For Immediate Release: April 14, 2021
Contact: Colleen Ross, email@example.com, 202-601-7877
Catholic Lobby Applauds House Judiciary Committee Vote, Calls on House to Pass H.R.40
Mary J. Novak: “Truth telling and reparations are essential to moving forward together.“
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice applauds the House Judiciary Committee for voting to advance H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, and urges all Members of the House to support this critical legislation. As we work together to dismantle systemic racism in our country and build anew, we cannot deny the sins of the past and the ongoing racial inequality millions of Black people experience every day, including the perpetuation of the racial wealth and income gap, housing discrimination, and disparities in health care.
Congress must name and confront these difficult realities. H.R.40 offers the first opportunity to truly analyze and quantify the legacy of economic and social damage left behind by our nation’s original sin. Moreover, this commission would examine how the harmful effects of this legacy have been exacerbated through economic recessions and legislative reforms, and at work most recently in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and social and political movements for racial justice.
The Catholic Sisters and advocates of NETWORK now call on the full House to approve H.R.40 and take the first steps towards naming and addressing these injustices so we can build anew together, on a foundation of shared understanding.
Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice:
“In 2021, it is long past time to establish a commission to examine slavery and racial discrimination throughout the history of the United States. As a restorative justice practitioner, I know truth telling and reparations are essential to moving forward together.
“Now is the time to grow in our shared understanding of the effects of centuries of the government- enabled enslavement of Black people in the United States, followed by centuries of government policy that enshrined white supremacy and racial segregation. Members of Congress must stop dismissing the lived reality of African-American families and instead find the courage to face this truth together as one country seeking to recognize the humanity in all of our community members.”
NETWORK, a national Catholic Social Justice lobby, which educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation, has a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.