Arise Chicago has been receive grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) since 2016. In total, it has received $255,000 from the CCHD, including its most recent grant for 2020-2021 of $55,000.
The problem is that Arise Chicago’s executive director promotes both Socialism and LGBTQ activism, and Arise is a member of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which is radically pro-abortion.
Arise Chicago identifies Rev. CJ Hawking as its executive director, who has been in this position since 2007. Her bio explicitly states that she is “on the forefront of advocating for the inclusion of women and the LGBT community in ordained ministry.” It also says that she is “the Harry F. Ward Pastor for Social Justice at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park.”
It’s worth noting here that on July 11, 2022, the Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park posted a scheduled event on facebook regarding “The Future of Abortion Access.”
As the Pastor of Social Justice at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, something like this couldn’t have taken place without her oversight or knowledge. In addition to this, in June 2022, the Methodist Church posted about it’s “month long celebration of Pride Month and its ongoing support of the LGBTQA community.”
Again, given Hawking’s stated support of LGBTQ members of the Methodist “clergy,” this is unlikely to have gone on without her oversight or notice. But her involvement in LGBTQ activism somewhat pales in comparison with her involvement with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a committed group of Marxists.
In 2009, CJ Hawking gave the keynote speech at the DSA’s Debs-Thomas-Harrington dinner. At the top of the article on the event, the DSA provided a photo of Hawking speaking with the DSA sign hanging behind her.
Further down in the article, Hawking is not only identified with Arise Chicago, but she apparently spoke primarily about the work of Arise Chicago, intimately connecting it to the event. The article also noted that the Dinner accounts for the majority of DSA’s income, meaning Hawking and Arise, in a formal manner, assisted in the fundraising for a Marxist organization.
In 2013, Rev. Hawking was the Master of Ceremonies for the DSA‘s annual Debs-Thomas-Harrington Dinner, where she was specifically identified as the executive director of Arise Chicago.
Indicated in the above article is that photos of the event could be seen at Chicago DSA’s Facebook page. This one photo suffices to make the point.
Further down in the article about the 2013 DSA-Chicago dinner, Hawking is seen in a photo with several other DSA members.
At the bottom of the Chicago DSA page regarding the 2013 dinner is a promotional letter announcing it. And in the letter, it specifically identifies Rev. CJ Hawking as both the Master of Ceremonies for the dinner and the executive director of Arise, uniting Arise Chicago to the socialist event.
On June 4, 2017, the Chicago DSA wrote that CJ Hawking presented an award to someone on behalf of the DSA. Again, she was recognized as the executive director for Arise Chicago. And further down the article, DSA posted a picture of Hawking again standing in front of the DSA banner.
More recently, in 2019, CJ Hawking did an interview with Sojourners wherein she mentions “our chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America,” indicating that she is a member. Hawking was asked about what gives her hope, and she responded by talking about the growing number of Millennials participating in campaigns that helped elect 6 Socialists for the Chicago City Council.
Clearly, the executive director for Arise Chicago is a Socialist and an LGBTQ activist. But that’s not the only issue with Arise Chicago.
Arise Chicago is a Member of the National Domestic Workers Alliance
The CCHD absolutely forbids organizations from membership in organizations acting against Catholic teaching. In an FAQ on the USCCB website, the CCHD directly answers the question about whether grantees may be members of coalitions that oppose Catholic teachings. In answer, the CCHD firmly stated, “CCHD will not fund groups that are knowingly members of coalitions that have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.”
Despite this, the National Domestic Workers Alliance identifies Arise Chicago as one of its affiliates. Even though the “Chapters and Affiliates” page contains a disclaimer which says that the “views expressed on this website or otherwise by the National Domestic Workers Alliance do not necessarily reflect the views, positions or policies of NDWA affiliates,” the disclaimer does no good to protect the organization from the CCHD guideline prohibiting membership in such groups.
With this in mind, there is no mistaking the fact that NDWA is a radically pro-abortion organization, which makes it impossible for any CCHD grantee to be a member.
And to show that NDWA’s promotion of abortion well pre-dates this grant, NDWA tweeted in 2016 its solidarity with Poland in standing AGAINST abortion bans.
In 2018, NDWA tweeted “Rise up for Roe!”
In June of 2019, NDWA said that abortion bans harm women’s health and their dignity.
In June of 2020, NDWA publicly supported the fight against Louisiana’s anti-abortion law saying, “The right to reproductive care means nothing unless ALL women can live full self-determined lives.”
On June 24, 2022, the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, NDWA published a tweet calling for readers to donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds to “show solidarity” by providing “direct financial support for abortions.”
That same day, NDWA issued a vision statement regarding its entire alliance, declaring that “the domestic worker movement will continue to fight for a world where everyone has access to the full spectrum of health care, including abortion.”
On June 28, 2022, NDWA claimed that “Abortion is healthcare.”
On July 11, 2022, NDWA called abortion a “fundamental right.”
But NDWA’s activities in fighting for access to abortion isn’t limited to mere social media screeds. NDWA has taken active initiatives in support of abortion. At some point, NDWA created a pledge card for people to sign saying, “Stop the Abortion Bans!”
During the Trump administration, NDWA created a petition to stop blocking immigrants and refugees from accessing abortion.
In 2021, NDWA sign onto a letter calling for protection of access to abortion.
Clearly, the executive director of Arise Chicago is a Socialist and an LGBTQ activist. The socialist activity of the executive director has formally connected Arise Chicago to the Democratic Socialists of America’s annual fundraiser since at least 2009. In addition to this, Arise Chicago is an affiliate of the radically pro-abortion National Domestic Workers Alliance, in complete violation of CCHD grant guidelines.