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Breaking the cycle of poverty, one Pewabic tile at a time

Email Tile Image_1_0

Email Tile Image_1_0BY DANIEL CHERRIN*

Mercy Education Project is pleased to share their 25th Anniversary Pewabic tiles with the public. The Mercy Education Project (MEP) was founded 25 years ago in southwest Detroit by the Sisters of Mercy of Detroit.  MEP strives to help break the cycle of poverty by providing educational services for women who have failed in the traditional system for a variety of reasons. Poverty presents its own special set of roadblocks and barriers to success that MEP attempts to mitigate by encountering students where they are at in their life and helping them acclimate to the intensive 18 hour per week curriculum-based Adult Basic Education learning experience for women who are not yet ready to begin preparing for the GED test. They then move on to the GED Preparation program infused with College & Career Readiness programming to help with the development of next step plans. Additional supports include transportation, help with childcare and a warm lunch each day of classes.

The first phase of MEP’s 25th Anniversary Pewabic Tile Campaign raised vital funds to empower disadvantaged women and girls though education in Detroit. Phase two has been launched to honor the 190thAnniversary of the opening of the door to the First House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland by Catherine McAuley on September 24, 1827 — a place to shelter and educate women and girls.

From this benevolent beginning and Catherine’s endless passion to serve those in need, especially the poor, the sick and the uneducated, all Mercy ministries grew — spreading worldwide.

Catherine McAuley, a remarkable woman at any point in history was extraordinary for her time. Her passion to serve the needs of those less fortunate did not waver as she faced roadblocks in her quest to not only shelter disadvantaged women and children, but to educate them and help them to become self-sufficient and able to survive and thrive at a time when the poor, especially poor women were shunned and marginalized.

The 4”x 6” tiles capture the essence of the doorway to Catherine’s house which still stands today as a center for Hospitality, Heritage, Pilgrimage and Renewal . “This limited edition art piece reminds Mercy Education Project of our roots in Dublin,” says Kathy Tanner, MEP’s Executive Director. “We honor Catherine’s legacy as we continue to open Doorways to the Future for women and girls. Your donation to the Pewabic campaign will enable us to continue Catherine’s mission and help MEP open doors and empower women and girls in Detroit for another 25 years. These heirloom-quality mementos will be offered as gifts to donors to the Pewabic Tile Campaign at the $1,000 and $5,000 levels.”

“Mercy Education Project thrives today in Corktown, on Howard Street just east of Trumbull — an area with deep Irish roots since 1834! These tiles are unique not only because they are limited edition art tiles from Pewabic, which is important to collectors – they also connect our centuries old Dublin roots with our Detroit Corktown roots. For more information, visit the Mercy Education Project.

*Author disclaimer.  Daniel Cherrin is a board member of Reading Works and the Mercy Education Project is a partner agency to Reading Works.

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