Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Join Dominican Sisters of Peace as we strive to bring PEACE and justice to our world in this post-truth era. Each week, our Justice Promoter will share important information (including action alerts, prayer opportunities and much more) that will help you to spread peace in your own local community and our world at large.


 

Peace and Justice Updates 3.3.2021

For our Family in Iraq
As of this writing, Pope Francis is planning to leave for his trip to Iraq on Friday. In his Wednesday audience, he said, “The people of Iraq are waiting for us. The people cannot be let down for a second time. Let us pray that this trip can be carried out well,” he said.
Please pray for his safety, and for him to accomplish his goal of sharing the desperate plight of our sisters and brothers in this country.

The Dominican Sisters Conference and Dominican Iraq Coordinating Committee (ICC) have provided this prayer.

Gracious God, grant Pope Francis health and safety to carry out successfully this eagerly awaited visit. Bless his effort to promote dialogue, enhance fraternal reconciliation, build confidence, consolidate peace values and human dignity, especially for us Iraqis who have been through painful “events” that affected our lives.
Our Creator, enlighten our hearts with Your light, to recognize goodness and peace, and to realize them. Mother Mary, we entrust Pope Francis’ visit to your maternal care so that the Lord may grant us the grace of living in complete national communion and cooperate fraternally to build a better future for our country and our citizens. Amen.

Adapted from the Vatican prayer as posted on the Vatican Website www.vatican.va

Help for Honduras
On February 23, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon introduced the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill would:

  • Suspend U.S. assistance to the Honduran military and police until the Honduran military and police cease committing human rights violations and those responsible for human rights violations are brought to justice.
  • Prohibit exports of U.S. munitions, including semiautomatic firearms, tear gas, tasers, and more, to the Honduran military and police.
  • Direct President Biden to sanction and stop supporting Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
  • Support the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office in Honduras and the creation of a United Nations anti-corruption mission in Honduras with the ability to prosecute corruption cases against high-ranking government officials.

Call and e-mail your Senators today and ask them to join as a co-sponsor on the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021! Unless of course, your Senator(s) is/are the co-sponsors listed above, in which case, you can call to thank them.

  1. Call your Senators (to find your Senators and their office phone numbers, click here). Identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the foreign policy aide:

“I am calling from (town/city, state) to ask Senator _____ to co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021. The bill would suspend U.S. support for the Honduran government until systemic corruption, impunity, and human rights violations cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice. It is time for the U.S. to stop supporting a regime where environmental and Indigenous defenders, journalists, and demonstrators are murdered regularly. Please co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021 and let me know when you do so.”

  1. E-mail your Senators to ask them to co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act by clicking here! 

For far too long, the U.S. has been training and equiping the Honduran military and police, who murder and repress with impunity. For far too long, the U.S. has been propping up President Hernandez — who has been named by U.S. federal prosecutors as a co-conspirator in drug trafficking cases — while simultaneously sending millions to his government under the guise of stopping drug trafficking. For far too long, the U.S. has been financing and backing a regime that regularly commits human rights violations and plunders the country, causing thousands upon thousands to flee Honduras for the U.S.  It is far past time for the U.S. to stop supporting the Hernandez regime and cease training and equipping its military and police. This bill is a significant step forward because while the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act has been introduced in the House in recent years, this is the first time there is such a bill introduced in the Senate.

Support the COVID Relief Bill
The pandemic has shown more clearly than ever before how our communities are deeply interconnected. Over the past year the virus has taken the lives of over 500,000 people in our country; we mourn with the millions of Americans who are grieving their loss. Many more are still caring for sick loved ones and waiting for meaningful relief.

Unfortunately, our nation faces multiple crises outside of the pandemic, including the worsening climate crisis and rampant racial injustice. Our families and communities desperately need bold action to address these crises and deliver on long-overdue relief to the people who need it most.

Last weekend, the House passed a historic relief package to ensure that families and communities across our country get the vaccines they need to survive, support to put food on the table, and the resources to heal from the pandemic.

Now, it needs to pass the Senate. Email your Senators to urge them to vote to pass the relief bill.

As the pandemic has raged on, we’ve gotten more and more data showing that Covid is deadliest in the communities with the most pollution. Historically marginalized communities are more likely to have pre-existing conditions exacerbated by pollution, like asthma and heart disease. Lower-income communities that are predominantly Black, Indigenous, and people of color have borne an unfair burden of pollution for decades; this is a moral issue and people of faith and conscience must speak up.

That’s why we are grateful that the House relief package includes funding for environmental justice monitoring and grants to respond to the pandemic equitably, reducing pollution and saving lives both now and in the future.

It also helps working families keep the lights on and afford their water bills, and provides support to help public transit make it through this crisis. Many essential workers rely on public transit to get to their jobs, and a robust public transit system is a key piece of solving the climate crisis.

This package is the rescue plan that our country urgently needs. Please write to your Senators today to urge them to vote to pass the Covid Relief Package.

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates – 2.24.2021

“In Celebration of a Faithful Democracy as Black History”

Join the Faithful Democracy coalition and partners to celebrate the impact of Black History on our democracy. with a Town Hall on Thursday (2/25) at 4:30pm ET. The program, “In Celebration of a Faithful Democracy as Black History” looks at the courageous struggle and perseverance of African Americans to be civic participants. Learn how the For the People Act would honor that legacy with transformational federal democracy reforms. This faith-based Town Hall will look at the racial equity benefits of the bill, how it complements the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the urgency of passage to safeguard our democracy.

STOP TRAFFICKING Newsletter

The February issue of STOP TRAFFICKING examines the issue of human trafficking within the United States prison system. Click here to read the English version, and click here to read the Spanish version.

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 2.17.2021

From NETWORK:
Lent is a time for reflection and action, of examining our old ways and preparing for a new way of living in community. In this spirit, NETWORK has gathered information, reflections, and ways to take action based on the Build Anew Agenda to share every week during Lent.

Each week of Lent, you will be called to advocate for COVID-19 relief, justice for immigrants, strengthening our democracy, and more. Join us in taking action to shape our nation’s policies during Lent. 

Recognizing that we must name and dismantle systems of oppression before building new, just systems, NETWORK’s Lenten resource will encourage our community of Spirit-filled advocates each week with prayers and reflections. If you haven’t signed up yet, sign up today to receive NETWORK’s weekly Lenten emails.

Download the introduction to our Lenten toolkit here to read an opening reflection from Rev. Leslie Copeland-Tune and prayer by Rev. Bo Barber II on what it will take for us to Build Anew.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 2.3.2020

Celebrate the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita by Working to End Human Trafficking

February 8th is the Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was enslaved and received her freedom with the support of the Cannossian Sisters. The Catholic Church has designated her feast day the World Day of Prayer, Reflection, and Action against Human Trafficking. This year’s theme is A Light Against Trafficking: An Economy without Human Trafficking.

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) and other Talitha Kum networks around the world are planning a prayer marathon on the feast of the patron saint of survivors of trafficking. We are offering a prayer service for use with local communities, parishes, schools and universities as well as a 15-minute prayer service in English and Spanish USCSAHT’s YouTube channel.  A light against trafficking. Online Marathon of Prayer against Human Trafficking in 5 languages.

USCCB’s Coalition of Catholic Organizations against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT) has prepared a resource kit to help celebrate the feast by combatting human trafficking. In addition, CCOAHT’s partner, the John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy at St. Thomas University, is collaborating with the University of Miami Health Systems Thrive Clinic to offer a webinar on victim-centered approaches to health care for survivors of human trafficking.

Registration is open to all. Learn more and register HERE.

What will you do during The Season of Nonviolence?

Today marks the start of the Season of Nonviolence.  Beginning on January 30th, the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi and ending on April 4th, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was established by Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi to encourage nonviolent living.

The 64 days that span the Season of Nonviolence offer daily challenges for ourselves and our communities to take up the practice of nonviolence in a deeper more meaningful way.  Here are a few ways to get involved over the next few months:

Finally, if you have time, read Rivera Sun’s latest article on “What the Anti-Coup Campaign Taught Us”.  It’s an important lesson in the power of nonviolent social movements that doesn’t often make it into the headlines.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 1.27.2020

Stop Dangerous Pipelines
Last week we celebrated President Biden’s actions to stop Keystone XL, the pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands to the U.S. There’s a Keystone clone currently being built with similar impacts to climate and water – Line 3 in Minnesota.

Line 3 is one of the last major tar sands expansion projects in North America. It would damage the climate as much as 50 new coal plants and cut across the 1854 and 1855 treaty territory of the Anishinaabe people.

Over the last six years, a powerful Indigenous-led movement of water protectors, land defenders, and ordinary citizens has grown to resist this dangerous pipeline.

Stand with them by telling President Biden to also act to stop Line 3!


Reunite Families Unjustly Separated
In this moment of peaceful transition toward a recommitted democracy, we must make sure the Biden administration keeps its promise of bringing families together. Edith Espinal and Miriam Vargas are two mothers that deserve this promise to ring true. They have both been denied the opportunity to be reunited with their families until now.

Edith has been in sanctuary at Columbus Mennonite Church since October 2017 and Miriam at First English Lutheran Church since June 2018. As we began the process of reconciliation, our Congress must act now and do more than pause the current deportation laws. Let’s start by getting Edith and Miriam home with their families.

Call Rep. Joyce Beatty and Sen. Sherrod Brown today and encourage them to call the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on behalf of both Edith and Miriam.


Protect Essential Workers
Throughout the pandemic, essential workers have borne the brunt of Covid-19’s devastating health and financial impacts, exposing themselves and family members to the deadly virus to maintain the flow of critical food, other goods and services to communities in every corner of our nation. Many undocumented workers have done all of this while being excluded from previous COVID-19 stimulus bills, health insurance, and access to affordable healthcare.

Please sign here to urge Members of Congress to include an amendment to the latest pandemic relief legislation bill which will provide a path to citizenship and protections for undocumented essential workers and their family members.


Tell the New Biden Administration to Dismantle the Federal Death Penalty
For the first time in U.S. history, we have a president who openly opposes the death penalty. President Biden was inaugurated just five days after the 13th and final execution in the Trump administration’s killing spree. While we welcome this return to federal execution dormancy, now is not the time to slow down our advocacy.

Please sign Catholic Mobilizing Network’s petition urging President Biden to prioritize the dismantling of the federal death penalty.


Sign Up To View the United Nations Social Development Commission
The Commission for Social Development Forum will be held February 8-17, 2021. The forum addresses social protection floors. The priority theme for this year is: ‘Socially-just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all.’ Registration closes today, January 27. To be part of the virtual program, click here.

March 14-26, 2021, begins the Commission on the Status of Women: Beijing 25+1. You can follow the planning of the conference here.

The Priority theme is: ‘Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.’

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates