Peace and Justice Updates – April 7, 2020

The April issue of STOP TRAFFICKING discusses the relationship between foster care and trafficking. Click here to read the April issue.

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 3pm, the Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty will feature noted author and leading death penalty abolitionist, Sr. Helen Prejean. Watch LIVE (or afterwards) on the Death Penalty Action Facebook page.

Join us on Maundy Thursday and the first day of Passover for a discussion with Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ about our work to stop executions and caring for prisoners in the context of the COVID19 Pandemic, juxtaposed with Good Friday, Easter & Passover.

2020 marks seventy-five years since the United States conducted nuclear attacks against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
Today, nine countries still possess over 14,000 nuclear weapons, enough to end all life on the planet many times over. The United States is set to spend $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years maintaining its own arsenal of roughly 6000 weapons. At the same time, our government is cutting spending on crucial environmental, social, health, and diplomatic programs.
To mark this 75th anniversary, a coalition of groups has formed to coordinate efforts to remember the victims of the bombings and mobilize the public to take action. Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Sign on to the position statement. You can sign the statement by filling out this form.
  2. Share the hibakusha appeal with your networks. This petition was created by the survivors of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Organizers will be creating a full English-language version on their website soon.
Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates – 4/1/2020

#EveryKidCounts in the 2020 census

April 1 is CENSUS DAY! The Leadership Council for Women Religious (LCWR) has joined the National Partnership Program of the U.S. Census Bureau to help spread the word about the critical importance of ensuring that the 2020 Census counts each and every person living in this country. Current circumstances including political polarization, fear-mongering, anti-immigrant sentiment, and COVID-19 are enormous barriers to getting an accurate count.

There are many ways you can safely promote the 2020 Census. Post a blog or video message. Send notices to your email lists. Include messages in your newsletters, on your website, and on social media. Invite your sisters to call neighbors and friends who may need help in completing the process. Check out the attached toolkit for resources and for more information visit

Learn More about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 3, 2020, at 2:00 PM EST, The Coalition of Human Needs will host a webinar on the historic $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation enacted by Congress, and how it responds to the massive public health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Join CHN as we examine the good and the bad of what’s available so far, and the human needs that still must be addressed in a fourth package. We’ll discuss cash assistance, expanded benefits, help for nonprofits, and new programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. And we’ll let you know how you can take action to call on Congress to take the next steps needed.

Presenters will include:

  • Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Judy Conti, Government Affairs Director, National Employment Law Project
  • Michelle McGrain, Federal Affairs Manager, National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs

This webinar will be close-captioned. If you try to register but can’t sign up, please contact Nicolai Haddal to ensure you receive a recording:

Click here to register for this important and informative event.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates – 3/25/20

  • Abolishing Colorado’s Death Penalty

    We could all use a bit of good news, and we are happy to share this with you. On Monday, Colorado Jared Polis signed into law a bill abolishing Colorado’s death penalty, and also commuted the sentences of the three men currently on the state’s death row.  This is in line with Catholic teaching and with our own corporate stance asking for a repeal of the death penalty.

  • Fracking Companies Bailout

    It’s time to take a stand against the Trump administration’s latest move to prop up polluters. Citing economic instability amid the coronavirus outbreak, the administration is considering a plan to give fracking companies a massive bailout.

    Fracking is damaging to the environment, releasing harmful greenhouse gases, spilling toxic chemicals, and disturbing wildlife with heavy equipment. If the Trump administration succeeds in bailing out these fracking companies, the environment we love and the climate we share will be at even more risk from this harmful form of fossil fuel extraction.

    Click here make your voice heard!

  • The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival

    All in-person “We Must Do MORE Tours” have been canceled.Three digital mass meetings will be held, one each month in March, April and May.

    The first of these digital mass meetings will be this Thursday, March 26, at 8.30pm ET/ 5:30 pm PT. Please join us for the Poverty Amidst Pandemic: Everybody’s Got A Right to Live Digital Mass Meeting, featuring testifiers from Arkansas, Washington, Kansas and Missouri.

    During the mass meeting, we ask all attendees to commit to shine a light on poverty by lighting a candle in remembrance of those who have died from COVID-19 and poverty. Tune in at

  • 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge

    Food Solutions New England network will launch a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge on March 30.

    The Challenge is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of race and racism in our food system and about inspiring ways to dismantle racism and build an equitable food future that works for everyone.

    Those who sign up for the Challenge will receive an email prompt each morning with a short reading, video or podcast.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates – March 3, 2020

Colorado is the 22nd state to *abandon* the death penalty!  The bill repealing the death penalty passed last month, and Governor Polis is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

The “New Way Forward Act” would roll back immigration laws that have led to racial profiling and disproportionately resulted in the incarceration, deportation, and destruction of families of color and immigrant communities.

The New Way Forward Act would:

  • Reduce mass incarceration by ending mandatory detention and banning for-profit immigration jails.
  • Allow immigration judges to consider a person’s individual circumstances during deportation proceedings, allowing more people to remain with their families and move forward with their lives without fear that an old offense could lead to deportation.
  • Allow independent federal judges to review certain decisions of immigration judges that the 1996 laws unfairly tried to remove from judicial oversight.
  • End federal prison sentences and criminal prosecutions for people who cross the border seeking freedom, safety, opportunity, or to reunite with their families.
  • Advance racial justice and address obstacles to equal justice in the criminal legal system by limiting deportation for drug convictions and other offenses that result from enforcement that disproportionately targets communities of color.
  • Protect communities and local resources by ending the harmful practice of local police acting as deportation agents or carrying out mass deportations with ICE.
  • Allow people previously ordered deported to apply for the opportunity to come home.

The National Domestic Workers Alliance has created a petition that calls on Democratic candidates to sign the New Way Forward Act into law within their first 100 days in office. Click here to sign the petition.

– The Eco-Justice Committee notes that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si on care for our common home. Materials for the celebration of those events will be sent to Motherhouses, Retreat Centers, Eco-Centers/Farms, ODU, Albertus and Dominican high schools in the next few days.

The information is drawn from the Catholic Climate Covenant and the Eco-Justice Committee.

The March issue of “Stop Trafficking” has been released by the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Click here to read.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates – 2.25.2020

Mobilize in March for Dreamers

Senators will be in their home districts March 16-20. This is an important opportunity for you to visit with your Senator and talk to him or her about protecting DACA recipients.

On November 12, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments on the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and is expected to issue a ruling on the legality of the DACA program in late April-June.

The Catholic Bishops continue to express their support for Dreamers and sent letters to the House and Senate supporting legislation to protect these young people from deportation and family separation.

  • Please use these talking points to plan what you say to your Senator. You can also print and leave behind this  DACA backgrounder in your own meetings.
  • Need help on how to set up a meeting? Click on this link for “How to Set Up an In-District Meeting with your Lawmaker.

Support a “National Bureau for Gun Safety”

The Justice Conference of Women Religious is calling for a National Bureau for Gun Safety that would lead a campaign to reduce gun deaths based on proven public health practice.  Please consider signing the petition provided calling on Congress to create this important bureau.

There is a successful precedent for this action. In 1966, faced with rapidly rising motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths on our roads, the National Highway Safety Bureau (NHSB) was created to promote and implement safety technology and practices, such as seat belt use, as well as to support research into causes and contributing factors. This approach has been credited with reducing motor vehicle mortality by two-thirds over the subsequent thirty years.

Now, we must direct this strategy towards one of the deadliest threats we face today, preventing deaths at the hands of gun violence. Gun violence kills 40,000+ people a year. In the wake of shooting after shooting, we’ve got to figure out the root causes and how to prevent the next tragedy before it happens.

The National Bureau for Gun Safety (NBGS)’s mission would be to lead and coordinate a multidisciplinary, multifaceted campaign to reduce gun deaths based on proven public-health practice. NBGS would be run by experts in public health, medicine, engineering, communications and law enforcement, and:

  • Be transparent and nonpartisan;
  • Take the lead in setting the nation’s research agenda and developing, testing and implementing safety technologies;
  • Set out legislative priorities for saving lives;
  • Oversee campaigns to encourage behaviors likely to reduce gun injuries and;
  • Direct priorities for enforcing gun laws, in concert with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Sign the petition: Congress must establish the NBGS to reduce gun deaths. Click HERE to sign.


Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates