February 2020 Newsletter
Issue #36
Voter Suppression
As we approach the primaries and general election in November, there is a distinct effort in many states to limit voting. These efforts include voter roll purges, racial and partisan gerrymandering, strict voter ID laws, and reducing the number of polling places. T hose most likely to be adversely affected are young people, the elderly, poor people and minorities.

  • In 2013 the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby v. Holder, that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional.

  • Since the Shelby decision at least 13 states have removed eligible voters from the rolls and 16 states called for a photo ID to vote.
The New York Times

  • An estimated 19 million potential voters do not possess either a driver’s license or a state issued ID.
The Carter-Ford Commission

  • 7% of Americans -- about 23,000,000 people -- mostly minorities, do not have citizenship documents readily available.
The Brennan Center for Justice

  • The turnout gaps between white and ethnic minority voters are far higher in states where people must show ID during or after voting. There is a 4.9% gap between Latino and white voters in states that do not require an ID, but a 13.2% difference in states that do. For African Americans, the gap rises from 2.9% to 5.4% & among Asians the gap increases from 6.5% to 11.5%.

  • In 2012, on average, blacks had to wait in line twice as long as whites. Nationwide, whites who lived in white neighborhoods had the shortest wait time – 7 minutes.
Mother Jones 
  • The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity established after the 2016 election, was dissolved in 2018 having found no evidence of voter fraud.  

For more on Voting Rights , click here.     
One Person, No Vote:
How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy
By Carol Anderson. Chronicles the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder decision that eviscerated the
Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Focusing on the aftermath of  Shelby , follows the story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding as states adopt voter suppression laws. In detail explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. Also explores the resistance: organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans. Read more. 
For more on Voting Rights , click here.
Brennan Center for Justice
An independent, nonpartisan law and policy organization that works to reform, revitalize, and when necessary, defend our country’s systems of democracy and justice. Committed to build an America that is democratic, just, and free — for all. Learn more.
For more on Voting Rights , click here.
The Story of Citizens United v FEC
A short animation that explores the inordinate power that corporations have in our democracy after the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and what we can do about it. Watch now.
For more on Voting Rights , click here.
Living Undocumented
A series from Netflix, that features the stories of eight undocumented families as the United States' immigration policies are transformed.
For more on Immigration , click here.
The Cave
A National Geographic documentary nominated for an Academy Award, tells the story of a hidden underground hospital in Syria and the female-led team risking their lives to provide medical care to the besieged local population. Watch the trailer.
For more on War , click here.
What to Do if You See
Islamophobic Harassment
An illustrated resource from Sojourners that suggests 5 specific steps one can take to defuse and distract a religious or other type of verbal assault. Read more.
For more on Religious Intolerance , click here.
Women: A Century of Change
The November 2019 issue of National Geographic, looks at the prosperity, progress and peril of women throughout the world by focusing on 11 factors related to justice, security & inclusion. These include: government representation, cell phone use, employment, financial access, education, intimate partner violence, community safety, organized violence, discriminatory norms, son bias and legal discrimination. Read more.
For more on Gender Inequality , click here.
After Parkland
This documentary tells the story of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 that killed 17 people and launched a nationwide student movement. Weaving together candid, in-depth interviews, vérité footage, and personal videos, this film chronicles moments both intimate and defining – from the quiet hours of grief and reflection, to those of political awakening, and onto milestones on the public stage – creating a moving portrait of one community’s crusade to turn tragedy into progress. Watch the trailer.
For more on Gun Violence , click here.
The Human Stories Behind
Mass Incarceration
A TED Talk featuring Eve Abrams, who uses audio from interviews with incarcerated people and their families, to share stories of those impacted by mass incarceration and calls on the American public to take a stand and ensure that the justice system works for everyone. Watch now.
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
Conservation International
Builds upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, empowering societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity & for the well-being of humanity. Learn more.
For more on the Environment , click here.
Revolution of the Heart:
The Dorothy Day Story
This hour-long documentary includes commentary by people who knew Dorothy Day, including two of her granddaughters and author Robert Ellsberg, as well as many who were influenced by her, including Sr. Simone Campbell of the Network Catholic lobby and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia). The video creates a compelling portrait of a woman both familiar and inscrutable. Watch the trailer. 
For more Justice resources, click here.
Catholic Social Teaching as Theology
By Gregoire Catta SJ. Looks at how ethical reflections like Catholic social teaching are a resource for theology. Focuses on a few post-Vatican II papal social encyclicals, namely Pope Paul VI's The Development of Peoples (Populorum progressio), John Paul II's The Concern of the Church for the Social Order (Sollicitudo rei socialis), Benedict XVI's Charity in Truth (Caritas in veritate) and Francis's Praise Be to You: On Care of Our Common Home (Laudato Si). Argues that these documents have a lot to say about Christology, theological anthropology & divine revelation.
For more Catholic Social Teaching resources,
Francis of Assisi:
An Illustrated History of His Life and Legacy
By Engelbert Grau, Raoul Manselli & Serena Romano. A fusion of history and art, detailing the history of the Franciscans, beginning with a biography of the saint himself, the developments and spread of the Order and its influence on the Church and medieval Europe; and an analysis of the Giotto frescos of the life of Francis in Assisi, Florence, and elsewhere. This book is illustrated with color reproductions of images of Assisi, early portraits of Francis, and the Giotto frescos. Read more.
For more Peace resources, click here.
The Bonhoeffer Center
Offers quality resources for the study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life, thought, and legacy in order to support the public witness of Christian scholars, pastors, teachers, students, and activists. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Human Rights First
An independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. Holds that American leadership is essential in the global struggle for human rights and presses the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When that doesn't happen, steps in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Works around the world to best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.
Tries to create the political environment and policy solutions necessary to ensure consistent respect for human rights such as protecting refugees, combating torture, and defending persecuted minorities. Builds bipartisan coalitions and teams up with frontline activists and lawyers to tackle global challenges that demand American leadership. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Prayer to End Hunger
Lord God,we pray for our President, the members of Congress and other elected leaders. May they be moved to make ending hunger in our own country and around the world a priority for our nation. Grant them clear minds and generous hearts to sustain and improve those programs that provide help and opportunity to so many people. In the name of Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve. Amen

For more Hunger resources, click here.
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
February Birth Date Unknown
 I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
 February 3rd
For any human being, freedom is essential, crucial to our dignity and our ability to be fully human.
February 4th
As far back as I can remember, I knew there was something wrong with our way of life when people could be mistreated because of the color of their skin.
February 4th
If I sit next to a madman as he drives a car into a group of innocent bystanders, I can’t, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe, then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. No, I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.  

February 7th
When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. But when I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
February 11th
It is so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.
February 12th
The death of the forest is the end of our life.
February 23rd
What a world this will be when human possibilities are freed, when we discover each other, when the stranger is no longer the potential criminal and the certain inferior!

February 27th
There are many people ready to do what is right because in their hearts they know it is right. But they hesitate, waiting for the other person to make the make the first move - and the other person, in turn, waits for you.
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