• Black Presidents and Deans Say: No More Stolen Black Lives!
    We make the following demands: Public Policy: ● The removal of military equipment from our neighborhoods as tools for policing. ○ The end of the 1033 Program, whereby Congress transfers excess military equipment to local police agencies for use in counter-drug activities. ● The immediate work to create police reform initiatives as well as community oriented policing methodologies to include the following: ○ A revision of police union contracts so that police are held accountable for misconduct, to include clarity about “excessive force.” ○ A moratorium on no-knock warrants for drug-related arrests. ○ An end to “broken-windows” policing. ○ The implementation of swift and strong fines against persons who make emergency calls to police departments based upon false allegations against Black citizens. ○ State and local level public policy initiatives that ensure police review boards comprise citizens representing its diverse neighborhoods. Effective policy requires community oversight. ○ The refusal to hire/retain any officer who has a history of excessive force and misconduct. ○ An end to the practice of aggressive police persons not receiving repercussions and prosecution when they cross the justice line and end the process of internal policing, powerful police unions, powerless civil arbitration boards, and ineffective external (non-police) review boards being used to release accused police persons from justice. ○ An end to the standard of reasonableness that allows police officers to shoot to kill Black and other racial minorities on the officer’s assertion that they feared for their life. ○ Pressure on insurance companies to demand changes in police procedures and policies used by police departments that consistently lead to high incidents of police brutality against racial minorities by refusing those departments coverage. ● The immediate clarification by the FBI that Black Lives Matter is not a “black identity extremist” movement. American Academy of Religion/ Society of Biblical Literature: ● The immediate development and support of the Policing in Black and Brown Communities Initiative that will work with journalists who cover religion. Black people’s religious conceptualizations drive the way they move in the world. Through AAR/SBL support, this initiative’s aim is to place scholars of religion in conversation with mainstream journalists around the country so that the narratives around our lives convey truth and sensitivity. Association of Theological Schools: ● Include on its agenda for its upcoming Biennial Meeting a time for the Presidents of ATS schools to discuss what is both the impact and theological work needed to address the consistent killings of Black people. During our lifetimes, we have placed our credentials and often our very bodies on the line doing the work of justice-making for our communities. Now is no different. In the days to come, we will do all in our power to resist the evils of racism in the many forms it presents itself, especially in our political systems and schools of higher education. We will not allow the violence directed at Black people and US citizens protesting against police violence to be baptized in religious symbolism as if to say that is the way that our faith, any faith, that follows the way of love and justice demands we obey. Instead, we join the collective response to those who seek justice, liberation and the end of white supremacy. NO MORE. Contacts: Pamela R. Lightsey, [email protected]; Matthew Williams, [email protected] The full petition text and complete list of original signers and co-signers are hosted by Auburn (Updated June 4, 2020): https://auburnseminary.org/statementfromblackpresidentsanddeans_4june2020/ Original Signatories: Rev. Angela D. Sims, PhD, President, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Rev. Valerie Bridgeman, PhD, Dean and VP of Academic Affairs, Methodist Theological School in Ohio Rev. Pamela R. Lightsey, PhD, VP of Academic Affairs, Meadville Lombard Theological School Marsha Foster Boyd, PhD, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, Luther Seminary The Rev. Vanessa Lovelace, PhD, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Lancaster Theological Seminary The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, President, Starr King School for the Ministry Leah Gunning Francis, PhD, VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Christian Theological Seminary Rev. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, PhD, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, Chicago Theological Seminary Rev. Yolanda Pierce, PhD, Professor & Dean, Howard University School of Divinity Rev. Kirstin C. Boswell-Ford, M.Div., Associate Dean of Student Support Services, Brown University Rev. Maisha Handy, PhD, Provost/VP for Academic Affairs, Interdenominational Theological Center Rev. Stephen G. Ray Jr., PhD, President, Chicago Theological Seminary Rev. Micah L. McCreary, PhD, President, New Brunswick Theological Seminary Matthew Wesley Williams, M.Div., Interim President, Interdenominational Theological Center Elías Ortega, PhD, President, Meadville Lombard Theological School
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  • We Call For An Immediate Federal Response To Address Racial Inequities In Deaths Due To COVID-19
    Like the prophet Isaiah, we say: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” In this moment, we serve notice to the powers and principalities that the Righteous God we serve compels us to demand: 1) the Trump administration immediately and fully, with equity and compassion, utilizes the power of the Defense Production Act of 1950 to mobilize manufacturers to produce the necessary personal protective and life-saving equipment such as facemasks, gloves, and ventilators. These materials must be equitably distributed (without excessive price gouging) and readily available in health care and social service settings that serve Black and poor communities; for low-wage essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic; and in congregate settings such as prisons and homeless shelters. 2) the Trump administration works with state and local public health officials to set up testing sites and field hospitals in Black and poor communities hit hardest by the pandemic with a focus on communities in rural and urban settings that have experienced a massive wave of hospital closures over the last 10 years. 3) the Trump administration calls on the 14 states that have not expanded Medicaid to do so now and that all states provide immediate eligibility for Medicaid to workers who become unemployed during the pandemic. 4) Congress passes a fourth COVID-19 recovery bill that focuses on communities of color and poor and low-wealth communities and that it ensures living wages and paid sick leave for all employees, adequate childcare, rent forgiveness, a full moratorium on utility disruptions and high-quality, free, universal, health care as a human right. 5) the federal government coordinates efforts for the timely and uniform collection and release of data on race/ethnicity and other relevant demographics including poverty and geography for COVID-19 cases and deaths in order to further identify health inequities and mobilize resources to address the disproportionate impact on Black communities and other marginalized racial groups. In the tradition of the prophets of every generation and Jesus, we will continue to speak hope into this situation of death and suffering of our people who daily have to navigate assaults against their human dignity -- the right to clean water, clean air, affordable housing, access to health care and a fair and just judicial system. We cannot and will not be silenced, for no virus or physical distancing can separate us from our call to challenge nations to care for the least of these among us. Sincerely, Bishop William J. Barber II, D.Min. Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church President, Repairers of the Breach Goldsboro, North Carolina Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III Pastor, Friendship-West Baptist Church Dallas, Texas Rev. Eddie L. Anderson Pastor, McCarty Memorial Christian Church Los Angeles, California Rev. Traci Blackmon Senior Pastor, Christ The King United Church of Christ Florissant, Missouri Dr. Amos C. Brown Pastor, Third Baptist Church San Francisco, California Rev. Dr. Leslie D. Callahan Pastor, St. Paul’s Baptist Church Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Rev. Eddie Carthan Pastor, Good Samaritan Ecumenical Church Tchula, Mississippi Bishop Yvette Flunder Pastor, City of Refuge United Church of Christ San Francisco, California Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church Decatur, Georgia Rev. Terry Melvin Associate Minister, Second Baptist Church Lackawanna, New York Rev. Lionel Murphy Pastor, Tchoupitoulas Chapel Reserve, Louisiana Rev. Dr. Gina Marcia Stewart Pastor, Christ Missionary Baptist Church Memphis, Tennessee
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  • EVERY BODY COUNTS!
    “ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). COVID19 is a global crisis that has shifted the focus of our nation and the CENSUS is critical data collection that will govern allocations of finances and representation over the next 10 years. Both COVID19 and the CENSUS warrant our best efforts. Given the necessary precautions of COVID19 that include social distancing and sheltering at home, the data collection period for the 2020 CENSUS should be extended beyond the current timeline to ensure an accurate count because EVERY BODY COUNTS!
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  • We Commit to Physical Distancing and Social Solidarity
    As leaders of faith and moral courage, we often call people together for worship, connection, service, and action. We now have an obligation to act to mitigate the worst impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This obligation includes canceling large group gatherings and encouraging community members to stop unnecessary travel and stay at home. As leaders, we're also called to help our congregations and communities stay connected. We know that while physical isolation can save lives, emotional isolation can be deadly. We call on every moral leader to lead now. Let's find new ways to deepen our faith, strengthen our fellowships, and support our communities while we're 6-feet or more apart! Sign on and share to promote #FaithfulDistance!
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  • Poor People's Campaign Calls on United Nations to Hold Trump/U.S. Accountable for War Crimes
    Dear Commissioner Bachelet, We write gravely disturbed, indeed outraged, by the death that is occurring because of our President’s rogue actions in the Middle East. His willingness to bypass congressional approval, violate international law, pardon convicted war criminals, implement harsher sanctions and abandon existing peace deals, sets a dangerous precedent that can have continued lethal and destabilizing results. The U.S. President's order to carry out a lethal drone strike violated the UN Charter's prohibition on the use of force. The assassination of General Qassim Suleimani represented an act of war against a country with whom the United States was not at war. Trump’s claim of imminent danger from Suleimani is unfounded and must be investigated. The threat to add new sanctions to Iran, and to involve the NATO military alliance, all indicate that the threat of war remains very real. Furthermore, we know that the majority of impact from these sanctions will be on the poor. We will not be silent as our president publicly announces willingness to commit a minimum of 52 violations of international law and war crimes — attacking civilian and cultural centers, including churches, museums, mosques and libraries in Iran. Further, Trump has said he would do it once again without authorization from Congress. Indeed, these are disturbing, world-altering actions which, if allowed, will bring war that could escalate to world-wide proportions. As U.S. moral advocates and faith leaders who understand our collective accountability to human rights for all around the world, we are requesting your immediate intervention in the present moral crisis. The United States, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, threatens international peace and security. The United Nations, beginning with its human rights system, must respond to its violations of human rights, its violations of international law and the UN Charter, and its violations of the laws of war. The lives of people in the Middle East and around the globe hang in the balance. The lives of those we represent — among the 140 million poor and low wealth in the United States, 43% of the U.S. population — also hang in the balance as the world teeters on the precipice of a devastating war. Dr. Martin Luther King taught us that “war is the enemy of the poor.” War is a crime against the poor civilians of Iran, Iraq, and the whole Middle East region, who pay for U.S. wars with the destruction of their lives, their health, their homes and their country’s environment. It’s a crime against the poor of the U.S. as well who pay with their tax dollars going to the Pentagon instead of to jobs, health care and a green new deal. And who pay with their lives and health through disproportionate service in the military. As a nation, we cannot seek goodness and peace while at the same time pursuing the evils of war. We cannot uproot systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the false moral narrative while embracing militarism and the war economy. We believe that the international community, through the United Nations, alongside mobilized social movements of poor and marginalized and committed people, must respond to these violations of human rights, the violations of international law, the threats of more war crimes to come. It is with profound humility and careful moral discernment that we are urging you to help hold our government accountable for making war on the Middle East and on its own people. Respectfully submitted, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II President, Repairers of the Breach Co-Chair Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis Executive Director, Kairos Center Co-Chair Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival [Following in alphabetical order] Joyce Ajlouny General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee Sr. Dottie Almoney ELCA Deaconess Community Rev. Traci D. Blackmon Associate General Minister Justice & Local Church Ministries The United Church of Christ Phyllis Bennis Institute for Policy Studies Bishop Yvette Flunder The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Imam Khalid Griggs Vice President Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Roshi Joan Jiko Halifax Abbot, Upaya Zen Center Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness Rev. Teresa Hord Owens General Minister and President Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Reverend Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson Executive Director Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Valarie Kaur Sikh activist Founder of the Revolutionary Love Project The Rev. Cindy Kohlmann Co-Moderator, 223rd General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Rev. Dr. John Mendez Pastor Emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Church Progressive National Baptist Convention Rev. Mary Katherine Morn President/CEO Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Wendsler Nosie Sr. Former Chairman and Former Councilman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe Vanessa Nosie San Carlos Apache Tribal Member Sister Noreen Stevens ELCA Deaconess Community Rev. Dr. Robin Tanner National Director for Religious Affairs, Repairers of the Breach Minister, Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, New Jersey Rabbi Arthur Waskow, PhD The Shalom Center Rabbi Elyse Wechterman Executive Director Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Min. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove School for Conversion
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  • Reunite Ousman Darboe with his wife, baby daughter, parents, and siblings
    Ousman is a long-time resident of the Fordham Heights neighborhood of the Bronx, who came to the United States from the Gambia in 2001 when he was only 6 years old. The fourth of eight children, Ousman spent much of his teenage years caring for his five younger siblings – doing everything from changing diapers to attending parent-teacher meetings – while his parents worked full-time, low-paying jobs. ICE tore Ousman away from his community when they arrested him in an early morning home raid on July 31, 2017 on the basis of single criminal conviction. Just five days later, Ousman’s partner of three years, Lashalle, learned she was pregnant with their first child. Despite being incarcerated by ICE ever since, Ousman has been supportive and present for his family in anyway he can. This included the hours Lashalle was in labor, when Ousman repeatedly called his wife in the short increments permitted by the jail until the jail cut off phone access for the night just before his daughter was born. His daughter Sanai is now almost two years old, and Ousman has never been able to see his baby girl outside of a jail. During weekly visits, Sanai’s tiny fists hit the glass barrier when she reaches out for her father, and she starts crying and screaming when she is forced to leave her father. With Ousman in detention and without affordable childcare, Lashalle has struggled for now years to maintain full-time employment. As a result, Lashalle and Sanai lived in a homeless shelter for over a year and only recently were moved to permanent public housing in the Bronx. Lashalle is still struggling to survive every day as ICE has forced her to be a young single mother, despite the deep mutual commitment she shares with her husband. If Ousman returned home, Lashalle and Sanai would be able to thrive and be at peace. ICE is determined to treat Ousman as a disposable member of our community based on his contact with New York State’s criminal legal system and has deliberately ignored his tremendous efforts to rehabilitate as a loving husband, father, brother, and son. Since his incarceration by ICE, Ousman has worked and completed his GED. Within immigration jail, he has emerged as a leader entrusted with ensuring other incarcerated people receive food and hygiene products, among other responsibilities. He has the full support of his family, community groups, and social workers in transitioning out of immigration jail. You can also read more about Ousman’s story here: https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/9/30/20875821/black-immigrants-school-prison-deportation-pipeline HOW YOU CAN HELP You can sign onto this petition that has two goals: 1) We urge Governor Cuomo to use his discretionary power as Governor to grant a pardon that would allow Ousman to be reunited with his wife and young child. 2) We also urge ICE to release Ousman and end this deportation case once and for all, allowing the Darboe family a chance to be whole. We are also raising money to support Lashalle and Sanai as they transition out of the shelter system at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/we-keep-us-safe. OUR VALUES The Trump administration defends its aggressive immigration policies by claiming that these actions make the public safer. But the public needs Ousman home. Lashalle – who has struggled to find stable housing and childcare that will accommodate her work schedule – would be safer with Ousman home. Their daughter – who reaches out for her father but cannot touch him since the jail instituted a no-contact visitation policy, despite failed promises by the Bergen County Jail to change this policy – would be safer with him home. Ousman’s parents and siblings – who look up to him and rely on him —would be safer with Ousman home. Many New York city, state, and federal elected officials support Mr. Darboe’s pardon application and imminent release from ICE custody, including Congress Members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jose Serrano, Assembly Member Yuh-line Niou, State Senator Julia Salazar, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. If the Trump administration will not defend the safety of all members of our country, we look to each other. We ask you to join us in this petition that will help provide the safety, stability and happiness that Ousman and his family so desperately need.
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  • We Support An Impeachment Inquiry Now!
    "As Christians in the United States of America, we join together as people of faith to express our conviction that an impeachment inquiry is necessary to reveal the truth, hold President Donald J. Trump and other public officials accountable, and bolster democracy in the United States. We welcome the light of truth, honesty, and transparency that this moment affords our country, whatever may be revealed. We call for an open inquiry that shines light on this administration’s dealings behind closed doors and petition people of faith and integrity to join us in calling forth this light." “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” Jesus said (John 8:12). Jesus’ words and ministry highlight the connection between truth and the well-being of the poor, the sick, the immigrant, the imprisoned, and the earth. Likewise, we who follow Jesus must make visible that any President’s violation of his oath of office would harm the most vulnerable among us." "The current impeachment inquiry is focused specifically on whether President Trump solicited help from a foreign government in his 2020 re-election campaign, buried evidence of that solicitation, and then attacked the whistleblowers and Congressional representatives who brought evidence to light. The constitutional process that gives the U.S. Congress power to investigate and try a sitting President is needed in this moment, because none of us can know the full truth apart from this process. But we have already seen enough to know that the accusations are both serious and credible." "While President Trump claims there is an evangelical revival supporting him, we know there is also a revival of people of faith whose commitment to truth remains strong and vigilant. We are Christians who resolutely affirm Jesus’ teachings of justice, love, and equality — echoed in the basic values at the heart of our democracy. This is not a matter of partisanship, but of deepest principle." "For the sake of our nation’s integrity and the most vulnerable in our society, we call on fellow Christians to support the current impeachment inquiry. Now is the time to shine the light of truth. Please join us in praying that the truth will be revealed and set us all free."
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  • Catholic Women Religious Superiors Should Vote at the Pan-Amazonian Synod
    As the upcoming Pan-Amazonian Synod begins on October 6, 185 men are expected to vote on the final document, and 0 women are expected to vote. One non-ordained, religious brother is voting while no non-ordained, religious sisters will be voting. Women who have the same ecclesial status as non-ordained men are excluded, again. In 2018, calls for women religious to vote at the Synod on Youth came from Catholics across the globe. Women religious themselves worked hard for the vote. And the final document, which was the will of the bishops, for the first time, called the inclusion of women in decision-making structures a “duty of justice.” This year, among the 265 participants, only 33 are women. Ten of the women are religious from the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). This group of women have the identical ecclesial status as the male non-ordained religious superiors, one of whom is voting at the synod. Still, these women religious superiors are not voting at the synod. Two women religious were named as part of the pre-synodal council, orchestrating the agenda and the working document alongside 16 ordained men. All 16 ordained men on this list are voting members of the Synod. The two women religious are auditors but not voting. This injustice must end. Join us in signing this petition. We will not stop until women have the right to vote at our synods.
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  • Back-to-School Should Not Look Like This
    Members of Congress have the power to end gun violence through common sense gun safety reforms. Assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks serve no purpose other than to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. They need to be banned. We need a license to drive a car and to get married. It’s long past time for a federal gun licensing program that would require not only comprehensive universal background checks, but the legal requirement that all guns be sold through licensed dealers. Senate bill S.42, introduced back in January to strengthen background checks, is stalled by Republican leadership which refuses to bring it up for a vote. No matter our political affiliation, we must all insist this bill move through the process immediately. Gun violence ought not be a partisan issue. Rural and urban, conservative to progressive—we are all vulnerable to gun violence and we must all be part of a serious, sustained, comprehensive response to this public health crisis. We implore all people of faith and conscience to share the Sandy Hook PSA with your Senators and Representatives and compel Congress to support common sense gun reforms that make all of us, and our children, safer. Here's how: -Click here to find your Member of Congress (https://www.callmycongress.com) and tweet or email Sandy Hook's amazing PSA (https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/campaign) to your Member of Congress. -Sign on to add your voice to those who are standing up against gun violence! P.S. Read more in our op-ed in USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/09/18/sandy-hook-psa-gun-violence-school-shootings-not-inevitable-column/2354471001/). Rabbi Sharon Brous, Founding Rabbi, IKAR; Auburn Senior Fellow @SharonBrous Reverend Dr. Jacqui J. Lewis, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church; Auburn Senior Fellow @RevJacquiLewis
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  • Sign on to the Pastoral Letter on the El Paso Shootings
    Mr. President, we recognize that you are a symptom of our decaying moral fabric and you have ignited a modern day wildfire. The coals of white nationalism are always smoldering in our common life, and they have fueled the violence of indigenous genocide, slavery, lynching and Jim Crow. Stop stoking the fires of violence with racist words and policies. Mr. President, you must repent in word and deed if your leadership is to bring us together, rather than tearing us apart. To Members of Congress and our elected representatives, we ask you to ensure our domestic tranquility. You can take immediate action to stop the President’s racist attacks on immigrants. You can act to ensure voting rights, pass gun reform to keep weapons of war out of our communities, end federal programs that send military equipment to our local and state police departments, pass immigration reform that allows us all to thrive and build up the country, ensure good jobs and living wages and relief from our debts, and guarantee health care and social programs that meet our needs. The lies of white nationalism have prevented action on all of these issues, and those who have enabled the President or remained silent are culpable. As you return to Washington D.C, we call on Congress to honor the August 28 anniversary of the March the Washington and the murder of Emmett Till by passing an Omnibus Bill that offers a comprehensive response to the systemic racism that connects the issues facing 140 million poor and low-wealth people in this country. To all candidates running for President in 2020, we call on you to address both the violence of racism and the policies of racism and white nationalism in the public debates. We ask you to connect these policies of systemic racism to poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy, militarism and a distorted moral narrative that accepts, justifies and perpetuates systemic violence. To our movements and organizations on the ground, do not go back to your silos; instead we must build a moral fusion movement. We have been organizing in separate streams, often along lines of race, issue area or geography, but we need much more than our own fights can win. This is not the time to become entrenched in those divisions. We need to come together across race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, issue, geography and other lines of division to make a fight for everything we need and make sure we are all in – nobody is out. To those who have embraced the lies of white nationalism and racism, we humbly recognize the power of fear. We live in a time when many people do not know if they will have work today or health care tomorrow. Many families do not know what agency is coming for them or their children. We do not know who to trust and have been left to fend for ourselves and whoever we believe to be on our side. Let us find strength in our pain, mourn our losses, and remember that we are all part of a common human family. Let us reject every attempt by politicians and corporate interests to pit us against one another. Let us confess that white nationalism is a myth that has not served most people, even those it claims to protect. Let us fight for each other and for a world where everyone can thrive. To our religious leaders and people of faith, we call on you to offer moral leadership in the public square. If you have condoned the lies of white nationalism or remained silent, you have failed to keep your sacred vows. We ask you to recall the struggles of our ancestors so we can work together to build up a more perfect union in our common life. We call on all people of faith and conscience to sign on to this letter and share it throughout your networks. Let us prevent this violence from defining who we are as a nation and people. Forward together, not one step back. Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, President, Repairers of the Breach and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Director, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union of Reform Judaism Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Red Letter Christians
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  • STOP JAILING CHILDREN AND DEFUND HATE
    As justice-seekers inspired by our faith, we honor the dignity of every person. As Pope Francis said: “These are not mere social or migrant issues… Migrants are first of all human persons.” We affirm the sacred human right of all people to seek asylum. We urge Congress to: --Reduce Funding for Deportation, Detention, and Border Militarization; Support Funding for Refugee Resettlement and Asylum When determining federal appropriations for FY 2020, we urge Congress to reduce funds for CPB and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations. Refuse to provide any additional funding for a border wall; instead allocate resources to support refugee resettlement and access to asylum --Keep Families Together and Invest in Alternatives to Detention We call for an end to family detention this year, by December 2019, and urge Congress to increase funding for less costly, more efficient, community-based alternatives to detention. --Exert Robust Oversight over Detention and Uses of Federal Funding We urge Congress to require additional inspections of ICE facilities, ensure ICE publishes public weekly reports, and create a detention ombudsperson to strengthen oversight. Congress should also prohibit federal funds from being used to: enforce Muslim or refugee bans, deport or detain DACA, TPS, or DED holders, and carry out immigration enforcement operations at “sensitive” locations including schools, churches, and hospitals. We call on President Trump, and all who play a part in these cruel acts, to stop terrorizing our immigrant neighbors and stop tearing families apart. We call on our elected officials in Congress to withhold funding from CBP and ICE that enables them to raid communities, separate families, and detain children and families. We call on immigration enforcement officers and agents to turn away from cruelty and choose compassion.
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  • Take The FOR Truth and Reparations Pledge
    The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), the Truth Telling Project (TTP), Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Coming to the Table (CTTT), representatives from the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), and others have come together to think about how reparations in our lifetime might be possible. It will be possible with you. Take the pledge today! * I pledge to approach reparations as a spiritual journey that speaks to my own humanity and liberation of myself with those most impacted; * I pledge to learn more about how structures and institutions built on slave labor continue to disenfranchise people in the African diaspora and devalue Black lives; * I pledge to learn more about America’s history and its foundation of chattel slavery; * I pledge to acknowledge, I benefit from this gross moral and material harm just by being white in this society; * I pledge to acknowledge and work to heal the moral and material harm of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which continues to manifest harm in Black communities; * I pledge to follow the leadership and be patient with those who are impacted by slavery and its legacy; * I pledge to learn how to participate in reparations in my local community and encourage my networks to do the same; *I pledge to act in ways that limit my complicity in violence against Black People (this may mean divesting in investments that harm Black People); * I pledge to give and support (healing, material goods, assistance) without expectation on how these should be used; * I pledge to give and support in ways that may not always make me feel good, but help me develop as a person and put others first; * I pledge to take this message to my family, friends and community, calling those in with love rather than through guilt; * I enter into this pledge to be a part of the healing necessary to transform this nation’s and my relationship with descendants of the transatlantic slave trade.
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