Category Archives: Sister Spirit

The Tragic Killing of Tyre Nichols Must Lead to Police Reform

The Tragic Killing of Tyre Nichols Must Lead to Police Reform

The Tragic Killing of Tyre Nichols Must Lead to Police Reform

Min. Christian S. Watkins, Government Relations Advocate and Elissa Hackerson, Digital Communications Coordinator
February 1, 2023

“Our country has mishandled public safety challenges with racist policies and practices that have made us all less safe and secure, like: hyper-militarized law enforcement of Black and Brown neighborhoods, overly aggressive — and sometimes deadly — policing tactics…”

‐No More Unsafe Policing Bills. It’s Time For Data-Driven Public Safety Solutions (August 2022)

Tyre Nichols from Memphis, Tennessee should be working a shift at FedEx, eating a meal at his mother’s table, or editing pictures for his online photography website, but his life was stolen by those sworn to protect and serve. Memphis police officers brutally beat Tyre so severely on January 7 that they caused organ failure and cardiac arrest. His death three days later led to the arrest of five Memphis police officers who face multiple charge,s including second degree murder. An additional two police officers have been suspended, and three Memphis Fire Department personnel have been fired for their failure to provide care to Tyre. This is not enough. Policies and practices that prevent law enforcement nationwide from using brutal force to subdue, and kill, unarmed Black bodies are needed now!  

The death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black father, son, and brother, has rocked our nation. His beaten body laying lifeless in the street after a traffic stop is evidence that the United States needs drastic policing reform. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, and the others we call by name because of police violence — and the blessed souls whose names we don’t know — should have been cause for reform. People of faith, and all those with an interest in justice and the common good, recognize that interactions with police, especially a non-violent traffic stop, should not leave a man dead. In Memphis, where about 65% of the population is Black, there has been tension between Black people and the police who have who have behaved as predators, not public safety officers for decades.

Tyre’s death by heinous law enforcement violence once again focuses the national spotlight on the danger Black lives face when confronted by police power. In a recent statement, the National Black Sisters’ Conference (NBSC) asks, “How will this modern-day Black genocide be eradicated? Where do we go from here?” For the NBSC, the solution lies in comprehensive action from Congress, the Department of Justice, and local and state law enforcement agencies.

We join the call for action that NBSC proposes. The tragic murder of Tyre Nichols must lead to police reform in our country.

Tyre Nichols Lived a Thriving Life

We are inspired by the stories shared by friends and family that reveal his passion for life, the joy he felt for the natural world, and his compassion and humanity. Tyre was over six feet tall and loved to eat his mother’s cooking, though he was underweight at about 145 pounds due to Crohns disease. He grew up in Sacramento, California guided by a free spirit that drew him to skateboarding and youth groups, and the communities that existed around his passions. A childhood friend said, “Every church knew him; every youth group knew him.” In California and Tennessee, people shared that he exuded a special light and was a kind soul. And he was fiercely loved by family, especially his mother, RowVaughn Wells.

Tyre lived with his parents in a modest single-family home in a peaceful Black community. The police who detained him claimed he was driving recklessly in the area leading into his neighborhood. The abuse he suffered by an overly aggressive police officer who used a taser on him despite his efforts to comply with their orders, caused him to flee toward safety. Officers pursued him and savagely attacked him. Tyre Nichols’ thriving life neared its end within earshot of his mother’s home as police, emergency medical technicians, and a firefighter neglected to tend to the trauma he endured just three doors down from her home.

Tyre should be alive today. He should be at his regular Starbucks meet up with friends., He should be in his happy place — skateboarding at Tobey Skate Park and taking pictures of the sunsets he loved. You can see Tyre’s photography here. No traffic stop should end in execution. Tyre Nichols’ life mattered.

We Are Called to Reform Racist Violence, Policies, and Practices

NETWORK’s Build Anew agenda envisions reform to our criminal legal system. Our communities are not helped, but harmed, by military weapons recycled for street use by law enforcement. Violence eclipses the freedom to thrive that all families, men, and women should have in their neighborhoods. We resolve to grieve with purpose and educate all in our political ministry to advocate for the end of dangerous police powers, which has a long history in the United States.

Whether we drive through communities of expensive homes, public housing apartments, or modest single-family communities (like the one in which Tyre lived), we expect to reach our destination safely — even when we interact with police – no matter the color of our skin. Far too often, Black and Brown lives are traumatized by public safety officers who fail to see humanity in Black bodies and inflict harm, and even death.

We know our communities will be safer without militarized police units and the continuation of qualified immunity, but some leaders equate public safety with “tough on crime” police policies and procedures based on racist ideas about Black and Brown bodies. Those who want vengeance, and not justice, point out that more white people are killed by police than Black people. While this is true, the rate at which Black people die at the hands of police is more than double that of whites.

Statistic: Rate of fatal police shootings in the United States from 2015 to December 2022, by ethnicity (per million of the population per year) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

White and well-resourced people of all races gladly cede outsized powers to the police as they carry on with violence and intimidation in Black and Brown communities. But, they would surely balk if chokeholds, excessive taser use, and other overly-aggressive tactics for traffic stops were to happen in their communities.

Last summer, we wrote that hyper-militarized law enforcement can be overly aggressive, and their deadly tactics can harm families and communities. The Memphis police officers who violently attacked Tyre were members of the SCORPION (Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods) unit. SCORPION was created in November 2021 with a mandate to control rising crime in Memphis, and its tactics sadly fit this description. We must end violent policing and make our country a place where our rights are respected and where every one of us can live full and healthy lives.

Building Anew So Everyone Can Thrive

Justice-seekers guided by faith and the common good can do something about the shameful policy policies that must be reformed. We can push Congress to preserve law and order and respect the life and dignity given to us by Our Creator.

After the horrific death of George Floyd in May 2020, calls for justice were heard across our country. Since then, however, the litany of names of those whose lives were taken by police violence, most recently Anthony Lowe Jr. in southern California, have failed to move our country to action. Over the past three years, Congress has not reached agreement on a bill that would protect Black lives and put us on a path to end brutal deaths by law enforcement.

The House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but it failed to pass the Senate during the 117th Congress. While no-knock law enforcement warrants, chokeholds, and other reforms were considered, the Senate could not come to an agreement, in large part because of qualified immunity. There are better, data-driven ways of assuring public safety in the United States. Lawmakers must act to remove military-grade weapons from local law enforcement departments, to train law enforcement with a national standard for appropriate apprehension, restraint, and care for detainees, and to end the policy of qualified immunity, which has shielded police from being held accountable for their actions. Present and future generations depend on community-oriented practices becoming the standard.

We know you, like all of us at NETWORK, grieve with RowVaughn and her family. While she navigates the path to justice for her son, join us as we urge Congress to act to end racist and inhumane policing tactics. We hold Tyre close to our hearts as we continue to hold all who have lost their lives because of racist police violence.

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:

Sr. Cora Marie Billings, RSM

Black Sisters Testify: The Real Work of Belonging

Black Sisters Testify: The Real Work of Belonging


November 29, 2022
Sr. Cora Marie Billings, RSM

Sr. Cora Marie Billings, RSM

Sr. Cora Marie Billings, RSM, has spent her life knowing the weight of being the “first” or the “only.” The first Black Sister to join her religious community and the first Black Sister to lead a U.S. parish, to name only two such distinctions, she is also a co-founder of the National Black Sisters’ Conference.

Living in Richmond since the early ’80s, Sr. Cora Marie has served as a campus minister at Virginia State, as head of the diocesan office of Black Catholics, and for 14 years as the pastoral coordinator of St. Elizabeth’s parish, where she still attends.

Sr. Cora Marie shared with NETWORK her reflections on what it means to be a Black Sisters serving in the U.S., with all of the history and cultural proclivities wrapped up in that.

Sr. LaKesha Church, CPPS

Black Sisters Testify: Example of Love and Healing

Black Sisters Testify: Example of Love and Healing

Briana Jansky
November 20, 2022

Sr. LaKesha Church, CPPS

When LaKesha Church was a young girl, she had a close relationship with God. As a convert to the Catholic faith and temporarily professed with the Sisters of the Precious Blood, her relationship with God is stronger than ever. For Sr. LaKesha, maintaining her close, personal relationship with God and serving others has always been central to discerning God’s will for her life.

Growing up in the Missionary Baptist church, she quickly found that she had a servant’s heart. She was heavily involved in youth ministry. Encouraged by her mother, she became involved in church ministry and worship services regularly and grew in her faith. Later, she volunteered with the Peace Corps, serving in Botswana, Africa.

This knack for service and willingness to follow God led Sr. LaKesha to begin discerning her vocation early on, even before she became Catholic. Now, as a fourth-grade teacher St. Adelaide Academy in Highland, California, she carries her servant’s heart into the classroom daily with her students to show them Christ and to help them become competent citizens.

Like most African American sisters, Sr. LaKesha experienced her fair share of rejection during the discernment process. Historically, Black Sisters have faced difficulty and resistance to professing vows within the church. Many sisters, such as Henriette Delille and Mary Lange, founded their unique religious orders after being rejected by all-white communities, and today, less than 3 percent of Catholic Sisters are African American. Most of them still experience racism, discrimination, and rejection.

Sr. LaKesha had a similar experience that led to a turning point in her discernment process. After one particularly hurtful experience at a “come and see” event, she found herself ready to throw in the towel. Although she felt discouraged, she still felt led to pray to God.

“I think I’m done, Lord. But if you’re not done, then let me know,” she prayed. No sooner than she uttered those words, she received a phone call from the Sisters of the Precious Blood inviting her to come and discern with them.

Sr LaKesha Church, CPPS, stands in front of St. Boniface Church, a place where she finds herself often praying with the saints.

While discerning one’s vocation can often be confusing, Sr. LaKesha has found ways to help with clarity. Along with meeting with a spiritual director and learning the language of discernment, Sr. LaKesha believes in the power of prayer and the intercession of the saints.

“I believe in the power of continual prayer, especially before the Eucharist,” she says. “Through those channels I have been able to hear God’s voice.”

For Black women considering discerning religious life, Sr. LaKesha confidently recommends finding support with the National Black Sisters’ Conference. Founded in 1968 by Sr. Martin de Porres Grey (Patricia Grey Ph.D.), the NBSC has offered education and support to African American religious sisters. The NBSC has extended valuable support to Sr. LaKesha during her discernment.

Sister LaKesha says that living in community “can be a challenge and a struggle, but also a gift.” As she spent time in various congregational houses, she learned more about herself and how to live in community with others. She says, “I’m still learning! Relationship building is a lifelong process.”

In addition to the National Black Sisters’ Conference and the Sisters of the Precious Blood, Sr. LaKesha has also found strength in the saints. She likes to ask for intercession from St. Teresa of Ávila and Mary Undoer of Knots.

As she continues to discern religious life, Sr. Lakesha has a few goals in mind. First, she wants to be herself fully, united through vows. In terms of being herself, she means her authentically Black self and all that her experience as a Black sister has to offer to the life of the church and others. These experiences include her suffering, joy, intelligence, wit, and culture.

Sr. LaKesha Church, CPPS, distributes ashes to her students.

Sr. LaKesha Church, CPPS, distributes ashes to her students.

She also wants to continue teaching her students what it means to be a life-giving, reconciling presence in the church. As the church grapples with issues such as racism and division, she wants to teach them integrity, unity, and what it means to respect the human person. She understands that part of her mission and calling to serve is to help guide her students along the path as they journey their way closer to Christ and with others.

For Sr. LaKesha, a healed church looks like the communion of saints: “Jesus did not judge or cast the first stone. He loved everyone. If we can truly imitate him, we will be healed.”

For her, it’s crucial to be this example of love and healing to her students. In her words, it is essential to be a life-giving example of what it means to imitate Christ. “I have to teach my students about Christ and his love. He encountered people with love, and he dignified them.”

Briana Jansky is a freelance writer and author from Texas.

Action to Take After Watching Faith in Reparations

You've Seen the Conversation, Now What Can You Do?

Here's an action to take after watching Faith in Reparations

Tell President Biden

NOW is the time to sign an executive order for a reparations commission.

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

Keep Up with NETWORK

Faith Speaker Bios

Sister Anita Baird, DHM

Sr. Anita is a member of the Religious Congregation of the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary having served as Regional Superior, Provincial Councilor, and most recently as United States Provincial. A trail blazer and history maker, Sister Anita became the first African American to serve as Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of Chicago in 1997. In 2000, Cardinal Francis George appointed her the founding director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Racial Justice. 

She is a past president of the National Black Sisters’ Conference,  and recipient of the organization’s Harriet Tubman “Moses of Her People” Award. Since 2001, Anita has traveled the country preaching at parish revivals, directing retreats, and presenting anti-racism workshops.   

Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein

Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein has written and taught extensively about the case for slavery reparations in Torah and Rabbinic literature, including in a 2018 article, “The Torah Case for Reparations”. Aryeh is a fifth-generation Chicago South Sider who works as National Jewish Educator for Avodah and Educational Consultant for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. 

Aryeh is a Senior Editor of Jewschool.com and a member of the Tzedek Lab. Aryeh studied at several institutions of higher rabbinical studies and was ordained by Rabbi Daniel Landes’s Yashrut Institute.

Dr. Iva Carruthers

Dr. Iva E. Carruthers is General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC), an interdenominational organization within the African American faith tradition focused on justice and equity issues. SDPC is both a 501c3 and United Nations Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). As founding CEO and a trustee of SDPC, she has steered the organization as a unique, influential and esteemed network of faith based advocates and activists, clergy and lay. Former director of the Black Theology Project, Dr. Carruthers has a long history of teaching, engagement in community development initiatives and social justice ministry, fostering interdenominational and interfaith dialogue and leading study tours for the university and church throughout in the United States, Caribbean, South America and Africa.

Dr. Carruthers is Professor Emeritus and former Chairperson of the Sociology Department at Northeastern Illinois University and was founding President of Nexus Unlimited, an information and educational technology firm. She was appointed to the White House Advisory Council on the internet, “National Information Infrastructure”, Mega Project and the educational software she developed was awarded a ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award. She is also founder of Lois House, an urban retreat center, Chicago, Illinois.

Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis 

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis—Author, Activist, and Public Theologian—is the Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a multiracial, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City that is driven by Love. Period. Jacqui is the author of several books, including her latest: Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Ferocious Courage and Rule Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World. Jacqui earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and earned a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Psychology and Religion from Drew University. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she is the first African American and first woman senior minister in the Collegiate Church of New York, which was founded in 1628.

Middle Church and Jacqui have been featured in media such as The TODAY Show; Good Morning America; The Takeaway; The Brian Lehrer Show; and in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Her podcasts include Love.Period., which is produced by the Center for Action and Contemplation, and The Four—a fearsome faith foursome talking about Black Life, Love, Power and Joy, with Otis Moss III, Lisa Sharon Harper and Michael-Ray Mathews. 

Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner serves as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. He has led the Religious Action Center since 2015. Rabbi Pesner also serves as Senior Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism, a position to which he was appointed to in 2011. Named one of the most influential rabbis in America by Newsweek magazine, he is an inspirational leader and tireless advocate for social justice. 

Rabbi Pesner’s work has focused on encouraging Jewish communities to reach across lines of race, class, and faith in campaigns for social justice. In 2006, he founded Just Congregations (now incorporated into the Religious Action Center), which engaged clergy, professional, and volunteer leaders in interfaith efforts in pursuit of social justice. Rabbi Pesner was a primary leader in the successful Massachusetts campaign for health care access that has provided health care coverage to hundreds of thousands and which became a nationwide model for reform. Over the course of his career, he has also led and supported campaigns for racial justice, economic opportunity, immigration reform, LGBTQ equality, human rights, and a variety of other causes. He is dedicated to building bridges to collectively confront anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate and bigotry.

Black Sisters Testify: Interview with Sinsinawa Dominican Sr. Patricia Rogers

Black Sisters Testify: Full Length Interview with Sinsinawa Dominican Sr. Patricia Rogers

November 11, 2022

In the fifth episode of Just Politics, Sr. Emily, Sr. Eilis, and Colin talk to Sinsinawa Dominican Sr. Patricia Rogers, who shares her insight as a Black Catholic Sister and a community leader in Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood. 

This November, NETWORK observes Black Catholic History Month in collaboration with the National Black Sisters Conference, centering the voices of Black Sisters and sharing their testimonies with our spirit-filled network of justice-seekers.

Find more: networklobby.org/black-catholic-history-month

A youtube screenshot showing peoples' faces

An Election-Time Prayer

An Election-Time Prayer

Sr. Erin Zubal, OSU
November 7, 2022

In the third episode of Just Politics podcast, our hosts discuss the importance of being a “Pope Francis Voter” and NETWORK Chief of Staff Sr. Erin Zubal offered this prayer.

Listen to the entire episode on  Apple | Google | Spotify.

O Lord,

We turn to you in these days before our country’s elections.

We know that your ways are not our ways and that your wisdom surpasses any human understanding.

We also know that – as a wise woman once said – the Holy Spirit does not have much use for comfort zones. And the systems and structures that we associate with stability and well being, we have also foolishly come to associate with permanence. Help us in our fear, and help us to see that we too, have a part to play.

We also believe that we are working to build up your kin-dom, and that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. And we know that, when chaos and lawlessness prevail, the most vulnerable among us suffer the most harm. Help us to feel the hope that encourages us to keep laboring, to keep building, to keep trusting in you.

Free us from the defeatism that says no amount of effort will ever make a difference. Save us from the cynicism that says people will do the wrong thing if it’s in their best interest.

Be with the people of our country as we contemplate the Signs of Our Times and discern our choice of elected leaders for the years ahead. Awaken in our souls a yearning for your tenderness and compassion manifested in the world. Spark in our hearts a solidarity for those who are most in need and pushed to the margins. Quench the destructive will to power and cultural dominance that too many of us have mistaken for your Good News.

Give us wisdom as we show up to vote.

May we see you at work in whatever happens. Reassure us with your faithfulness and the constancy found only in you. Surprise us with your lavish goodness.

May Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, intercede for us.

Amen

Sr. Barbara Beasley, RGS

Black Sisters Testify: To Oppressed People, Let Us Bring New Life

Black Sisters Testify: To Oppressed People, Let Us Bring New Life

Sr. Barbara Beasley, RGS
November 1, 2022
Sr. Barbara Beasley, RGS

Sr. Barbara Beasley, RGS

When I think about my own story and the story of every Black woman religious, there is a unifying theme, whatever the congregation we have membership in: We all testify that we have experienced the hand of God laid on us and a strong invitation to follow, to surrender to being loved by God and called to love and serve God’s people and to live together in a way that generates life.

The power of God’s call has been, and continues to be, the “why” and the “how” behind the determination and courage to move into the storm, whatever it feels like, whatever its form.

I often fall back to the beautiful lyrics by Curtis Burrell:

“I don’t feel no ways tired.

Come too far from where I started from.

Nobody told me that the road would be easy.

I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”

In 1968, when the National Black Sisters’ Conference was founded, I was 30 years old and had been perpetually professed for three years. For that first meeting I traveled from Denver to Pittsburgh, to the Mercy Sisters’ campus to meet about 100 of myself! Although I had not seen many other Black Sisters before, I knew immediately the feeling of home.

Sister Martin De Porres Grey, RSM, was the woman of vision who convened us. Together we reclaimed (or reaffirmed) our identity, with the realization that Blackness is Gift to ourselves, our people, our congregations, the church, and beyond. From that first meeting until now, I have seen NBSC as a support and resource for the continuing growth of Black women religious, an advocate for justice for all people and a voice of conscience within the structure of the Catholic Church.

Nearly 40 years after the founding of NBSC, in 2007, Dr. Shannen Dee Williams stumbled upon an old news article, with a photo of four smiling African-American nuns at the first NBSC meeting. Dr. Williams was intrigued to discover that Black Catholic Sisters existed, not to mention that this large group of them had met to strategize on how to strengthen their impact for the sake of the liberation of their people.

As historian and educator, Dr. Williams knew she needed to find out more about these women, but little did she know that her own life would be radically changed by the work she was about to undertake. Her research led her to locate and interview the hidden storytellers who knew the story of the foundation of NBSC and wanted to share it.

Dr. Williams eventually tracked down Dr. Patricia Grey, formerly Sr. Martin De Porres, founder of NBSC. Dr. Grey’s prophetic words to Shannen were: If you can, tell the whole story of Black nuns in the United States. “Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Struggle for Freedom” did indeed tell the whole story.

As I read the book, what stirred a strong and painful reaction in me was the narrative of the foundation of the three Black religious Orders: the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of the Holy Family, and the Franciscan Handmaids of Mary. No doubt it would be terribly difficult for small bands of Black women doing works of mercy on behalf of oppressed people. To those served by the Sisters, education, health care, social services, and advocacy would serve as lights on the path to a new life.

What was so deeply painful was the description of the outrage and resistance by white nuns to the mere thought of African-American women becoming consecrated religious in the Catholic Church and offering the ministry they were called to give. That the three Black Congregations are alive today gives witness to the mighty power of God’s Spirit ablaze within these faith-filled women.

I am profoundly grateful that this book about Black Sisters has been written. Dr. Williams did more than full justice by chronicling so magnificently what has been achieved, at what cost, and that the struggle goes on.

I venture to think that most/many congregations would welcome the gifts of Black recruits. There is awareness that each congregation has an obligation to support and encourage the culture of the persons who enter, a new level of responsibility on the side of the religious communities these young people come into. Like their predecessors in religious life, I pray that young religious today feel God’s hand firmly upon them and know in their hearts that God is and ever will be a Promise-Keeper.

Sr. Barbara Beasley, RGS, is a Sister of the Good Shepherd and a founding member of the National Black Sisters’ Conference.

This November, NETWORK observes Black Catholic History Month in collaboration with the National Black Sisters Conference, centering the voices of Black Sisters and sharing their testimonies with our spirit-filled network of justice-seekers.

Catholic Women Religious Sign-on to Urge a Reparations Study Commission

Letter to President Biden from Catholic Sisters and Associates of Religious Communities

Dear President Biden:

As Catholic Women Religious and associates of religious communities, we recognize, affirm, and commit to uplift the sacredness of Black lives. In this country, we must honestly reflect on the history of racist and immoral policies sanctioned by the United States government and Catholic institutions. It is time to provide repair and redress for the ongoing repercussions of chattel slavery and continued systemic racism.

For more than 400 years, our federal policies and economic practices fostered the Atlantic slave trade, chattel slavery, segregation and Jim Crow, and other forms of discrimination. This sinful racism, which fueled the economy and built the very foundation of the United States, was given moral absolution by the Catholic Church.

The Catholic faith tradition calls for confession, penance, and restitution when a sin has been committed. Telling the truth is, indeed, the only way we can begin to repair and redress the pain caused by slavery and our country’s failure to repent for centuries of systemic racism.

President Biden, as people of faith, we call on you to act with courage and fulfill your campaign promise to ‘support a study of reparations’ by establishing a national reparations commission via executive order.* As Catholic institutions, including orders of women religious, grapple with and make reparations for their pasts, so must the United States.

The sinful legacy of white supremacy and the enduring racial wealth gap must no longer be allowed to deny Black people good health, educational, and economic outcomes. It is time to act on your commitments to dismantling racist laws, policies, and frameworks, and to advance racial equity by establishing a reparations commission. We implore you to answer this urgent moral imperative to advance justice and build a better future for our country.

Sincerely,

Catholic Sisters and Associates

*President Biden said during his campaign, “a Biden Administration will support a study of reparations. joebiden.com/blackamerica

Sisters and Associates – Add Your Name

*This sign-on letter is now closed. To continue making your voice heard, please send an email to the White House.