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One Year Later

May 25, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Floyd mural

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Not long after his death, George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, smiled, raised her hands and declared that her “Daddy changed the world!”  We know that that change is just beginning, but in the year since Floyd's death there has been a shift. There is a greater awareness of systemic racism and its effects on our sisters and brothers of color. Real change will come about when there is a transformation of the heart, a recognition of the rights and dignity of each person that is manifested in doing the hard work of acknowledging racism, rooting it out it in ourselves and in our institutions, and making reparation.  

Let us pray today for courage and commitment to ending racism in our nation and the world. 

A Year Later

I encourage every one to tune into this interview with Fr. Bryan Massingale, One Year Later: the fight for civil rights since George Floyd's murder. Fr. Massingale is insightful, thought-provoking and challenging. Click Here


George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020

This bill addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It increases accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricts the use of certain policing practices, enhances transparency and data collection, and establishes best practices and training requirements.

The bill enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:

  • lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
  • limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and
  • grants administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pattern-or-practice investigations.

It establishes a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels. It also limits the unnecessary use of force and restricts the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds.

The bill creates a national registry—the National Police Misconduct Registry—to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct. It also establishes new reporting requirements, including on the use of force, officer misconduct, and routine policing practices (e.g., stops and searches).

Finally, it directs DOJ to create uniform accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies and requires law enforcement officers to complete training on racial profiling, implicit bias, and the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force.

The bill passed in the House. Contact your senators asking them to pass an effective bipartisan reform bill. 


A Reparation's Commission

From Network:

Dismantling systemic racism is our holy call today. Systemic racism is ubiquitous in our country's history and built into our systems and institutions today, putting Black people at a constant disadvantage. It's time to right the wrongs of slavery and its continued impact. Will you join advocates across the country acting for racial justice?

Last month, H.R.40, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee's bill to establish a commission on reparations, received a favorable vote from the House Judiciary Committee. This is the first time a House committee has considered the bill for recommendation to the House floor since it was first introduced in 1989 by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

Now we have to make sure H.R.40 is passed into law to Call Your Representative Now: 888-422-4555

Tell them to pass a H.R.40 and establish a Reparations Commission!

"Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [TOWN]. I'm calling to ask Representative to pass H.R.40 to study and develop reparation proposals. We need legislation to examine the impact of chattel slavery, Black Codes, convict leasing, Jim Crow, redlining, access to fair housing, education, employment opportunities, and more. As a person of faith, I believe every person in our country should have the opportunity to live up to our country's fundamental organizing principles- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Right now, we see the devastating effect of white supremacy on Black people throughout America. Please support H.R.40, as a start to end institutional racism."



From Presbyterian Office of Public Witness:
Central American Migration:  Root Causes & US Policy
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 5 p.m. Eastern

The first workshop in this webinar series will look at the circumstances that drive people from Central America to seek safety in the U.S. Lisa Haugaard, Co-Director of the Latin American Working Group, and Rev. Santiago Flores, Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador (IRCES), will provide a helpful framework to understand these push factors. Considerable attention will be given to U.S. foreign policy, U.S. immigration policy, and the impact these policies have on individuals in Central America. Presenters will also offer opportunities for you to take action. Click here to register in advance for this webinar, or join us on Facebook/PCUSA Washington page.


Ending Human Trafficking

In our next virtual round table, we check in with survivor leaders from around the world for an update on their advocacy and frontline service work since the global health crisis began. The panelists will evaluate their respective governments' responses to the pandemic's impact on women in the sex trade and the policy implications of their (in)action. They will also share their vision and plans to secure justice and equality for prostituted and sex trafficked women and girls worldwide.

Join us on May 27, 2021 at 11:30 p.m. CT for At the Edge of the Margins: One year later — COVID-19's impact on women in the sex trade. Register Here.

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