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, 9.9.2020

LCWR Presents New Immigration Plan

More than 170 immigration and advocacy organizations have endorsed Immigration 2021 Plan, a blueprint for the next administration to restore human dignity to a system weaponized by the current
administration, reinforce core American values and power the economic recovery of the nation.

“While the 2021 Immigration Action Plan seeks to undo the damage wrought by the Trump administration—from putting children and families in cages and restricting the due process rights of immigrants at the border, to extending the detention limit for children and families, and forging ahead with a failed border wall—it also acknowledges that more must be done to truly transform the system. Trump’s divisive, anti-Black and racist rhetoric against immigrants fans the flames of xenophobia, further corroding a system that has been broken for decades. Re-envisioning the country’s immigration system to work in the long term will take a coordinated, clear-eyed effort that aims to benefit immigrant families in every policy initiative.” (Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas)

To read the Immigration 2021 plan, please click here.

Sister Attracta Kelly, an immigration lawyer and director of the Adrian Dominican Sisters Immigration Assistance Office will provide an overview of the Immigration 2021 Plan on livestream.  Her presentation is scheduled for September 15 from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm ET.

More and more right-wing Catholic priests are falsely claiming it’s a sin to vote for a particular candidate. This isn’t just bad policy — it’s bad theology, and a distortion of both the Gospel and Catholic teaching.

One prominent voice is Wisconsin’s Fr. James Altman, whose angry homily “You cannot be Catholic & a Democrat. Period,” has 280,000 views on YouTube.

The truth is that Catholic teaching allows discerning Catholics to vote for any candidate. Both the U.S. bishops’ conference and retired Pope Benedict have acknowledged that voters must often weigh multiple moral issues at the polls — including workers’ rights, protecting the poor, and stopping racist behavior.

Please click here to sign a petition to tell the US Bishops that our Church is not to be hijacked for political purposes.

 

 

 

As the 2020 national election cycle becomes more intense these next several weeks, the LCWR’s has created an eight-week long experience, “A More Perfect Union: 2020 Election Reflections,” that include three prophetic actions.

Beginning Wednesday, September 16, we will post weekly reflections as a part of the weekly Justice updates. These will include some food for thought, a couple of questions to seed your reflection and dialogue and a prayer for the upcoming election.

To view the LCWR’s Voting Guide, click here. 

You can also view other voters’ guides, strategies for resisting voter suppression, civility pledges, and voter registration and “get out the vote” materials by clicking HERE.

 

 

 

The White House has approved a dangerous and untested plan to transport fracked gas from northeast Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Four Democratic governors—governors of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, who promised to follow climate change science— are going along with the fracking plan.

This dangerous plan will allow a company called New Fortress Energy to take fracked gas from the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania to export overseas. New Fortress Energy is attempting to get fast-track approval to transport the gas by trucks and rail tank cars to circumvent lengthy federal regulatory reviews that would require more public input.

Please click here to sign a petition calling on NJ, NY, PA, and DE governors to put a stop to the fracking project on the Delaware River.

EACOP Project

Sr. Rita Schwarzenberger is requesting that you participate in gathering signatures for Africa. She writes:

Please read the details here and share to your Facebook page or however you can get as many people as possible to sign it. Africa does not need another disaster. We have so much sunshine that solar energy could be such a lifesaver. No more oil spills. Nigeria has learned that well with more than 60 years of total devastation in the Niger Delta and all the conflict that has been a result of that.  Thank you from the people of many countries in Africa.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates, 9.2.2020

Webinar – September 3, 2020:
Following Jesus in Election Season – Christian Allegiance: Two Perspectives. Join our colleague, Fr. John Dear, on this webinar organized by The Global Immersion Project. Learn more and register here.


Stand Up For Families in  Ohio 

Please consider taking 5 minutes right now to sign and share this Ohio faith leader sign-on letter to Senator Portman. Sources indicate that it may be possible to convince the Senator of the importance of including mixed-status families in the financial relief offered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we hope you will sign our letter urging him to cosponsor the “Coronavirus Assistance for American Families (CAAF) Act” and to support an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit in order to provide economic stimulus and financial relief to families in need during this global pandemic.

The deadline for signatures is September 4, so please act now!

The Refugee Council USA is organizing Virtual Lobby Days this week. Please consider participating by contacting your senators and representative and urging them to hold the administration accountable and restore the U.S. refugee quota to historic levels.

Background
By September 30th, the Trump Administration is required by U.S. law to consult with House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders before deciding how many refugees can be resettled to the United States in FY 2021. Since 1980, the U.S. has set a ceiling of about 95,000 refugees each year. However, this number has dropped precipitously during the Trump administration, reaching a low of 18,000 for FY 2020, a decrease of more eighty percent.

The United States can and should resettle more refugees. By comparison, Germany, with a population about one fourth the size of the U.S., settled more than 800,000 refugees in 2015. Refugees are a great gift to our country. Many are working on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic, including 176,000 in the health care field.

NOTE: If your senator or representative holds a key leadership position (named below), a call to their office would be very helpful. The message is simple:
Please restore the U.S. refugee quota to at least the pre-Trump administration level of 95,000. The United States can and should welcome more refugees. They are a gift to our country.

  • Sen. Graham (R-SC), Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee: 202-224-5972
  • Sen. Cornyn (R-TX), Chair, Senate Immigration Subcommittee: 202-224-2934
  • Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee: 202-224-3841
  • Sen Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member, Senate Immigration Subcommittee: 202-224-2152
  • Rep. Nadler (NY-10), Chair, House Judiciary Committee: 202-225-5635
  • Rep. Lofgren (CA-19), Chair, House Immigration Subcommittee: 202-225-3072
  • Rep. Jordan (OH-04), Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee: (202) 225-2676
  • Rep. Buck (CO-04), Ranking Member, House Immigration Subcommittee: 202-225-4676

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Update 8.26.2020

An Invitation from Catholic Mobilizing Network

CMN invites you for a series of two Virtual Prayer Vigils next week, as we lament the latest round of executions in the federal government’s campaign to ramp up the practice of capital punishment. Lezmond Mitchell is set to be executed on August 26, followed by Keith Dwayne Nelson on August 28.

Together we will hold in prayer the victims (Alyce Slim, Tiffany Lee, and Pamela Butler), their loved ones, and all those who will be impacted by these acts of state-sanctioned violence. Find more information below:

Virtual Prayer Vigil for Lezmond Mitchell with Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico
Wednesday, August 26  |  2-3 pm EDT

Virtual Prayer Vigil for Keith Dwayne Nelson
Friday, August 28  |  2-3 pm EDT

NYT Book Review – White Too Long

This thought-provoking book by Robert P. Jones presents a stark choice: Hold onto white Christianity or hold onto Jesus. Read the review here. 

Civic Engagement Resources: Prepare now to vote

  • Confirm your voter registration status here
  • Find your state’s registration deadlines and voting resources
  • League of Women Voters has information on how to protect the 2020 election
  • Intercommunity of Social Justice Summer newsletter, “A Matter of Spirit,” provides resources that discuss the democratic process, the spread of misinformation, voter suppression, and respectful dialogue to promote unity
  • Interfaith Power and Light’s Democracy and Values & the 2020 Election Reflection Guide
  • Read Stacy Abrams Sojourners’ article on voting: “We’ve Got To Talk About Power: How to outsmart the deliberate barriers placed in voters’ way”
  • Read about the foundational principles of Catholic Social Teaching

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Update – 8.19.2020

STOP TRAFFICKING
To read the latest issue of the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking newsletter, click here.

Death Penalty Education and Action Events:
Wednesday, August 19, 2020: Valuing Speed: The Costs in Fairness, Accuracy & Money in Trying to Accelerate Executions. From 3-4:30 pm ET, features renowned speakers Marge Koosed, Jeff Fagan, and Steve Potolsky, with acclaimed Alabama Judge Tracie A. Todd moderating. Register HERE.

Thursday, August 20 and each day/evening until August 28: Death Penalty Action is a co-sponsor of “WalkTheWalk2020.US,” a faith pilgrimage of Racial Reckoning, Resolve and Love, starting August 20th in Charlottesville, Virginia. If you live in the area, come join us or just stop by to say hello to Abe, Shane and Doug. The 108-mile walk will connect to the National Action Network’s Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks on March 28th in Washington, DC followed by the federal execution protest at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC during the scheduled 4pm execution that day. DPA Director Abraham Bonowitz will be a part of first few days of this event, along with DPA Advisory Board Members Shane Claiborne and Doug Pagitt who are among those leading this event. The WalkTheWalk2020.US and the Commitment March have broader agendas which include stopping state violence, racial justice and reform of the criminal legal system. Watch Death Penalty Action’s Facebook Page for details on live programs each evening.

Thursday, August 20, 2020: A Tale of Two Trends: Decreasing Support and Accelerating Federal Executions from 3:30-5 pm ET, and features two pathbreaking speakers, Rob Dunham and Brandon Garrett, moderated by the new co-chair of the ABA civil rights section’s Death penalty committee, J. Wyndal Gordon. Register HERE.

Friday, August 21, 2020: The People’s Forum in NYC will host a diverse group of artists, activists, and community leaders spearheading an online art exhibition and panel discussion titled, #FreeBillieAllen | The Art of Innocence. A panel discussion featuring friends and family of those impacted by the death penalty, musical performances, poets and an art exhibition will begin at 6pm on August 21. It will showcase 23 years’ worth of powerful, thought-provoking, yet, diverse body of work by Billie Allen. who has been fighting a continuous battle to prove his innocence through the use of art by not only raising awareness about his case, but exposing the truth of the unjust and dehumanizing criminal justice system Watch HERE. Also,

PLEASE SIGN THE DEATH PENALTY ACTION PETITION FOR Billie Allen HERE.

Saturday, August 22: Starting at 3pm ET, check out Death Penalty Advisory Board Member Jerry Givens (of blessed memory) in the Socially Relevant Film Festival for Black Voices virtual screening event of In the Executioner’s Shadow, a film about justice, injustice and the death penalty. All details of the SR for Black Voices program, including ticket link to get the film links, can be found here: Facebook Event NOTE: Registration is imperative otherwise film links cannot be sent to you. More information is at www.ratedsrfilms.org. SRFF is based in New York City but all events are virtual.

Monday, August 24 at 11am EDT: Death Penalty Action press conference to call on Congress to stop federal executions will be live on our Facebook page. Save the date. Details forthcoming.

Wednesday, August 26 and Friday, August 28: Starting about 3:30pm  (Time subject to change, and hopefully these will be canceled): Join the Facebook live broadcast of execution vigils at the federal prison in Terre Haute on the Death Penalty Action Facebook page.

Friday, August 28: Federal execution protest at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC during the scheduled 4pm execution.

Please make sure you have signed and shared the Death Penalty Action petition to stop federal executions, here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-congress-abolish-the-federal-death-penalty.

Fund the USPS
In the midst of a historic pandemic, we need vote-by-mail to protect voters and ensure this election is fair in November.

Click here to sign a petition demanding President Trump and Congress fully fund the post office, a service that is essential for a functioning society and democracy,

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates: 8.12.2020

Free Webinar
Fr. Bryan Massingale is one of the world’s leading Catholic social ethicists and scholars of African-American theological ethics, racial justice, and liberation theology.

He has served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium and holds two honorary doctorates.

Fr. Brian Massingale will be conducting a Zoom webinar on racism on Wednesday night, hosted by Old St. Pats in Chicago. Click here to register for free.

Save Social Security!
This weekend, the White House signed an executive order deferring payroll taxes — and vowed to make these cuts permanent.

According to this analysis from National Public Radio,  the payroll deferment will have to be repaid by workers around the country, basically making it useless as a stimulus.

Social Security is 100% funded by our payroll tax contributions. The proposed “permanent payroll tax cut” would gut Social Security, and all the money paid out over our lifetimes would be gone.

Please reach out to your State Representative (click here to find contact information) and your Senator (click here to find contact information) and tell them that a permanent payroll tax will hurt the most vulnerable in our nation.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates