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The LCWR 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award recipient will be Anita Baird, DHM.

Anita has played significant roles in effecting systemic change for persons who experience poverty and marginalization, and has worked for decades to address the root causes of racism on local and national levels withing the Catholic Church and in the civic community. She was the first African-American to serve as chief of staff to the archbishop of Chicago, was a founding director of the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Racial Justice, and served as liaison for Cardinal Francis George for race relations in the city of Chicago.

A member of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, Anita has served as her community's regional superior, provincial councilor, and most recently as its U.S. provincial. Among her many leadership positions, she was president of the National Black Sisters' Conference. LCWR will bestow this honor on Anita at the August assembly in St. Louis.


Missionaries of Jesus Sr. Norma Pimentel is the 2018 recipient of the University of Notre Dame's Laetare Medal, which has been given annually since 1883 for contributions to the church and humanity by a Catholic. Pimentel is executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and advocates for immigrants and refugees.


School Sister of Notre Dame, Carol Shinnick, has been appointed to serve as interim director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) by its board for a six-month term effective January 1, 2018. The three-year term of previous director Sr. Joan Marie Steadman ended December 31, 2017. Shinnick served as executive director of the conference from 2002 to 2008, and has previously served her community in leadership from 1992 to 2001. The conference will continue its search for an executive director.


Sr. Mary Antona Ebo, 93, a Franciscan Sister of Mary who was the only African-American sister to march with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Selma protest for voting rights March 10, 1965, died November 11, 2017, at a retirement community outside St. Louis. She was a founding member of the National Black Sisters' Conference, which awarded her the Harriet Tubman Award, and she served as its president. Rest in peace, Sr. Mary Antona.


Scharlette Holdman, whom many called "The Angel of Death Row," died in July, 2017, at the age of 70. For more than forty years, she defended some of the most notorious criminals in history. She started a small non-profit and made herself an expert in a part of criminal law that she believed could save some from the death penalty. It was said that she wasn't always the easiest person to deal with, but she was on a mission to protect the most vulnerable. Thank you, Scharlette, for working with these vulnerable people for so many years!


Sr. Janice's life work is helping Latino Families. She is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Bedan, Pennsylvania, and is founding director of Casa San Jose, a small Pittsburgh organization that "advocates for and empowers Latinos by promoting integration and self-sufficiency," according to its mission statement online.

Congratulations on your good work, Sr. Janice!