John Studzinski, Arise’s founder, has been honoured with the St Katharine Drexel Award in Catholic Philanthropy by the Board of founders of Donors and Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA).
FADICA is one of the foremost philanthropic organisations in the United States, bringing together over 50 private foundations with an interest in Catholic activities. Alexia Kelly, President of FADICA stated that “For many years, his approach to philanthropy has encapsulated exactly what FADICA seeks to promote - a holistic approach to giving, rooted in human dignity.”
The award is named for St Katherine Drexel, the patron saint of philanthropy. Born in 1858, Katharine founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Black and Native American peoples. From the age of 33 until her death in 1955, she dedicated her life and a fortune of 20 million dollars to this work, using her talents, skills, and resources to educate thousands of children, and advocate for civil rights causes.
John has been a leader in the philanthropy world for at least 35 years. His interests are varied, from longterm support of homelessness charities to supporting young artists and his work with Human Rights Watch. More recently, John has been extremely active in fighting slavery, which led him to co-found Arise with Luke de Pulford.
While Arise is not a faith-based charity, much of the work is undertaken through religious sisters, who enjoy unusually high levels of trust in the communities they serve. For Arise, their sacrificial spirit, together with the longevity of their commitment, marks them out as major change-makers.
John said he was “profoundly honoured to receive this award, and doubly honoured to receive anything bearing the name of St Katharine Drexel… Her example of generosity lives in in the spirit of FADICA.” Highlighting the work of frontline activists he stated, “I would not have been able to achieve anything without colleagues, collaborators and friends. This is particularly true of those who work day in, day out, in tremendously difficult conditions to show the face of love to those at the margins of society.”
We are delighted that John, and the work of frontline activists he supports, has been honoured by FADICA.