 34
4. Canada: 33
5. Iran: 27
6. China: 23
7. Brazil: 21
8. Australia: 19
9. Iraq: 15
10.Venezuela: 14

There are 22,609 active and 159,735 abandoned metal mines around the world.

  While demand for some resources such as coal is falling, other resources such as copper are seeing increasing demand as new products and technologies require different materials. For example, a single lithium-ion electric vehicle battery pack uses around 35 lbs. of lithium, 101 lbs. of nickel, 101 lbs. of cobalt and 94 lbs. of manganese.

More than 75% of lithium, copper and nickel reserves and resources are within 35 miles of Native American reservations.
Impact on Health
In 2022, there were nearly 3,500 mining-related injuries and an average of 30 fatalities per year in the
past decade.

Although only accounting for 1% of the global workforce, mining is responsible for about 8% of fatal accidents at work.

The air and water pollution caused by mountain top removal -- a mining method to access coal -- leads to increases in cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, pulmonary disease, and birth defects.

The Environment
Mining and mineral processing operations often have high water footprints as many stages require the use of water. This can lead to reduced access for local people to uncontaminated freshwater supplies and can result in a local area suffering from water stress.

Chile produces about 26% of the world's copper -- more than twice as much as any other country. Much of it is concentrated in and around the Atacama Desert — the world’s driest desert. This requires large amounts of water for a variety of processes, including controlling dust at the extraction site, cooling machinery, and processing and
transporting ore.

40% of watershed headwaters in the western United States have been contaminated by mining operations. Many of these are tiny sites, and there are, overall, roughly 500,000 defunct metal mines in 32 western states that need to be cleaned up. Remediation of these sites may cost more than $35 billion.

The Berkeley Pit in Montana made the nearby town of Butte rich and prosperous for a time, but the site was eventually exhausted and retired. In the decades since, water has seeped into it and formed a lake. Today it is one of the most lethally polluted lakes in the world. The toxic, acidic water killed 342 snow geese that landed here in 1995.

Mining 2 pounds of diamonds produces around 880 tons of carbon dioxide, compared to a little more than 2 pounds for iron -- a highly abundant mineral--which produces only about 4 pounds of
carbon dioxide.

Approximately 20 tons of rock and soil are dislodged and discarded to produce enough raw gold to make a single ring. Much of this waste carries with it mercury and cyanide, which are used to extract the gold from the rock. 

In areas of West Virginia where mountaintop removal mining takes place, as much as 10% of the landscape has been leveled.

Between 1985 and 2015, mountaintop removal cleared 1,120 square miles of land – an area around the size of Rhode Island – in southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, the western edge of Virginia, and the northwest tip of Tennessee.

For every carat of diamond unearthed, approximately 250 tons of earth are displaced.

Over 23 million people live on 101,000 square miles of floodplains affected by mining.

Small-scale mining, usually done in poor areas without any environmental protections, accounts for approximately 20% of the global gold supply and 20% of the global diamond supply. Approximately 40 million people are estimated to be involved within this type of mining.

For more on the Environment, click here.
More Resources
The Real Cost of Gold
A short TEDEd animation, looks into why gold-rich countries in Africa aren't seeing the income they should be -- given the price of gold. Using Mali as an example, shows how foreign corporations exploit African nations for their resources. Watch now.

For more on the Environment, click here.
The Shocking Danger of Mountaintop Removal -- and Why it Must End
A TED Talk, by research investigator Michael Hendryx, who studies "mountaintop removal" -- an explosive type of surface coal mining used in Appalachia that comes with unexpected health hazards. In this data-packed talk, he presents his research and tells the story of the pushback he's received from the coal industry, advocating for the ethical obligation scientists have to speak the truth. Watch now.

For more on the Environment, click here.
A company that strives to transform consumers to changemakers by diverting their spending away from giant corporations that keep people locked in poverty and hurt the planet — to brands that are reducing poverty, fighting climate change, and doing good in many other ways. Features over 100 brands that: empower workers, pay good wages, use facilities free of trafficking, child labor and unsafe working conditions, use eco-friendly production processes as well as non-toxic, organic, and/or recycled or upcycled materials, and take steps to keep the land, air and water clean. Learn more.

For more on the Environment, click here.
Notes from the Field
By Anna Deavere Smith. A form of documentary theater that shines a light on injustices by portraying the real-life people who have experienced them. Features a host of figures who have lived and fought the system that pushes students of color out of the classroom and into prisons. Using people’s own words, culled from interviews and speeches, depicts Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, who eulogized Freddie Gray; Niya Kenny, a high school student who confronted a violent police deputy; activist Bree Newsome, who took the Confederate flag down from the South Carolina State House grounds; and many others. Also adapted as a film by the same name. Learn more.

For more on Racism, click here.
The Girl Child & Her Long Walk to Freedom
A joint project of the Imago Dei Fund and the Institute for Faith and Gender Empowerment. Its mission is to nurture a community of faith-inspired change agents putting “faith to work through love” to liberate the world from the deep roots of patriarchy. Envisions a world where girls grow up feeling safe and equally valued and everyone can become all they were meant to be, upholding the values of curiosity, awareness and liberation. Learn more.

For more on Gender Inequality, click here.
Alliance for Higher Education in Prison
A nonprofit organization that supports the expansion of quality higher education in prison, empowers students while in prison and after release, and shapes public discussion about education and incarceration. Works collaboratively to advance the field of higher education in prison by supporting practitioners and students, producing reliable data and research, and communicating the need, importance, and value of quality higher education for incarcerated people. Values include: human dignity, equitable access to education, resolve, collaboration and transparency Learn more.

For more on the Criminal Justice System,
The Great American Lie
A documentary film that examines how a US value system built on the extreme masculine ideals of money, power, and control has glorified individualism, institutionalized inequality, and undermined the ability of most Americans to achieve the American Dream. Watch the trailer.

For more on Economic Justice, click here.
B Labs
A nonprofit network working to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. Their standards are at the heart of the B Corp movement, defining social, environmental, and governance best practices for businesses. Recognizes that high-quality social and environmental business standards demand continuous improvement in order to meet principles of inclusion, independence, and credibility. Currently works in over 160 industries in more than 90 countries. Their website provides information how to find a Certified B Corporation: to buy from, work with, or learn more about.

For more on Economic Justice, click here.
Waging Change
A resource from Women Make Movies, shines a light on an American struggle hidden in plain sight: the women-led movement to end the federal tipped minimum wage for restaurant workers. Weaves together the stories of workers struggling to make ends meet, who faces off against the powerful National Restaurant Association lobby and fights for one fair wage. Reveals the important role consumers have to play in ending this two-tiered wage system which has already been abolished in seven states. Watch the trailer.

For more on the Minimum Wage, click here.
One Fair Wage
A national organization that works to end all subminimum wage in the U.S. and increase the sustainability of wages and working conditions in the service sector. Strives to require all employers pay the full minimum wage with fair, non-discriminatory tips on top, lifting millions of tipped and subminimum wage workers out of poverty by advancing policy, driving industry change, and shifting the narrative. Learn more.

For more on the Minimum Wage, click here.
An internet-based platform and smart-phone application that reads the Universal Product Codes (UPC) barcode on a product, and suggests whether a consumer should buy or avoid that product based on how well it aligns with the consumer's values and principles. Consumers can join various campaigns to indicate their support or their opposition to various issues and topics such as: animal welfare, civil rights, criminal justice, economic justice, education, environment, food, health, human rights, human trafficking, immigration, labor, LGBTQ rights, social responsibility, veterans and women's rights.

For more Public Witness resources, click here.
People's Action
A national network of member-based, power-building organizations with more than a million members and tens of thousands of national volunteers. Their work involves organizing and training, focusing on issues such as health care, housing and the environment. Learn more.

For more Community Organizing resources,
Community Change
A national organization that builds power from the ground up. Believes that effective and enduring social movements must be led by those most impacted by injustice themselves. Since their founding in 1968, they have built the power of people most marginalized by injustice — especially people of color, women, immigrants, people struggling to make ends meet — to envision and fight for a society where all communities thrive. Through technical assistance and strategic support, they partner with community organizations and grass roots voices across the country -- strengthening their capacity for tactical and strategic innovation, organic leadership, narratives that work, and a deep and nuanced understanding of power as it operates in the world. Learn more.

For more Community Organizing resources,
A Ministry of Risk:
Writings on Peace and Nonviolence
By Philip Berrigan and edited by Brad Wolf. A collection of Philip Berrigan’s writings authorized by the Berrigan family. Arranged chronologically, they depict his transformation while providing a firsthand account of a nation grappling with its martial obsessions. Threading the history of the times with autobiographical insights, introspective theology, and a call to activism, offers both a manifesto of nonviolent resistance and a journal of spiritual reflection by one of the 20th century’s most prophetic voices. Read more.

For more Justice resources, click here.
What Forgiveness is Not
By Dr. Bill McSpadden. Asserts that many people have a hard time forgiving because they do not understand what forgiving is -- and what it is not. Shows how people struggle with forgiving because of seeming injustices such as: How can one forgive another who has robbed them or cheated them out of money? How can one forgive a father who left them as a child and left them and their mother to struggle in life? This book helps people understand what forgiveness is, and what it is not, better enabling us to obey the divine command to forgive as we are supposed to. Read more.

For more Forgiveness resources, click here.
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
April 2nd

Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.
April 10th

The Peace Corps left today and my heart sank low. The danger is extreme and they were right to leave...Now I must assess my own position because I am not up for suicide. Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could, except for the children, the poor, bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart could be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and helplessness? Not mine, dear friend, not mine.
April 21st

I saw the suffering and I let myself feel it… I saw the injustice and was compelled to do something about it. I changed from being a nun who only prayed for the suffering world to a woman with my sleeves rolled up, living my prayer.
April 21st

I'd rather be in the mountains thinking of God, than in church thinking about the mountains.
April 23rd

I hope that you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for – maybe even worth dying for, something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can’t tell you what it might be – that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search.
April 26th

It is in community that we come to see God in the other. It is in community that we see own emptiness filled up. It is community that calls me beyond the pinched horizons of my own life, my own country, my own race, and gives me the gifts I do not have
within me. 
April 27th

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace and a soul generated
by love.
Help Support Us
The Social Justice Resource Center is an independent, faith-based organization that is financially supported by private donations. We're an all-volunteer team that relies on support from visitors like you. If you like what we do and want to help support our work, please consider making a small donation. The Social Justice Resource Center is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Thank you!
Visit Our Website
Since 2017, there have been more than 450,000 visitors to the Social Justice Resource Center website. We provide a wide variety of facts and figures on specific social issues as well as thousands of free resources including films, publications, links to other organizations, prayers, quotes, principles of social justicekey dates throughout the yearaction ideasDiocesan office contact information and biographies of famous people who have worked for social justice.
To learn more, click here.

Our Newsletter
Each month we email our newsletter to over 4,000 people around the country. Each issue focuses on a social justice topic and has resources that have been recently added to our website. If you know of others who might be interested in receiving our newsletter, please forward this email on to them or let us know and we'll add them to our mailing list. For our previous Newsletters, click here.
Contact Us
Follow Us