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 7/1/2020

Protest the Death Penalty
Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court failed to act with mercy, which may mean the first federal executions in 17 years on July 13, 15 & 17 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Death Penalty Action will be there.

Please click here to find actions that you might take to protest these executions, including petitions, witness opportunities, and more.

The 27th Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the US Supreme Court is well under way. ALL PROGRAMS ARE BEING STREAMED LIVE on the Starvin’ for Justice Facebook Page at 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm and 7pm today and Thursday.

You do not need a Facebook account to watch, or to see the archive of programs already completed. The full schedule is here. Please note that the opening and closing events require registration, which is here.

Monsanto Pays Up
Bayer, following its 2018 acquisition of Monsanto, will pay up to $10.9 billion to settle nearly 100,000 individual lawsuits alleging that exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup causes cancer.

This $10.9 billion settlement is yet another landmark moment that signals a turning tide against agrichemical giants like Bayer. For decades, Monsanto assured farmers, farmworkers, pesticide applicators, and homeowners that glyphosate was harmless, even with prolonged exposure. For too long, mega-corporations have profited from toxic pesticides, obscured the risks associated with them, and avoided taking responsibility for the damages they have caused. Following the three previous verdicts, Bayer sees the writing on the wall and is seeking to mitigate its losses by settling and paying up now.

No More Genetically-Engineered Seeds!
For years now, pesticide industry giants have been peddling their genetically engineered (GE) technology kits: modified seeds and the herbicides that go with them. Clear evidence shows this system is dangerous, brittle and failing, yet these corporations are now doubling down. Right now, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering a request from Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) to approve a new GE corn seed engineered for use with five different herbicides.

The “creation” of a corn seed that can survive five different herbicides is likely to increase the use of those herbicides, putting the environment and wildlife in those areas at risk.

Click here to tell the USDA to prevent Monsanto’s use of genetically-engineered corn seeds.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates – 6.24.2020

ZOOM Discussion of USCCB Letter Addressing Racial Equality
On three consecutive Thursdays: June 25, July 2, and July 9, from 3 pm EDT to 4 pm EDT, the Archdiocese of Louisville will conduct a three-part discussion on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter, “Open Wide Our Hearts, the Enduring Call to Love.”

Ms. Jane Cruthirds will be facilitating this discussion.

The agenda for the discussions is as follows:

June 25- Introduction to the Pastoral Letter, pages 3-10
What is Racism? -Theological underpinnings – “made in the image and likeness of God” and Jesus’ sacrifice for all.

July 2 – Cultural Context, pages 10-20
The experience of Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic peoples living in the US. Saints and servants in the US working towards inclusivity; The Urgent Call to Love

July 9 – Walk Humbly with God, pages 20-32
Call to Action (acknowledge, encounter, accompany, educate, etc.)

Upon completion, 5 hours of Catechist Certification will be awarded:  2.5 hours in Catechetics/Ministry Praxis and 2.5 hours in Catholic Social Teaching

Please join our ZOOM meeting below for each session.

Time: Jun 25, 2020 02:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 281 918 5442

Password: 171251

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Supporting the Palestinian People
The Palestinian-led BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement for freedom, justice and equality upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Fifteen years after its launch, the BDS movement is more urgent than ever. Enabled by the US and the EU, Israel has for decades entrenched what dozens of UN human rights experts have recently called its “21st century apartheid.”

Palestinian civil society is urgently calling for targeted, lawful sanctions against Israel to end Israel’s apartheid regime and to counter its plans to formally annex large parts of the occupied Palestinian territory.

The time for cutting military trade and research with Israel, for banning trade with its illegal settlements, for holding its war criminals accountable, and for ending free-trade agreements with it is long overdue.

To celebrate BDS@15 and our collective impact in resisting Israeli apartheid, there are 15 actions to choose from to grow our movement, including:

  • Educating about Israeli apartheid and mobilizing pressure to end corporate and state complicity in it.
  • Supporting calls for targeted sanctions against Israel, including cutting military trade and banning illegal settlement trade
  • Joining academic, cultural and sports boycott campaigns
  • Declaring community spaces Apartheid Free Zones
  • Supporting racial and economic justice struggles led by Black, Indigenous and other communities of color.

Please click here to find out more about the BDS movement and how you can help.



Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates 6.15.2020

Please join our colleagues at NETWORK in advocating for policies that advance justice and equity by supporting the Justice in Policing Act.

Email your elected officials to support this legislation NOW.

The Justice in Policing Act will hold police accountable and fundamentally change the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they are meant to serve. We need legislation that will hold law enforcement officers accountable for misconduct and excessive use of force, de-militarize the police, create a National Police Misconduct Registry, and end racial and religious profiling in policing.

Passing the Justice in Policing Act is an important immediate step for our nation. Email your Senators and Representative today!

We are celebrating some great news from the Supreme Court this week. Monday, the Court declined to hear 10 gun-rights cases brought by the gun lobby.

This is a HUGE victory for gun safety nationwide and an important defeat for the gun lobby! This decision leaves in place crucial restrictions on assault weapons, concealed carry licensing, and other lifesaving gun responsibility laws.

One of the laws that the gun lobby objects to is Initiative 1639, a ballot initiative already approved by the people of Washington State that:

  1. Defines the term “semiautomatic assault rifle” to include all semiautomatic rifles.
  2. Raises the minimum age for purchasing semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21.
  3. Imposes a 10-day waiting period before being allowed to claim a rifle from a firearms dealer.
  4. Expands background checks to include medical records requiring a waiver of HIPAA rights

Despite the fact that this bill was APPROVED BY THE VOTERS, The NRA and the gun lobby have filed THREE lawsuits in an attempt to stop Initiative 1639. This is just one of the lawsuits that the Supreme Court has refused to hear.

It was almost exactly a year ago that the Dominican Sisters of Peace adopted a corporate stance against the death penalty. Sadly, the Justice Department under the Trump Administration has reinstated the death penalty for criminals convicted of federal crimes.

The following prisoners are slated for execution by lethal injection this summer at the  U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, IN.

  • Daniel Lewis Lee, July 13,
  • Wesley Ira Purkey, July 15.
  • Dustin Lee Honken, July 17
  • Keith Dwayne Nelson, Aug. 28

We believe that the death penalty should be abolished because it is contrary to our Catholic faith. Please put your faith in action by calling your representatives or the Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb. Ask them to respect the dignity of God’s people by cancelling these executions.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Justice Updates: 6.10.2020

Ohio lawmakers are advancing Stand Your Ground — a dangerous and racist policy known for helping white shooters avoid prosecution and putting Black Americans at further risk of gun violence.

Stand Your Ground laws encourage the escalation of gun violence in avoidable situations and do not deter crime. HB 381 would allow a person to shoot to kill another person in public, even if there is a safe and clear way to walk away from the danger. This racist policy is associated with increases in gun homicides and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

Send your state representative a message urging them to OPPOSE HB 381 by clicking here.

The June issue of Stop Trafficking is now available. Click here to download the PDF version. 

Sr. Barbara Kane shared this article on how we can support our friends, neighbors and co-workers of color during this very painful time. Click here to read.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

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.


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 and we will share them from our accounts.


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