December 2020 Newsletter
Issue #46
COVID-19 Impact
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic extend far beyond health care. It is also impacting the following:

COVID-19 could push 71 million more people into extreme poverty this year. As a result, the global extreme poverty rate would increase to 8.82% --representing the first increase in global extreme poverty since 1998, effectively wiping out progress made since 2017. Projected impacts are likely to be long-lasting.
Data show that people of color are experiencing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 cases and deaths. In addition, Black, Hispanic, and Asian people are at increased risk of hospitalization due to the virus. 
Minorities are less likely to be insured and healthcare access is limited by other factors such as: lack of transportation, child care, ability to take time off of work, communication and language barriers, cultural differences between patients and providers and historical and current discrimination in healthcare systems.
Racial & ethnic groups are disproportionately represented in essential work settings such as healthcare facilities, farms, factories, grocery stores, and public transportation. These often include close contact with the public or other workers, not being able to work from home, and not having paid sick days.

Minorities often live in crowded conditions that make it more challenging to follow prevention strategies. Growing and disproportionate unemployment rates during the pandemic may lead to greater risk of eviction and homelessness or sharing of housing.

Visa processing overseas as well as the processing of some immigration benefits within the country have come to a near standstill.

Entry into the United States along the Mexican and Canadian borders—including by asylum seekers and unaccompanied children—has been severely restricted.

Tens of thousands of people remain in immigration detention despite the high risk of transmission in crowded jails, prisons, and detention centers that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to hold noncitizens.

The pandemic has led to the suspension of many immigration court hearings and limited the functioning of the few courts which remain open or were reopened. 

168 countries have fully or partially closed their borders to refugees due to the health crisis.

Refugees to the United States, especially those recently resettled, often experience living arrangements or working conditions that put them at greater risk of getting the virus.

The Criminal Justice System
The number of incarcerated people needs to be reduced to mitigate the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic because adequate social distancing and healthcare are just not possible in correctional facilities.

20 states do not require masks to be worn by staff and most are not requiring incarcerated people to wear them.
Growing evidence suggests that outbreaks or epidemic diseases may become more frequent as climate continues to change.
Domestic Violence
In some regions, the number of calls to domestic violence hotlines has dropped by more than 50% -- not because of a decrease in the violence, but rather because victims are unable to safely connect with services.

International Image
Across 13 nations surveyed, a median of just 15% say the U.S. has done a good job of dealing with the outbreak.
A Global Movement to Solve Global Problems
A TED Talk, featuring activist Colombe Cahen-Salvador, who says that we need to think beyond national borders to solve global problems. Reimagining the world's fractured systems of governance and calling out their ineffective responses to major issues -- from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and human rights -- she introduces NOW!, a movement unifying people to create a truly democratic world. Watch now.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
3 Seconds
A short film that uses a 24 hour clock to look at what humans have done to the earth, where we stand today and how we must all work together to make it to the fourth second. Film for Climate Change 1st Prize Short Film Winner. Watch now
For more on the Environment, click here.
What It Takes to Create Social Change Against All Odds
A TED Talk, featuring political activist, Ralph Nader, who traces his time advocating for change and how he helped catalyze social progress against overwhelming odds -- showing how we can participate in advancing the common good for generations to come. Watch now.
For more on Public Witness, click here.
Asylum for Sale:
Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry
Edited by by Siobhan McGuirk and Adrienne Pine. Through essays, artworks, photographs, infographics, and illustrations, regards the global asylum regime as an industry characterized by profit-making activity. Offers a fresh and wholly original perspective by moving beyond questions of legal, moral, and humanitarian obligations. Strikes a crucial balance of critical analyses and proposed solutions for resisting and reshaping current and emerging immigration norms. Read more.
For more on Immigration, click here.
Racial Wealth Gap - Biblical Study Guide
A resource from Bread for World that provides biblical principles and discussion questions to help advocacy efforts aimed at ending hunger by applying a racial equity lens. These principles and questions help readers understand that God’s design of racial/ethnic diversity empower everyone to find ways to walk in a spirit of racial/ethnic unity. 
For more on Racism, click here.
How Redlining Shaped Black America
As We Know It
A short video that highlights how the government sanctioned policy of "redlining" urban housing districts beginning in the 1930's, adversely affected the lives of black people in the U.S. in almost every way including increased difficulty to accumulate wealth, underfunded schools, the "war on drugs" and the criminal justice system. Watch now.
For more on Housing, click here.
Why You Should Become a Climate Activist

A TED Talk, featuring Luisa Neubauer, climate activist and author. With Greta Thunberg, she is also a leader of the international "Fridays for Future," school strike movement that protests the lack of action on the climate crisis. She shares four first steps that anyone, regardless of age, can take to become a climate activist. Watch now.
For more on the Environment, click here.
All In: The Fight for Democracy
An Amazon documentary that examines the issue of voter suppression in the US. The film interweaves personal experiences with activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our country from the beginning. With the expertise of Stacey Abrams, the film offers an insider’s look into the barriers to voting. Watch the trailer. 
For more on Voting Rights, click here. 
National Employment Law Project (NELP)
For over 50 years, NELP has sought to ensure that America upholds, for all workers, the promise of opportunity and economic security through work. Strives for policies to create good jobs, expand access to work, and strengthen protections and support for low-wage and unemployed workers. Publishes research that illuminates workers’ issues; promotes policies that improve workers’ lives; lends deep legal and policy expertise to important cases and campaigns; and partners with allies to advance crucial reforms. Learn more.
For more Economic Justice, click here.
How To Be an Antiracist
By Ibram X. Kendi. Takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—to see all of the forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Weaves a combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism.
For more on Racism, click here.
Justice in Crisis:
Mass Incarceration in America
A series from Brave New Films, that explores some of the problems with the criminal justice system in the U.S. Titles include: Prison System by the Numbers which exposes the racial disparities in America's prison system in a compelling dissection of drug-related incarceration rates. The Power of Fear explores the scope and sources of incarceration and how societal fears exacerbate the system. The third film, OverCriminalized looks at three promising and less expensive interventions to roll back mass criminalization and reform the criminal justice system. To Prison for Poverty explores modern-day debtor’s prisons affecting low-income communities who struggle to pay traffic fines. The final film, Time to Come Home: 20 Years is Enough, examines the impact of life sentences on incarcerated people and their families. Watch now.
For more on the Criminal Justice System,
The Two Hands of Yes and No: One Family's Encounter with the Surprising Power of Active Nonviolence
By John Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Dennis Linn. With stories ranging from Gandhi's struggles in India, to resistance against Nazi occupation, the U.S. Civil Rights movement, and protests extending to the recent campaign by young people against gun violence, provides an inspiring account of the power of active nonviolence. Read more.
For more Peace resources, click here.
M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
Helps individuals and communities develop the inner resources and practical skills needed to achieve a nonviolent, sustainable, and just world. Collaborates with local organizations, academic institutions, students, and committed peacemakers in the following areas:
  • Nonviolence Education
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Restorative Practices
  • Racial Justice
For more Peace resources, click here.
Appleseed Network
A network of 16 Centers across the U.S. and Mexico. They strive to be engines of systemic change working independently and collaboratively for a society where everyone is heard and has the opportunity to lead a healthy, safe and dignified life. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
John Lewis: Good Trouble
A documentary that explores the 'good trouble' instigated by the late civil rights activist John Lewis. Learn more.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.

One Day
An inspirational music video by Matisyahu featuring 3,000 people singing together in 3 languages about a future without war.

Important Dates This Month

December 1st: Anniversary of the Arrest of Rosa Parks & World AIDS Day
December 7th: Anniversary of the Publication of Joy & Hope (Gaudium et Spes)
December 8th: Anniversary of the Closing of the Second Vatican Council
December 10th: Anniversary of the Adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
December 18th: International Migrants Day
Individuals Honored This Month
December 10th
One way to stop the next war is to continue to tell the truth about this one.
December 17th
Do not give up your dreams of a more just world.
December 18th
Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security, and prestige, it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to privilege.
December 27th
We are collecting the people’s memories because we want to contribute to the
construction of a different country. This path was and continues to be full of risks,
but the construction of the kingdom of God entails risks, and only those who have the strength to confront those risks can be its builders.
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