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 & Justice Updates

The assumptions of white privilege and what we can do about it

Amy Cooper knew exactly what she was doing. And that’s the problem. Click here to read a commentary by Bryan N. Massingale published on the National Catholic Reporter.

NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS DAY #WEARORANGE

Next Friday, June 5, 2020 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day—also known as Wear Orange—a day when gun violence prevention advocates across the country wear orange to honor the victims of gun violence and show support for the gun safety movement.

Wear Orange was started in 2013 after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago just one week after she performed at President Obama’s second inauguration. Her friends and family chose to wear orange—Hadiya’s favorite color and the color hunters wear to protect themselves from gunfire—to honor her life and the tens of thousands of lives lost to gun violence every year. Since then, the gun violence prevention movement has carried on their efforts by wearing orange the first Friday in June.

So we’re asking you to join us in wearing orange on Friday, June 5th in solidarity with the victims and survivors of gun violence. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Wear something orange!
  2. Take a photo of yourself and any family or household members in your orange attire.
  3. Share the photo on social media with a sentence about why you #WearOrange. Ex: I #WearOrange because I believe that gun violence is preventable.
  4. Use the hashtag #WearOrange and tag @wagunresponsib on Twitter or @AllianceforGunResponsibility on Facebook and Instagram.
  5. If you don’t have social media accounts, you can email a photo to press@wagunresponsibility.org and we will share them from our accounts.

SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY

For generations, Black and brown communities have been dying at the hands of all forms of racism and white supremacy, and have also been the disproportionate victims of gun violence – including by the police. The racist and senseless murders we’ve seen across the country are horrific and inexcusable, as are the President’s reckless, racist, and incendiary calls for additional violence.

Our mission to end gun violence is linked to a crisis that is centuries older – systemic racism. Black lives matter, and we must do everything in our power to dismantle anti-Black racism and white supremacy. We are learning from and listening to Black and brown led organizations across the country. We are supporting organizations – particularly those led by Black people and other people of color – committed to ending gun violence and the impact of racial injustice.

In solidarity with the organizations leading the fight against racism and white supremacy, we ask, if you are able, to support groups that are working locally at the intersection of racial justice and gun violence prevention. Our volunteers across the country are raising money to support many of these groups in their communities, and Everytown will match all donations made to these organizations dollar for dollar.

A Reflection by Associate Theresa Kempker, OPA

My heart is breaking over yet more lynchings of people of color.  I pray Rosaries for the children of friends and of people I don’t know, who are protesting.  I beg Mary to wrap these children in her love.  And listening to the Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost, God spoke to me through the Gospel.

First, many of us feel that we don’t know what to do.  Are we hiding from those in power, just as the disciples were hiding from the people in power at the time?

Next, Jesus said that the sins we retain are retained.  Is it not time that the sin of racial injustice be called out, brought to light, and stopped?  This sin can no longer be forgiven as the failing of one or two people at a time.  Racism, and all the injustices that are intertwined with it, such as health disparities, food insecurity, or poor schools; whether personal or systemic; must be stopped.

Finally, we shake our heads when far-right white groups protest at the Ohio Capitol, banging on doors and disrupting news conferences, and we never think to ask for riot police.  What should we do when riot police are brought in for peaceful protests by people of color?  Again in the Gospel, Jesus tells us.  Don’t hide, don’t be afraid.  “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  Where are we sent?  What will we do?  Letters, calls, emails, educating ourselves and others, and maybe even marching in the protests.  But Jesus made it clear that we cannot sit in our rooms and hide.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Statement on the Death of George Floyd

JUNE 1, 2020 COLUMBUS, OH —

The Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates abhor the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a member of the police force. We are brokenhearted that yet another African American family must suffer this senseless loss of a loved one. Too many black men and women have lost their lives for no reason other than the color of their skin. The constant harassment of people of color; and the denial of the rights and dignity of people of color, our neighbors, must end now. We say unequivocally, black lives matter.

As Americans, we must admit that racism is a sin. Period. No excuses. It is systemic, pernicious, and deeply embedded in our history. It is time we listened to the experience, and indeed the cry of our sisters and brothers who have endured decades of institutionalized disparities in income, access to health care, in educational opportunity, employment and equal protection under the law. This must be rectified.

We are encouraged that an objective investigation by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will be carried out in a timely way. Justice in the death George Floyd cannot be denied.

We know the majority of police officers are well trained and perform their services competently and with care for their fellow citizens.  Yet among them are bullies who disrespect people of color and who sully the reputation of every other police officer. We call for a renewal and recommitment of law enforcement’s mission to protect and serve all our citizens equally regardless of color.

It is time for bold, decisive action. We pledge to raise our voices and to act now to end this public sin. We do not want to pass on to the next generation, the suffocating oppressive sin of racism that we all suffer today.

It is long past time to dismantle white privilege. We are working for justice and we pray for peace.

Sr. Pat Twohill, OP
Sr. Therese Leckert, OP
Sr. Gemma Doll, OP
Sr. Gene Poore, OP
Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Update May 27, 2020

Facing The days after the Pandemic
Sisters Elaine DesRosiers, OP, Luisa Derouen, OP, Mary Louise Edwards, OP, have sent a letter to their local newspaper to ask their fellow Kentuckians to worm towards a “new normal” of compassion. Click here to read their letter,

DACA Webinar
Justice for Immigrants (JFI) will present a webinar on the day immediately following the SCOTUS decision regarding the legality of the Trump Administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) protecting the “Dreamers.”

The webinar is scheduled for 2 PM (ET) on the day after SCOTUS announcement on DACA.  Presenters will explain the decision, examine its implication and discuss how we might support DACA recipients in the days and weeks following the SCOTUS decision. We will share the URL as soon as it is available.

In the meantime there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Continue to pray for DACA recipients, their families and all of our immigrant community members who are at risk.
  • If you can, plan to join us for an interfaith prayer every Monday Morning DACA Prayers at 9:30. Click here to RSVP.
  • Urge your Senators to provide a permanent solution. Pass a clean Dream Act of 2019, S. 874.

 

People of Color Suffering from COVID-19

The health dangers and economic ramifications of COVID-19 do not affect everyone in the United States the same way.

Due to centuries of systemic injustice, people of color in the U.S. are more likely to get sick and die as a result of this pandemic, or be left unemployed and uninsured.

Our federal government needs to prioritize communities of color in the next stimulus legislation!

Please call, write or email your representatives and ask them to support communities of color in stimulus, medical and unemployment support!

Our Sisters In Iraq
News sent by Sr. Marcelline Koch, OP

Sr. Roberta Popara recently spoke with Sr. Marie Therese Hannah on Messenger.   Sr. Marie Therese shared that the Nineveh plain including Mosul has been spared from COVID-19.  She indicated that the authorities in the northern region have acted swiftly.  The students are continuing their education online (she is principal at the grade school that was opened up in Qaraqosh when people returned).  Sisters are well in the north.

Asking her about Baghdad, she indicated the virus is there, brought in from Iran.  The maternity hospital is open but not the schools.  I would expect students are learning online as well in that city.

Sr. Beth Murphy has spoken with Sr. Habiba in Jordan.  The clinic had been closed at one point and has reopened. Habiba is not going to the clinic to work, however, because she is in an at-risk age group. Instead she has become the chef for the community. She is not happy about not going to work,  but is resigned to the idea for now.

I emailed Sr. Luma who shared that it is a different time for all everyone and online teaching has been a challenge.   She noted that everyone is well in their area.  One of their elderly sisters in Qaraqosh died and, like us, they were not able to go to the burial.  There are few cases of the virus in Iraq compared to other places. But she also noted that Iraq is not able to deal with such situations as other countries have. So there, the government imposed curfew from Feb 27 until the beginning of May.

As we pray for each other here, we also remember our family around the world.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 5.20.2020

Navajo Nation Receives Needed Assistance, More Needed
As we reported last week, the Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. The good news is that Doctors without Borders has announced its first-ever mission to the United States, helping the hard-hit Navajo Nation fight COVID-19.

However, news reports tell us that South Dakota Governor Republican Kristi Noem has threatened to sue Cheyenne River Sioux and Oglala Sioux leaders to force them to remove COVID-19 checkpoint set up to protect tribal lands from the spread of the disease. Tribal governments haven’t received one penny of the $8 billion allocated by the CARES Act.

Please join a Zoom call today to see how you can help.

WHAT: COVID-19 and Native American Communities

WHEN: Wednesday, May 20, 7:00 PM Eastern / 4:00PM Pacific

WHO:

  • Special guest Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01, Laguna Pueblo)
  • Faith Spotted Eagle (Native Organizers Alliance, Brave Heart Society, Yankton Sioux)
  • State Rep. Ruth Buffalo (ND-HD27, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation)
  • Tara Houska (Giniw Collective)
  • Kevin Allis (National Congress of American Indians, Forest County Potawatomi)

Click here to register.

Laudato Si’ Week Events
There are many virtual learning and celebration opportunities available to help us celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. Please click here to see the entire list and to register.

Help Protect Those Who Protect Children
The Administration’s border wall is now threatening a Catholic orphanage near the U.S.-Mexico border. The Department of Justice has filed an eminent-domain lawsuit against Sacred Heart Children’s Home in Laredo, Texas, demanding access to the orphanage’s land in order to conduct surveys for the wall.

As an attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Laredo Morning Times, the administration seems to be taking advantage of the pandemic to speed up wall construction, since public demonstrations aren’t possible during social distancing.

Under eminent domain laws, the government must pay landowners a fair price — yet Trump’s callous administration only wants to give the sisters a paltry $100 to let its construction teams parade around their land.

This orphanage has been run for more than 100 years by the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Poor. As these sisters fight back in court, let’s show them that they are not alone, and submit 10,000 signatures demanding the DOJ drop this outrageous lawsuit!

Click here to tell the Dept. of Justice: Drop your border-wall lawsuit against a Catholic orphanage. 

2020 Census – Every Person Counts
In a time when so many are marginalized by our government, a fair and accurate count in the Census is more important than ever.

In 2010:
2.2 million children weren’t counted
3.7 million African-Americans weren’t counted
3.8 million Latinos weren’t counted

You can join Faith in Public Life to become a Faith Census Ambassador. Click here to learn more.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice updates – May 13, 2020

Celebrating Laudato Si, Caring for Our Common Home

Laudato Si’ Week is May 16-24! As we mark the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si’, the coronavirus is forcing us to think of new economies and new ways of caring for the most vulnerable. Laudato Si’ Week offers people of faith a time to reflect on the gift of the earth and creation, and realize it is under threat. It is a time for Catholics around the world to pray, learn, gather virtually, reflect, and prepare to build a better world together. Pope Francis has invited everyone to take part.

As we prepare to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’ May 16-24, we hope that you and your community will consider planning a local event to celebrate #LaudatoSi5 Week.  You’ll find all the resources you need on the Laudato Si’ Week website,  and the Catholic Climate Covenant Covenant’s Laudato Si’ Week 2020 website. You’ll find logos and social media messages, videos, dialogue and study guides, and liturgy resources.

We also invite you to participate in a series of Laudato Si’ 5th Anniversary workshops set up by the Vatican. Set against the backdrop of the current Coronavirus crisis, the virtual workshops will talk about the climate crisis, climate injustice, and action we must take inspired by the encyclical, Laudato Si’. Register for one or all of the workshops at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oJFmciB8TSKBOLNWz_c-fg.

  • Introductory Session: Mon., May 18 at 2:00 PM GMT
  • Eco-Spirituality: Tues., May 19 at 2:00 PM GMT
  • Sustainability: Wed., May 20 at 2:00 PM GMT
  • Advocacy: Wed., May 20 at 4:00 PM GMT
  • Social Action: Fri., May 22 at 2:00 PM GMT

Please register your anniversary event at: https://laudatosiweek.org/activities/ and upload any events you’d like the Catholic Climate Covenant to promote (include picture if possible) at: https://www.catholicclimateproject.org/calendar/submit.  You can find out about all the global and U.S. activities and register for the Global Day of Prayer on May 24 at: https://catholicclimatecovenant.org/resource/laudato-si-week-2020.

Learn more about #LaudatoSi5 Week here.

Economic Injustice Examined
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the structural economic issues in our nation into sharp focus. Please click here for an analysis of the issues that must be resolved if the United States is to avoid continued increases in income and wealth inequality amid the coronavirus recession and recovery. 

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates