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Loretto at the UN: Who we are

Loretto’s UN NGO Representative: Beth Blissman, PhD

A western Pennsylvania native, Beth currently lives in both NE Ohio and New York City and serves as a representative to the United Nations for the Loretto Community. She brings over 20 years of experience as a practitioner-scholar in community-engaged teaching and learning in higher education to this work, as well as a deep interest in permaculture, spirituality and shifting worldviews.  Beth is a former director of both the Bonner Center for Service & Learning at Oberlin College and the University of Denver’s Service Learning Program. She has developed models for student leadership, created community service work-study programs, and supported a variety of faculty and curriculum development processes related to community-campus engagement.  As a systems thinker, she’s curious about how to build connections, increase resilience and design better solutions that empower learning and creative thinking.

Partner: Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Logo for Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Since 2011, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs) have participated with Loretto in advocacy at the UN by contributing to the expense of maintaining the Loretto NGO’s office at the UN and sharing in the benefits of Loretto’s UN advocacy work. A BVM representative serves on the Loretto at the UN Advisory Committee, and each year BVM Sisters, Associates and/or Friends attend the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March. CSW attendees take new information back to the community and share it virtually or in-person.

Loretto at the UN Advisory Committee

Loretto at the UN has an advisory committee that connects it with different committees and networks within Loretto, including the Ghana Committee, the Pakistan Committee, Loretto Earth Network, Loretto Feminist Network and Loretto Community Forum. A BVM representative and the director of the Loretto Volunteer program also sit on the Advisory Committee.

Loretto Volunteers and Student Interns

Loretto at the UN welcomes recent graduates to serve 1-2 years with an opportunity to live simply in community through the Loretto Volunteer program. Loretto volunteers immerse themselves in the daily life of Loretto at the UN and contribute to all programming, advocacy and communications work. You can learn more about or apply to the Loretto Volunteer program here.

Current graduate and/or undergraduate students from universities and colleges are encouraged to participate in the Loretto at the UN Student Internship Program. The internship program is an excellent short-term opportunity to learn about the role non-governmental organizations play at the United Nations. Interns engage in a full range of activities, from assisting in developing communications materials to contributing to current Loretto projects.

For more information about the internship program, contact Beth Blissman through the form below.