2015 Sunday Morning Plenary: Breaking the Chains: Systems of Global Exploitation

chained-earth_topper“Imprisonment” is a worldwide problem and takes various forms, as everywhere people around the world remain trapped in detention centers, prisons, factories and drug wars that bind and dehumanize individuals for political or economic profit.  During this plenary, we faced the reality of mass incarceration and corporate exploitation with a particular look at issues affecting Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.  We explored national policies that can bring liberation both to the prisoner and to a world in need of restoration.



This presentation features images of the imprisonment and mistreatment of children, women, and men in situations of mass incarceration around the world. Some may find these images disturbing. Please take appropriate measures if you choose to view the video.

Keynote Panel

For Africa:

Emira-WoodsEmira Woods is the Global Client Principal for Social Impact Programs at ThoughtWorks, a technology firm commited to social and economic justice. From 2003 to 2014, she was co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and an expert on U.S. foreign policy with a special emphasis on Africa and the developing world. She has written on a range of issues from debt, trade and development to U.S. military policy. Emira serves on the Board of Directors of Africa Action, Just Associates, Global Justice and the Financial Policy Forum. She is also on the Network Council of Jubilee USA.


For Asia-Pacific:

shay-cullenFather Shay Cullen is the founder of People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation in the Philippines. He has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and other Human Rights Awards, is a Missionary priest from Ireland and a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban and has worked protecting women and children and human rights in the Philippines since 1969. He has received several human rights awards and has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and other human rights awards. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, The Philippine Senate and is a well known speaker and facilitator at numerous other international conferences.

Read more about Father Shay.


For Latin America:

joanne-blaneyJoanne Blaney is a Maryknoll lay missioner, currently serving in Brazil. She lives in the mega-city of Sao Paulo and works at the Human Rights and Popular Education Center of Campo Limpo. Her primary ministry is in training educators and leaders of community and church groups in violence prevention and restorative justice practices in order to resolve interpersonal and group conflicts. Joanne and her teammates travel throughout Brazil to teach courses on anger management, forgiveness, non-violent communication, reconciliation, mediation of conflicts and restorative practices.  The workshops and courses are given in the popular education-holistic model of Paulo Freire and are accompanied by on-going supervision so that participants become multipliers of the course.

Read more about Joanne.


Fr. Valdir SilveriaFr. Valdir João Silveira is the National Coordinator of the Prison Ministry Pastoral of Brazil.  The Pastoral has over 6,000 volunteers. Valdir has participated in the Prison Pastoral since 1996 and recently received the National Medal of Honor  from the Ministry of Justice for his untiring efforts to improve the prison system and promote access to justice for all Brazilians, especially regarding the themes of mass incarceration, torture  and restorative justice.


For the Middle East:

Raed-JarrarRaed Jarrar is the Policy Impact Coordinator for American Friends Service Committee in Washington, D.C. Since his immigration to the U.S. in 2005, he has worked on political and cultural issues pertaining to U.S. engagement in the Arab and Muslim worlds. He is widely recognized as an expert on political, social, and economic developments in the Middle East. He has testified in numerous Congressional hearings and briefings, and he is also a frequent guest on national and international media outlets in both Arabic and English.

Read more about Raed.




David Schilling is Senior Program Director for Human Rights & Resources at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. He joined the staff at the ICCR in 1994 and has worked with ICCR members and allies to engage corporations, cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder initiatives on human rights in corporate operations and global supply chains.  He has participated in delegations to a number of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America visiting factories and meeting with workers and non-governmental organizations.  For the past ten years, David has provided staff leadership for ICCR’s programmatic initiatives to counter human trafficking and modern day slavery in the US and globally.

Read more about David.