NOTE: To download a PDF version of this report, please click here.
Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center
Cincinnati Interfaith Workers’ Center is a long-time grantee of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), having received $435,000 in Catholic funds since 2008. Its most recent grant, found on the CCHD’s 2020-2021 grants list, shows that it received $55,000 for that year.In 2012, the Reform CCHD Now Coalition produced a report showing that Cincinnati Interfaith Workers’ Center (CIWC) had serious issues regarding its leadership and its membership in Interfaith Worker Justice. In the report, it was shown that CIWC’s executive director at that time, Sameerah Ahmad, was a participant in a gravely perverted LGBT conference called the “Second Annual Five College Queer Sexuality & Gender Conference.”
Page 21 of the conference program – which was filled with the most depraved and morally repugnant workshops imaginable – provided Ahmad’s bio, indicating that she “identifies as a queer woman of color.” Page 8 of the program showed that she ran the “Queer International and People of Color Caucus.”
In addition to this, The Reform CCHD Now Coalition reported that CIWC is a member of the Marxist-run Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). The report on IWJ is way too long to summarize in this report, but you can see the proofs that IWJ is thoroughly committed to Marxism in this report, here.
After completing the report on CIWC, the Reform CCHD Now Coalition contacted the local CCHD representative, Tony Stieritz. Stieritz responded to the report in two parts: First regarding Ahmad’s participation in a sexually depraved conference, and second regarding CIWC’s membership in IWJ. Asserting that “neither [CIWC] nor its membership have ever taken any positions remotely related to the concerns noted” in the report, Stieritz wrote:
“To suggest that there is somehow a relationship between what has been discovered on the internet about this staff person’s private life and the mission, agenda, activities and publicity of the Worker Center would be a more sensational accusation than substantive one.”
With regard to CIWC’s membership in IWJ, Stieritz wrote:
“Our investigation into the Cincinnati Interfaith Worker Center’s relationship with IWJ reveals that it is a loose affiliation that does not constitute dues or any financial support of IWJ.”
Ahmad is no longer the executive director of CIWC, but its development as a Marxist organization has become far more obvious, as well soon be illustrated. What will be shown in this report is that CIWC’s leadership are self-professed socialists and Marxists, and that as a result, CIWC is also professing socialist and Marxist ideologies. We’ll start with CIWC’s own activities and then provide information about the Marxist ideologies of its leadership. What will become obvious is that CIWC is a Marxist organization run by Marxists, and it is working for the advancement of socialism in the United States. But before we do that, let’s remind everyone that socialism is absolutely condemned by the Catholic Church. In fact, socialism is possibly the most consistently and soundly condemned ideology in the history of the Church. It was condemned by the following popes:
- Pope Pius IX:
- Nostis et Nobiscum, December 8, 1849
- Pope Leo XIII:
- Pope Pius X:
- Notre Charge Apostolique, August 25, 1910
- Pope Benedict XIV:
- Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914
- Pope Pius XI:
- Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931
- Pope Pius XII:
- Pope John XXIII:
- Mater et Magistra, May 15, 1961
- Pope Paul VI:
- Octogesima Adveniens, May 14, 1971
- Pope John Paul II:
- Centesimus Annus, May 1, 1991
- Pope Benedict XVI:
- Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005
CIWC Actively Promotes Socialism, Marxism
CIWC has a facebook group that is run by its members.
There are a number of posts in this group promoting socialism and Marxism, such as this one from October 2017, inviting CIWC members to join with Cincinnati Socialist Alternative and DSA Metro Cincinnati to support a socialist candidate for public office.
This one from March 2021 provides the launch video for the Democratic Socialists of America for their “Pass the PRO Act to win a Green New Deal” campaign.
On May 5, 2021, this post in the CIWC facebook group calls Karl Marx “One of the greatest thinkers and influencers of all time.”
What’s interesting about this post is that it was put up by a man named Jorge Fernando Lopez Mendez. The reason this is important is because Mendez isn’t just another member of the group, he’s on the Board of Directors for CIWC.
In fact, according to CIWC’s tax form 990 from 2020, Jorge Fernando Lopez Mendez is listed as the vice-chair of the organization.
So far, from what we’ve shown, CIWC is responsible for a facebook group that is actively promoting socialism and Karl Marx, and this activity includes the vice-chairman of CIWC’s board of directors. But CIWC appears to have no difficulty promoting communist imagery in celebration of the Marxist Haymarket revolution of 1886.
In this post from May 1, 2016, CIWC celebrates the “martyrs” of the Haymarket revolution. The “martyrs” were all socialist revolutionaries.On the same day, CIWC posted this image of a man with a hammer and sickle logo on his shirt.
Here’s another communist image (hammer and sickle) posted by CIWC that day.And with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that CIWC hosted the Democratic Socialists of America of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky (DSA Cincy & NKY) for their May Day Brunch on May 1 in 2017.
But the promotion of socialism and Marxism within the social postings of the organization shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that its leadership is deeply in bed with the same. We’ve already mentioned the pro-Marx posting by the Vice-Chairman of the board, so let’s take a look at Brennan Grayson, the Director of CIWC.Brennan Grayson is a self-professed socialist and he is an actual member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). In this video posting from March of 2020 by the DSA of Metro Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Brennan Grayson talks about his membership in the DSA. The video is a rally for Bernie Sanders in his pursuit of the Democrat nomination for the presidential race of 2020. At the 02:06:50 mark of the video, Brennan Grayson is introduced as a “DSA Member” and a “comrade.” To his right is Magda Orlander (CIWC’s Communications and Events Coordinator), also a member of the DSA. At the 02:15:21 mark, Greyson talks about his beginnings as a socialist.Grayson is also a board member of the Marxist Interfaith Worker Justice.In October of 2020, Grayson posted on twitter how the DSA “just keeps getting better.”
In February, Brennan cited Karl Marx on the notion that job creation is one of the core functions of government.In February of 2021, Grayson retweeted the Carolina Socialists in promotion of their Marxist book club.On June 24 of this year, the day SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, Grayson retweeted a communist slogan about running fast because “the old world is right behind you.”As indicated earlier, Magda Orlander is also a self-professed socialist who joined Grayson on video for the DSA, promoting Bernie Sanders (when two-thirds of the staff are present for a partisan event, it’s hard to wonder how it does not constitute an official organizational event as well). Orlander’s facebook page is littered with “likes” for pro-abortion, pro-LGBT and Marxist entities.
Orlander also posts images celebrating same-sex “marriage” and promotion of homosexuality.
Affiliate of Interfaith Worker Justice and Food Chain Workers Alliance
On the CCHD portion of the USCCB website, the CCHD first asks and then answers the question, “Does CCHD fund groups that act against Catholic values?” CCHD falsely claims “no,” and then explains its “thorough application process,” before asking the follow-up question:
“What about participation in coalitions for a good purpose, like better wages or housing, that include groups acting against Catholic values on other issues?”
Here’s what the CCHD says:
This means that membership in coalitions that take formal positions against Church teaching are grounds for disqualification of funds. The CIWC website clearly states that:
“The CIWC is affiliated with Interfaith Worker Justice and the Food Chain Workers Alliance.”
As we mentioned at the beginning of this report, IWJ’s connections to Marxism, homosexuality, and abortion have been fully detailed in an earlier report that is too long to restate here. The response from the CCHD representative, Tony Stieritz, regarding CIWC’s affiliation with IWJ claims that IWJ’s membership is nothing more than “a loose affiliation that does not constitute dues or any financial support of IWJ.”
Financial support is a moot point as that isn’t one of the stipulations regarding CCHD’s claim that “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.” If the coalition is acting against or taking formal positions against Catholic moral or social teaching, then membership is forbidden, regardless of financial arrangements. That said, paying dues would make the relationship all the more egregious.
As such, CIWC’s membership in the Food Chain Workers Alliance, which is forbidden under CCHD grant guidelines, as will soon be made clear, is a dues-paying relationship. According to the Food Chain Workers Alliance’s most recent tax form 990, the organization does indeed collect dues from its members. And the Food Chain Workers Alliance has taken formal positions regarding same-sex “marriage,” and abortion.
On June 26, 2015, the Food Chain Workers Alliance celebrated the SCOTUS decision on same-sex “marriage.”Even more egregiously, just this year, after the Dobbs V. Jackson decision that overturned Roe V. Wade, FCWA issued a formal statement on the SCOTUS ruling, saying,
“We are outraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s brazen agenda to disempower our communities while expanding the reach of corporations and the carceral state. SCOTUS rulings of the past year have protected the interests of the corporate class while stripping away our rights to bodily autonomy, privacy, and reproductive choice;”
Concomitant with that, FCWA retweeted a statement that overturning Roe is an indication that “SCOTUS is in it to kill (us).”
As has been shown, the leadership of Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center are Marxists who actively work in league with Marxist organizations and causes. The Vice Chairman of the Board of CIWC called Karl Marx “one of the greatest thinkers and influencers of all time.” The Director of CIWC is a member of the DSA who routinely advances socialism and Marxist ideologies. The Communications and Events Coordinator for CIWC is also a member of the DSA and advances grave immorality. CIWC has been proved to collaborate with the DSA, even hosting the DSA for a “May Day Brunch.” CIWC is also a member of the Marxist Interfaith Worker Justice, and CIWC’s Director, Brennan Grayson, is on the board of IWJ. Additionally, CIWC is a dues-paying member of the pro-abortion and pro-same-sex “marriage” organization, Food Chain Workers Alliance.
This is an absolutely clear case where the leadership of CIWC are Marxists and they are using the CIWC to advance both political and cultural Marxism. And they have done so with $435,000 in Catholic funds.