Mercy at the United Nations

A Mercy mission to spread the word about accessible water.

It’s not often that college students get to walk the halls of the United Nations, but Traci Johnson, a senior political science major from Pittsburgh’s North Side, and Moira Stuart, a first year political science major from Brentwood, Pa, got the rare opportunity to do exactly that. 

Johnson and Stuart joined the Sisters of Mercy to advocate for water rights, accompanied by Carlow University faculty member Sandi DiMola, J.D., chair of the Department of Justice Studies at Carlow, a Fulbright Scholar, and one of the founding members of Mediators Beyond Borders, an NGO engaged in capacity building in post-conflict societies. This is the fourth Mercy at the UN Advocacy Program, which is open to students from colleges and universities sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, who have an office in the United Nations building in New York, as well as special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

“The program’s desired outcome is to help students, who are grounded in Mercy tradition and values, the opportunity to develop skills in analysis and advocacy for practical application in a variety of contexts, with a view to promoting a just, sustainable and equitable world for peoples and the planet,” said Moya K. Ditmeier, PhD., the executive director of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. 

Johnson has an interest in foreign policy and hopes to gain a first-hand experience on the inner workings of global advocacy. “I hope to, one day, serve as a global advocate for those who need a voice,” Johnson says, “and bring attention and change to their situations.”

Stuart has an interest in women’s rights, specifically how economic inequality affects women and minorities. Stuart’s personal goal while attending the program is to learn more about international relations, especially in regards to current situations like the Syrian refugee crisis.

For more information about the Mercy at the UN Advocacy Program, please visit the Conference for Mercy Higher Education website at

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