Salve grad working at UN to discuss her work with migrants, refugees

NEWPORT, R.I. (Oct. 6, 2017) - Colleen Cloonan, a representative of Mercy Global Action at the United Nations through her work as a fellow with the Mercy International Association, will present a talk for the Salve Regina community, “Putting Humans First: Defending Rights and Dignity of Refugees and Migrants” on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 6-7 p.m. at Salve Regina’s Mercy Center for Spiritual Life, located in the garden level of Our Lady of Mercy Chapel on Ochre Point Avenue.

Cloonan is a 2016 (BA, global studies and Spanish) and 2017 (MA, international relations) Salve Regina graduate.

Through the Mercy Global Action project, the Sisters of Mercy maintain an office at the United Nations and enjoy special consultative status as a non-governmental organization within the Economic and Social Council. The project is the mechanism by which those associated with the Sisters of Mercy interact with the UN system.

Cloonan first learned about the Mercy Global Action project while attending the Young Mercy Leaders Conference in Dublin the summer before her junior year at Salve Regina. After the conference, she traveled to the United Nations on multiple occasions to see the Sisters of Mercy in action.

“As a global studies major, I was interested in social justice, international relations and global policy,” she says. “I had the opportunity to take a tour, join webinars with constituents from South America discussing environmental concerns and represent the Sisters of Mercy during the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2015. I instantly felt a connection with the work they do and felt as though it was what I was being called to do.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Cloonan applied for the Mercy Global Action internship and began working at the UN office in September 2016. Guided by the critical concerns of mercy, her current work addresses environmental degradation, sustainable development and poverty eradication, as well as displacement of persons such as ending human trafficking and the issues surrounding migration and refugees.