Hi my name is Joan. After many years with the Dominicans and seeing quite a bit of the world, I have been able to be back in Madison Wisconsin, my hometown. I left to be a Dominican when I was very young, and so getting to know Madison as an adult is eye opening. You might have seen Madison in the news last year when thousands gathered day after day at the capitol to protest changes the new governor was demanding. People even stayed over night.
A couple of weeks ago four of us Dominicans joined a demonstration at the capitol of another kind. A group called Moses is asking us to spread the word that we have too many people imprisoned in our state, and they are disproportionately poor, mentally ill or people of color. Our Sister Esther Heffernen an emeritus sociology professor at Edgewood College was invited to be one of the speakers when we gathered in the rotunda.
I was so proud of her. She has been spreading the word about prison reform all of her life, and her memories of many words spoken by Wisconsin leaders on the topic moved us all. For me, joining with others to get the prison population reduced is integral to my life as a sister.
Joan Duerst, OP