Sandra Smithson, a School Sister of St. Francis, has spent over 60 years in education and health missions in Latin America and the U.S. In 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee, she founded Project Reflect, whose mission is "transforming communities through education and policy reform," and she continues working with poor and minority children, her "little peanuts," toward that end.

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Transformation to the fullness of life: We are one

A city in mourning – a nation in shock. I, too, grieve for the loss of nine lives at historic Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston. I, too, hurt for their families and friends. It’s not a passing sympathetic emotion. As a black American now 89 years old, I grew up in the pre-Civil Rights South. Despite it all, as I grieve over the hate-filled slaughter on June 17 in Charleston, the greatest pain I feel is for young Dylann Roof. He was not born a racist; nor with a gun in his hand; nor feeling that his life was threatened or his people’s lives diminished by the existence of other ethnic groups.