USCCB News Release
November 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Campaign For Human Development Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest Winner To Perform At NCYC For Crowd Of 20,000
WASHINGTON—Clare Hagan, an 8th grader at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Louisville, Ken., is the winner of the grand prize in the 2009 Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Multi-Media Youth Arts contest. CCHD is the national anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Hagan will perform her winning song on November 21 in Kansas City, Mo., on the main stage of the National Catholic Youth Conference, a biennial gathering of some 20,000 teenagers.
Hagan’s song, entitled, "Complacency’s End," is about how low-income people can come together to address the causes of poverty in their communities.
“What inspired me was the turmoil from the recession unfolding, and the effects of poverty that are especially relevant right now,” Hagan said, adding that she hoped to help listeners realize that “if we sit around and wait for the world to change, nothing will ever be done.”
In preparation for submitting her contest entry, Hagan visited Women in Transition (WIT), a CCHD-funded group in Louisville which runs a skills-building program and organizes around issues like affordable housing. Hagan chose WIT as the CCHD-funded group with whom she will split the $1,000 grand prize. She called WIT an organization “that gives people the necessary tools that are vital to improving their lives, and helps to get better laws and policies passed.”
Ralph McCloud, Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), said Hagan’s song is “a wonderful example of how young people can be inspired by the witness of empowered, low-income people, who are working together to address the causes of poverty in their communities.”
He continued, “I commend Clare for using the gifts and talents God gave her to communicate an important message to her peers: that we must all work together to find solutions to poverty.”
CCHD developed the Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest in 2001, to help schools and parishes engage youth in learning about low-income people in the U.S. who are addressing the root causes of poverty. It is open to students in grades seven through twelve in Catholic parishes and schools. This year, students were asked to work from the theme, “Empowered People Can Uproot Poverty in Their Communities” through visual arts, audio-visual means, or literature. Original works were submitted to diocesan-level competitions. Local winners were forwarded to Washington for final judging.
CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty and social justice program of the Catholic bishops in the United States. With the support of Catholic parishioners, it has provided grants to more than 4,000 community and economic development projects over the past 39 years. The annual CCHD collection is taken up in most Catholic parishes in the United States on the weekend before Thanksgiving.
A recording of Hagan’s song, and additional information about the contest and other CCHD initiatives for Catholic youth and young adults, are available at the CCHD Web site (www.usccb.org/cchd/youth.shtml#contest), or by calling Jill Rauh at 202-541-3297.