Category Archives: Front Page

Pray for Reparations during Black History Month 2023

Pray for Reparations during Black History Month 2023

Pledge to pray for reparations NOW!

Pray for Reparations

During Black History Month, we invite you to pray that President Biden establishes a Commission to Study Reparations. The H.R. 40 commission is a research study that will be the development of a report and a set of data that will quantify and assess the damage systemic racism has inflicted on the descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States. The study will also make recommendations on the path to repair this damage.

For the past year, you have attended Vigils for Reparation and educated yourselves about H.R. 40 (Commission to Study Reparations).

NETWORK partners in faith, let’s join together and pray that the path to reparations begins this month.

See the prayer here!

Pledge to Pray for Reparations

Joining our prayers, we can urge President Biden to sign the executive order for a reparations commission.

Watch Faith in Reparations Again...and Share it with Friends and Family

Faith leaders led a Spirit-filled call for reparations in November 2022. Watch, re-watch, and share!

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Racism, Reconciliation, and Repair

Racism, Reconciliation, and Repair

Racial Justice is Central to Renewing Society, Politics, and Church

February 1, 2023
On June 15, 2022, NETWORK advocates organized a prayer vigil for reparations at St. Aloysius-St. Agatha Parish in Cleveland, Ohio.
On June 15, 2022, NETWORK advocates organized a prayer vigil for reparations at St. Aloysius-St. Agatha Parish in Cleveland, Ohio.

After a consequential election year, the re-election of Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock of Georgia finalized the composition of the 118th Congress. His election, in many ways, symbolizes how the U.S. struggle toward progress is bound up in how the country deals with racism, white supremacy, and reparatory justice. The election of a Black man in a former Confederate state, while certainly symbolically powerful, doesn’t capture the work undone in securing racial justice in U.S. politics, including in elections themselves.

The first cornerstone of NETWORK’s Build Anew agenda is “Dismantle Systemic Racism,” and its placement rightly suggests that racism must be confronted at every level of our social structures for economic injustices and other wrongs to be fully addressed. The many in-person and online actions taken by NETWORK in 2022 also reflected the central prioritization of racial justice in Catholic Social Justice.

Talk About White Supremacy

Fr. Bryan Massingale

In the second installment of NETWORK’s  White Supremacy and American Christianity event in October, Fr. Bryan Massingale of Fordham University, author of “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church,” dialogued with Dr. Robert P. Jones, founder and CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute. They discussed data gathered by Jones that showed almost half of white evangelicals and almost four in 10 white Catholics in the U.S. believe that their country should be a place that privileges people of European descent and that God intends this.

“That attitude has become hardened and more dangerous,” said Massingale. “What we’re seeing now is a willingness among those who hold that ideology to use any means necessary to achieve that end… a country that says only white Americans are true Americans and all others are Americans only by exception or toleration or not really at all.”

Massingale referenced the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, with a growing number of people questioning the legitimacy of elections themselves and adopting the position of “If my candidate loses, then by defi­nition it was an illegitimate election.” This, coupled with very open use of voter restrictions and voter suppression, as well as the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, made clear to Massingale that “any means necessary” includes political violence.

Concerned that the normalization of political violence is the next stage after voter suppression and election denial, Massingale cited the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drawing a connection to the rhetoric of Christian nationalist rallies across the country in the weeks preceding the attack.

“God’s angel of death is coming,” Massingale noted one rally speaker proclaiming in reference to their political opponents. “Let’s connect the dots here. … One needs to understand that even though people don’t necessarily call for overt political violence, if you say enough about divinely inspired victory and gun rights and God’s angel of death, then we can’t be surprised when people take violent means.”

Massingale also cited the “failure of religious leaders to connect the dots,” noting that Catholic bishops offered only cursory statements in response to the Pelosi attack.

Dr. Ansel Augustine

Massingale’s observations also reflect a Black Catholic doing the work of educating a white, predominately Catholic audience, about the pernicious implications of racism. This is an unfair burden placed on Black people, says Dr. Ansel Augustine — to educate colleagues on racism, while continuing to endure its effects.

Author of the new book, “Leveling the Praying Field: Can the Church We Love, Love Us Back?,” Augustine told Connection, “Ministering in the church, which at times perpetuates this ‘original  sin,’ constantly has us questioning and renewing our commitment to the faith,” Augustine told Connection. “It is tough having to be an ‘expert’ on something that is trying to destroy your dignity as a human being, especially within an institution that is supposed to empower you and be your safe space to simply ‘exist.’”

James Conway, a cradle Catholic in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, notes that the last two years have been different for Black Catholics.

“People no longer seem to be afraid to show any racist tendencies that they may have secretly harbored for years,” he told Connection. “Now it’s just blatant and in your face under the guise of being cultural ignorance.”

He also sees “an uptick in instances of racial aggression and microaggressions against minorities in the church.” He was told by a now former member of his parish that, because they sing gospel music, she would be taking her money and her family elsewhere, and that the parish would be closed within six months without her fi­nancial support. Two years later, the parish is still open.

Focus on Reparations

Sr. Patricia Rogers, OP

The church not living up to its own teaching on human dignity when it comes to race is a problem that goes back centuries, Sr. Patricia Rogers, OP shared in a conversation on NETWORK’s “Just Politics” podcast in November.

She asked, “Why is it that Black Catholic children were denied a Catholic education before the Civil Rights Movement? I never saw a Black nun, and then I learned that the first Black nuns had to establish their own congregations because they were not welcome. And it still makes me wonder, what happened to the dignity of all humans? You just don’t know what to do with that sometimes.”

This raises the question of reparatory justice for harm inflicted over generations and the need for reparations in the U.S. today. In that area, NETWORK has hosted and participated in numerous events, including a June action near the White House calling on President Biden to take executive action to set up a commission on reparations, as called for in H.R. 40, a bill first introduced in Congress in 1989.

Cleo and Yvonne Nettles speak at the June 15 prayer vigil for reparations at St.
Aloysius-St. Agatha Parish in Cleveland.

In June, NETWORK also helped organize an in-person event Repair and Redress: A Vigil for Reparations at St. Aloysius-St. Agatha Parish in Cleveland.  The parish and school community, Sisters, the Cleveland NETWORK Advocates Team, justice-seekers, and NETWORK staff together made a stand for reparations for Black Americans and called for a reparations commission by Juneteenth.

Rev. Traci Blackmon of The United Church of Christ spoke to the theological call to repair a society broken by the sin of chattel slavery and the racism that has followed in its wake, as well as of the need to atone and provide redress.

Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General
Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries
for The United Church of Christ, speaks at
NETWORK‘s reparations vigil in Cleveland.

“The reason we have not reckoned with racism in this country,” she said, is that “decision-makers have decided that God cannot be Black, that God cannot be Brown, that God indeed must be white. And therefore we have created a fractured… society.”

NETWORK continued the push to set up a reparations commission by executive action following the November elections with the event Faith in Reparations.”

“I’m so sick of living in a nation that treats white rage as a sacrament and black grief as a threat,” Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church, said at that event.

“White rage is why we had Jim Crow. White rage is why we had redlining. All of the structures in our nation are built around white rage’s disdain for Black people’s beauty and body and joy,” she continued. “I’m so tired of the permanent pernicious nature of white supremacy in this nation that is now in a wicked dance with Christianity, blessing with Jesus’s name and in the name of God this vile hatred that is always directed to my people.”

Sr. Anita Baird, DHM

Sr. Anita Baird, DHM, founding director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Racial Justice, said:

“Reparations are…about America fulfilling her promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice for all. And until this injustice is acknowledged and rectified, there can be no healing and no moving forward. The Biden administration must uphold its promise to African Americans. It is a matter of justice. It is a matter of life. Now is time.”

The NETWORK community will continue calling on Congress and President Biden to act on their commitments to dismantle racist laws, policies and frameworks, and advance racial equity.

Leticia Ochoa Adams and Elissa Hackerson contributed to this feature.

This story was originally published in the 1st Quarter issue of Connection. Download the full issue here.

The National Black Sisters’ Conference Calls for “Justice for Tyre!”

The National Black Sisters’ Conference Calls for “Justice for Tyre!”

Mary J. Novak and Joan F. Neal
January 31, 2023

On January 30, the National Black Sisters’ Conference (NBSC) published a powerful statement addressing the murder of 29-year old Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers. We join the NBSC in grieving the loss of Tyre Nichols’ life and calling for the immediate passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and reforms to policing at all levels.

Read the National Black Sisters’ Conference Statement on the murder of Tyre Nichols:

DACA is Under Immediate Threat

DACA is Under Immediate Threat

JoAnn Goedert, Ignatian Volunteer Corp Member
Government Relations Special Contributor
October 27, 2022, Updated on January 23, 2023

Previously, JoAnn Goedert shared that DACA was under immediate threat. Sadly, the message in this update remains the same — the policy under which Dreamers have built homes, attended schools, and raised children remains on course to be struck down.

Whether Dreamers are teachers, landscape artists, or doctors, they are integral members of families, churches, and communities. Some people with political and judicial power fail to see their humanity, but we know they are our siblings in God’s beloved community and should not suffer as pawns in court proceedings. 

As JoAnn writes, “Once Judge Hanen issues his final decision, the case almost certainly will be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court.” As people of faith, we must be vigilant in our efforts to protect DACA. Working together, we can overcome the forces who want to remove our neighbors and family members from our country.

NETWORK will let you know when there is action you can take. For now, read on for JoAnn’s update and scroll further for her original blog. 

Updated on January 23, 2023 

Texas v. U.S., et al.: In response to Texas v. U.S., a lawsuit challenging DACA’s legality by a group of Republican state attorneys general, Judge Andrew Hanen in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas ruled in 2021 that DACA is unlawful. He held that DHS failed to follow required regulatory process when it established DACA and that the agency did not have the power to create the program without Congressional legislation. The judge issued an order barring DHS from approving any new DACA applications but he allowed current participants to retain protection under DACA for now. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Judge Hanen’s reasoning and returned the case to him for further proceedings.

In October 2022, Judge Hanen held a hearing where he stated that he would likely decide to end DACA in the near future. His ultimate decision has been delayed, however, to give the parties an opportunity to file additional briefs in the case. At this time, we don’t expect movement until mid-Spring. DACA is under immediate threat and daily life for DACA recipients remains in jeopardy.

What Happens Next: In the October hearing, Judge Hanen reiterated that current DACA participants can continue in the program and apply for renewals, but that DHS cannot accept any new DACA applications. This means that current DACA holders still have all of the program’s protections. Once Judge Hanen issues his final decision, the case almost certainly will be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court. This process will likely extend into 2024, and it is hoped that, at least, the courts will allow the program to continue for current DACA participants during this time. Meanwhile, we know the Biden Administration is exploring alternative protections for Dreamers in preparation for negative court actions.

Congress’ Failure: As in earlier Congresses, legislation was introduced in 2021 to give DACA recipients permanent U.S. residency status. There was some hope, too, that Congress would act to ensure the program’s future during the final weeks of 2022. But once again, legislative efforts failed. There is little optimism that the program will fare better in the 118th Congress. Given the worrying signs from both the courts and Congress, we must all heed the warning of DACA advocates at United We Dream: “DACA is dying.”

October 27, 2022

10 Years of DACA: After repeated efforts to reform the U.S. immigration system failed—for lack of adequate Republican support—President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. DACA has provided children brought to this country in violation of established federal immigration law protection from deportation, employment authorization, and access to Social Security and Medicare benefits.  It has been a lifeline to young immigrants, also known as Dreamers, who came to the U.S. as children with undocumented status. While 800,000 participants have been able to build a life in this country under the program, DACA is under immediate threat, its future is in jeopardy.

The Trump Administration’s Attack on DACA: In 2017, the Trump administration cruelly attempted to rescind DACA, but the Supreme Court ruled that the rescission did not comply with the federal Administrative Procedures Act and narrowly upheld the program’s continuation. DACA has endured with support from the Biden Administration which recently issued proposed regulations–scheduled to take effect on October 31–under the APA to continue DACA permanently.   

The Current Threat to DACA in the Courts: Nonetheless, a group of Republican state attorneys general filed yet another challenge to DACA in a federal district court in Texas. In July 2021, Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that DACA is unlawful on the grounds that DHS did not follow proper APA procedures when it established the program, and that the agency lacked the authority to establish the program without Congressional authorization. The judge issued an injunction barring DHS from approving new DACA applications, but allowed current participants to continue in the program.

On appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, known for its conservatism, upheld Judge Hanen’s decision. However, with the DHS’s new DACA regulations set to kick in on October 31, the Court of Appeals remanded the case to Judge Hanen for further consideration. 

What Happens Next:  In a hearing last week, Judge Hanen indicated that, despite the new regulations, he will very likely decide to end DACA in the near future. His final decision has not been issued yet, so current DACA participants can continue in the program and apply for renewals.  However, there is little reason for optimism.  As DACA advocates at United We Dream have warned, “DACA is dying.”

Judge Hanen’s signal makes it clear that DACA is under immediate threat. It is crucial that the Biden administration and Congress act to ensure the program’s future with immediate legislation. Congress will return shortly after the Midterm elections. Faith communities, and all people of good will, must advocate for DACA legislation this year to provide permanent protection for our nation’s Dreamers.

Listen to Season 1 of Just Politics Podcast!

Listen to Season One of Just Politics Podcast!

January 23, 2023

Just Politics podcast season 1 logo

Our first season of the Just Politics podcast, produced in collaboration with U.S. Catholic magazine, is complete! This exciting new avenue for our political ministry wrapped up its inaugural seven-episode season earlier this month.

Throughout Season 1, our hosts — Colin Martinez Longmore, Sr. Eilis McCulloh HM, Joan F. Neal, and Sr. Emily TeKolste SP — spoke with Catholic Sisters, Members of Congress, and other justice-seekers on the path toward building a more just politics.

Episodes explored topics at the intersection of U.S. politics and the Catholic faith, including racismelections, immigration, and care for families.

You can listen on the U.S. Catholic website, as well as on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe, and join the conversation about #JustPoliticsPod on social media!

STAY TUNED: We’re happy to share that the first episode of Season 2 will start Monday, February 6! 

Webinar Recording: Unpacking NETWORK’s 2022 Voting Record

Unpacking the 2022 Voting Record Webinar

Meg Olson
January 19, 2023

Watch the recording of our recent webinar “Unpacking NETWORK’s 2022 Voting Record: The Deep Need for Repair” — then take action!

Next, take action!

Visit our 2022 Voting Record web page where you can

2022 Voting Record

2022 Congressional Voting Record

At the start of each new year, NETWORK staff compiles an assessment of Congress’s voting record. The 2022 Voting Record is our evaluation of Members of Congress based on the votes they cast to advance, or thwart, social justice policy and our Build Anew agenda. Take action for justice and deliver your Members of Congress’s 2022 Voting Record results in January or February 2023.

Webinar Recording & PDF
Let Congress know what you think about the 2022 Voting Record

Email Congress

We’ve got great news: 270 current Members of Congress scored 100% on the 2022 Voting Record! Can you act now to reach out to Members?

Legislators who scored 100% deserve praise, and it is vital that we hold those who received a less-than-perfect score accountable. And, as new Members begin their work on Capitol Hill, advocates must let them know about NETWORK’s Voting Record!

Will you send a quick email to let your Members of Congress know how you feel about their Voting Record? Don’t worry about what to say, we’ve prepared a message that you can edit. Click below!

Deliver the Record

NETWORK advocates (like you!) will deliver Voting Records to Members of Congress in January and February in-person, on Zoom, and by email. Thank you for helping to create the multi-faith, multiracial democracy we must build anew so that we can all thrive.

Note: NETWORK creates special Voting Record certificates of excellence for Members of Congress with a 100% Voting Record score. 

There are three ways to deliver the NETWORK 2022 Voting Record. Be sure to sign up for one of them. Click below!

Download the 2022 Voting Record

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NETWORK Welcomes H.R.51 for D.C. Statehood Re-Introduction

NETWORK Welcomes H.R.51 for D.C. Statehood Re-Introduction 

Update:

On January 24, 2023, Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, led a group of Senate Democrats in reintroducing S.51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state and give Washington D.C. citizens full representation in Congress. This legislation is the Senate companion to H.R.51, introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia.

Minister Christian Watkins
January 18, 2023

On January 9, 2023, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) introduced H.R.51, the Washington D.C. Admission Act, to the 118th Congress. The bill was introduced with 165 original cosponsors, which Rep. Norton noted was the most cosponsors of any bill introduced that day.

Rep. Norton has introduced this bill on the first day of every Congress for decades. Each time it has gained more support. In June 2019, the D.C. Statehood Bill passed the House for the first time and it passed again in April 2021, with NETWORK Spirit-filled justice-seekers adding their voices to the call for D.C. Statehood.

NETWORK strongly supports the movement for D.C. statehood to uphold every citizen’s right and responsibility to participate in the political process as an expression of their inherent human dignity.

D.C. Statehood is a Racial Justice Issue

Voting representation is the foundation of our democracy, and if passed into law, this legislation would finally extend it to the people of D.C. With a majority Black and brown politically active population currently disenfranchised from representation, D.C. statehood is a racial justice issue.

The District houses nearly 700,000 citizens, a larger population than states like Wyoming and Vermont. All D.C. residents pay federal taxes and fulfill all other obligations of American citizenship and yet are denied full representation in our Congress and full local self-government.

As Rep. Norton noted when introducing the bill, “The United States was founded on the principles of no taxation without representation and consent of the governed, but D.C. residents are taxed without representation and cannot vote on the laws under which they, as American citizens, must live.” Many believe that establishing The District as a state will abolish the permanent seat of the federal government. But H.R. 51 does not abolish the national capital — it only shrinks it, making a new state of the District’s non-federal area.

Last year, the Biden administration committed its “strong support” for H.R.51 in a statement of administration policy and President Biden has promised to sign it into law if passed by Congress. Ending the continued disenfranchisement of a non-minority Black jurisdiction that has left hundreds of thousands of Americans without representation in Congress must become a reality. Congress must take this opportunity to correct this injustice and pass D.C. Statehood in both the House and the Senate during the 118th Congress.

 

* Currently, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton serves as a delegate, a non-voting representative to the United States House of Representatives. In the 118th Congress, the House has six non-voting members: a delegate representing the District of Columbia, a resident commissioner representing Puerto Rico, as well as one delegate for American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Delegates can introduce legislation and vote in committee, but generally cannot vote the passage of legislation in the full House.

Biden Administration Restored Pre-Trump Era Public Charge Regulations

Did Congress Strive for Economic and Social Transformation with the 2022 Omnibus Law?

As we begin a new year, NETWORK looks back to see whether Congress made inroads in economic and social transformation with the 2022 Omnibus Law. Every person in our country, whether they live on a sprawling estate, in a farmhouse along a country road, or in a public housing development, should have the resources they need to care for themselves and their families. Sadly, we know that lobbyists and dark money special interests work with some elected officials to block policies that would create just laws and equitable access to economic prosperity.

But NETWORK’s community of justice-seekers know that we can have just and equitable communities where all of us–not just the rich and powerful–can have thriving lives. When we work together and join our efforts with others who share our vision for a multi-racial democracy, we can bring about the economic and social transformation for which we strive.

One of the most important pieces of legislation for the Build Anew agenda last year was the $1.7 trillion FY2022 Omnibus. This bipartisan end-of-year spending package made significant investments in healthcare, housing, criminal legal systems reform as well as critical democracy reforms and investments in voting infrastructure to ensure free and fair elections.

For months, NETWORK advocates across the country (like you!) lobbied Congress to include policy priorities in the Omnibus package like the expanded Child Tax Credit, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented community members. Justice-seekers called, emailed, and tweeted to Congress, wrote Letters to the Editor, and attended rallies, to advocate for a federal budget that supports just and equitable communities where everyone can thrive. Thank you for your advocacy!

An Overview: Where did Congress Invest in Economic and Social Transformation with the 2022 Omnibus Law?

A Check List: Where did Congress Invest in Economic and Social Transformation with the 2022 Omnibus Law?Congress made significant progress toward eonomic and social transformational changes with the 2022 Omnibus in healthcare and housing. Medicaid recipients in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories, and Black mothers who are unable to pay for maternal healthcare receive more aid. For example, Medicaid coverage for new moms is guaranteed for 12 months and infants cannot be removed from Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, for a continuous 12 months, even if their family’s income changes.

Housing measures support people experiencing homelessness, public housing voucher recipients, people in rural communities, and homeowners.

Movement toward justice in the omnibus legislation is also noted in criminal legal system reforms where new laws bridge significant racial equity gaps in health care, access to housing, and equity in the judiciary and police forces. We hope the funding leads to improved health outcomes and treatment by the criminal legal system for Black, brown and indigenous communities.

The omnibus also includes critical democracy reforms that shore up Presidential elections (Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2022) and a $75M investment in election security grants to ensure all votes are counted by continuing provisions from the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Sometimes, Policy Not Included in a Bill is a Positive Result

NETWORK celebrates the harm avoided in the omnibus. For example, the continued misuse of Title 42 cannot be part of a fair, humane asylum process. It was not codified into law thanks to Democratic Members of Congress who rebuked attempts to incorporate outdated public health policy into permanent immigration law.

Movement Toward Justice in a Polarized Congress

We are disappointed that significant NETWORK priorities were left out of the package but appreciate that Congress took steps toward social and economic reform with some of the omnibus investments. Ultimately, the bipartisan passage of the FY2022 omnibus package was a significant accomplishment in a polarized Congress.

The leadership of Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT), now retired, and House Appropriations Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) allowed Congress to reach an agreement and fund the government before the end of the year. However, it is unacceptable that more Members of Congress did not support including needed policies like a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the expanded Child Tax Credit, and the EQUAL Act.

NETWORK will continue making these issues top legislative priorities into the future and – with your help – continue building support for these common-good policies in the 118th Congress.

Reclaim Rev. King’s Dream, Repair What Has Been Broken

Reclaim Rev. King’s Dream, Repair What Has Been Broken

A Recommittal to Build Anew

After a restless and tumultuous midterm election year, we entered 2023 with bated breath and anxiety over what is to come. The initial days of this 118th Congress provided negligible relief. Four days of disputatious debate and back-room negotiations making international headlines, demonstrations of ineffective leadership, and stirring spectacles of brute disputes in the House chamber were newsworthy manifestations of similar occurrences on the local, state and federal level that we have seen for too many years to count. Not to mention remembering January 6th, the insurrection’s aftereffects, investigation, and repudiation thereof. Politically, these past 16 days have been a whirlwind, and we have 349 to go.

One of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s final socio-theological inquiries remains with us nearly 55 years after his ascent to the ancestral realm. “Where do we go from here: chaos or community?” This decades-long question needs a robust, faith-filled response THIS year. Ourselves, our children, and the whole of Creation deserve it. Future generations depend on it.

Beyond Rev. King’s Civil Rights movement accolades, and even beyond his consistently brilliant articulation and yearning for the church and society to realize what it means to truly be the “Beloved Community,” he helped us to understand more fully the essence of human dignity and worth, and the importance for these to be enacted among all of us if we will ever be all that God calls us to be.

The sacred interconnectedness of our diversely complicated existences cannot be ignored. Our nation and “world house” are in peril. The inescapable mutuality of our problems and robust solutions to resolve them for our destiny’s sake must be a priority. This holiday is not just to be a means for rest, but a day of remembrance and service towards that end. Moreover, we must not be so distracted and dismayed by the antics of this and previous years to forget the many accomplishments of yesteryear.

Some of the accomplishments towards building the “Beloved Community” include: 

Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act meant to curb inflation by reducing the deficit, lowering prescription drug prices, and investing into domestic energy production while promoting clean energy. Enactment of a  $1.2 trillion infrastructure package which drastically increased investment in the national network of bridges and roads, airports, public transport, national broadband internet, as well as waterways and energy systems. President Biden appointing the highest number of federal judges since Reagan. Re-joining the international Paris Climate Accord, which President Trump had parted ways with, allowing the U.S. to restart and improve its commitment to combatting climate change, working with global players to thwart the climate’s deterioration. We cannot forget that President Biden started his term signing into law the American Rescue Plan. The law kept millions of families housed while Covid-19 ravaged the country. The list of legislative accomplishments goes on, and none could have been possible without your commitment to the practice of caring for those people and families too often judged as “the least of these.” Reflecting on these achievements must refuel our fervor for faithful advocacy.

As we look forward to future acts of making Justice possible by the works of our hands, feet, and voices, we must recommit to repairing what has been broken through an unwavering recommitment to build anew. While NETWORK remains steadfast to the prevailing priorities of social justice and racial equity, our policy advocacy is rooted in repairing what has been broken since the Doctrine of Discovery was signed, for the benefit of future generations that will follow. We welcome your collaboration on ending poverty and a progressive pursuit of reparations, repairing and strengthening the Voting Rights Act, and advancing robust criminal legal system reforms. Your participation in working to eliminate hunger and houselessness, assuring that labor is not in vain and equitably compensated, guaranteeing the “more than haves” pay their fair share into our nation’s support systems to adequately care for those who have not, and more!

Rev. Dr. King’s legacy proclaims, “We are now making the choices which will determine whether we can achieve these goals in forthcoming decades. We cannot afford to make these choices poorly.” We are now making the choices which will determine whether we can achieve these goals in forthcoming decades. We cannot afford to make these choices poorly.

We can do better! Our existence demands we must do better! Will you journey with us until we realize what Brother Martin saw on the Mountain Top?