JPANet May 2020 Newsletter
Getting to the Root of It
Each month, the Justice and Peace Action Network meets to discuss possible topics for the next Getting to the Root. This month we asked the Associate for Global Advocacy and Education at Global Ministries, Rebekah Choate, to help explain the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women in the U.S. and globally. .
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the existing divisions and privileges in our society. As we know, in any disaster or humanitarian emergency, the vulnerable are the ones who suffer the most. (Read more).
Webinar on Environmental Justice & Health Justice Featuring Senator Cory Booker
Statistics and studies have demonstrated the link between COVID-19 death rates and environmental injustice. This May 20th webinar will address this link from three perspectives: scientific research, front line experience, and government response. Senator Cory Booker will be joined by Harvard researcher Francesca Dominici and one of the front line leaders of St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana. Register now!
Support Ecumenical Advocacy Days with Virtual Action and a Donation!
The annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days in D.C. took place online the weekend of April 21. If you missed the live webinar and advocacy training with faith leaders and policy experts, consider watching a recording on the EAD site here, and download ask resources here. CLICK HERE to take action and echo the voice of EAD and also consider a donation to support the ongoing work of this faith-based effort.
Stay in Place, Stay Alive, ORGANIZE: A Call for Moral Non-Cooperation
The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, the Poor People’s Campaign will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. RSVP for June 20th here.
Census 2020 #BeCounted!
People of faith can play an important role in making sure everyone is counted. Our faith reminds us that every person carries within the image of God and every person counts in the well-being of the whole community. Communities of faith are critical in making sure that historically undercounted communities are counted, such as people living in poverty, children under the age of five, immigrant communities, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Latinos, African Americans, and Asian American/Pacific Islanders. The 2020 Census is our chance to shift the historical narrative that has excluded so many from being counted for so long, and move to a more vibrant, inclusive picture of “we the people.”
It is now easier than ever to fill out the census right from home! On the phone, by mail, or online at 2020census.gov. Once you have done this, join us in urging Congress to take an aggressive oversight role calling for transparency in methodology and timing– not truncating the census or using the COVID crisis to manipulate the census count.
Justice in Action
Check Out “The Word is Resistance”
This lectionary podcast for white Christians, coordinated by UCC minister Rev. Anne Dunlap, is from Showing Up for Racial Justice. This Easter season, the contributors are asking: “Who we are meant to be to each other? What do the scriptures say that can support us in shaping a more just, anti-racist, compassionate future out of this pandemic? What is the Covid-19 pandemic revealing that we can learn from? What’s the Word for white Christians in this moment?” Click here for a link to the latest episode.
Organize Now for November
In order to have sufficient time to be effective, one should organize congregation members now to not only vote in November but to vote their values. In 2018, Church of the Covenant in Boston invited those worshipping to take the Creation Care Voter Pledge, a promise to consistently vote one’s values in caring for God’s creation. During the offering, worshippers placed their Creation Care Voter Pledge Cards into the offering plate.
Read, Prepare and Act to Address the Crisis Situation Faced Today
Use this pandemic period as a time to reflect on the gifts churches have to offer in times of crisis. With members of your church, read Cathedral on Fire!: A Church Handbook for the Climate Crisis by the UCC’s Environmental Justice Minister Brooks Berndt. Each chapter in the book has discussion questions and suggested actions for a congregation.
Our Faith Our Vote Resources for You
Amidst the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 elections, once at the forefront of our national news and collective attention, seem a more distant concern. Yet the November elections are in fact more important than ever.
Where we go from here as local communities, as a nation, and as a global community, will be shaped by our engagement in the 2020 elections. It is up to us to make sure everyone is registered, equipped and empowered to vote, especially in marginalized communities, to find ways to talk about the issues in depth, to ask the critical questions of our candidates, and to make sure that we invest in an electoral system that is safe and accessible for all communities. Over the next several months we will be adding resources through the Our Faith Our Vote website to empower individuals and congregations in their engagement.
Here are some awesome tools you can find on our website (www.ourfaithourvote.org):
- The new Civic Action Center! From here you can check your registration status, register online (if permitted in your state), find important election dates, see open polling locations near you, and more;
- The recent webinar: Faithfully making YOU and YOUR VOTE count in the time of COVID;
- Faithful Democracy Webinar: Protecting Our Democracy in the Face of COVID-19, featuring Rev. Traci Blackmon;
- Helpful video on 501© 3 do’s and don’ts for election engagement.
Join the National Officers by signing onto UCC letter denouncing false information promoted by the Trump administration that has led to xenophobia and racist actions taken around the country in the midst of COVID-19. UCC leaders condemned the President’s plan to halt family immigration, see Value our Families alert to write your congressperson. Take action to Urge Congress to support immigrant and refugee communities in the next COVID-19 relief legislation.
The Pollinator is a digital platform of the UCC for the sharing of ideas and inspiration. Its focus is the building of a faith-filled and faith-rooted movement for the care of creation
Witness for Justice
Looking for up-to-date social justice commentary? Check out Witness for Justice, a weekly editorial opinion column written by the staff of Justice and Witness Ministries.