Archive for April 30th, 2017

5 Ways for Parishes to Support Workers Rights

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 by .

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Background: May 1st is International Worker’s Day: a historic day to respect the contributions of workers, organize in support of workers’ rights, and demonstrate solidarity with immigrants. This May 1st, immigrant leaders of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) will Rise Up! to demonstrate the power, resilience and strength of immigrant communities in America. Many groups are organizing marches, rallies, protests and town hall meetings to resist President Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim policies and call on Congress and local policy makers to support a vibrant and diverse future for our country. Learn more at www.riseupmay1.org.

Here are five ways that faith communities can take part in May 1st actions:

  1. Be a “Torch Bearer” & show up in solidarity to May 1st actions and rallies!
  • Faith communities can mobilize people to show up to rallies and marches across the country, making signs and wearing religious attire as appropriate, and to volunteer to help immigrants apply for citizenship and register to vote if they are eligible. Find events near you here.
  • Connect with local immigrants’ rights groups and ask how you can help lift up the faith voice and moral message. State-by-state lists: informedimmigrant.com/organizations and ndlon.org.
  • If your city isn’t already planning a May 1st action, work with congregations, immigrants’ rights groups, and community partners to organize an action. Add your event to the list here.
  1. Call for Economic Justice through strike solidarity & support!
  • Don’t go to work or school, and don’t buy anything. Encourage your community members to do the same, and urge employers to shut down for a day and give their employees the day off. This will help demonstrate the economic power of the immigrants’ rights movement.
  • Consider how you can support people who could lose their job for taking part in this action by helping them find another job or providing financial support while they’re out of work. Information on strikes and solidarity can be found at www.nlrb.gov/strikes and powerful examples of faith solidarity with workers can be found here and here.
  • Some corporations profit from the anti-immigrant machine of the Trump administration, that is tearing families apart, and targeting minority groups. We should let these corporations know that we oppose their actions by boycotting them. Resources about how we can be involved in this solidarity action can be found at grabyourwallet.org and www.enlaceintl.org/resources.
  1. Forge new relationships between immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and faith communities!
  • The foundation of effective organizing efforts is based on building relationships. The current political climate creates new opportunities for immigrants, refugees, Muslims and faith communities to join efforts.
  • Connect with a local interfaith groups, islamic centers, CAIR chapters or refugee agencies and see how you can work together on May 1st and beyond.
  • Educate your congregation with resources for Lent and Passover found here.
  1. Tell Congress: Thou shalt not steal from the poor to pay for the deportation machine!
  • Call your Senators and Representatives at (866) 961-4293 and urge them to reject funding for Trump’s wall, deportation force, and detention centers and do everything they can to rescind his executive orders. Full action alert at interfaithimmigration.org/fundingexecutiveorders/.
  • Encourage everyone to sign this petition urging Congress to refuse to fund Trump’s deportation plans. You can also send postcards to Congress at riseupmay1.org.
  • Meet with your Members of Congress in person when they are home during April’s “in district” time (April 10-21)! Resources at interfaithimmigration.org/neighbor.
  1. Let the prophetic voice ring loud!
  • Share why you are standing in solidarity with immigrant and refugees on May 1st with a faith-rooted message during a worship service, event, press release, or an opinion editorial. Make sure the voices, experiences and stories of impacted populations are central to your message. Draft talking points can be found here. Contact morozco@cwsglobal.org for assistance.
  • Consider partnering with Sanctuary Movement coalitions to lift up message of prophetic hospitality.
  • Promote the May 1st actions through social media and share photos, videos during and after the event with #RiseUP and #GreaterAs1.
  • Encourage faith leaders to sign this letter against enforcement and this letter supporting refugees.

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‘Pope Francis’ Laundry’ opens in Rome

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 by .

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taken from radiovaticana.va –

Lavanderia-2-690x450The first washing machines and tumble dryers for the homeless in Rome whirred into action on Monday as ‘Pope Francis’ Laundry’ opened its doors to provide a much needed service.

One of the many difficulties for those who live on the streets is to be able to wash, dry and iron their clothes and blankets, and the Vatican-sponsored laundry is a response to Pope Francis’s invitation to give concrete signs of solidarity to our brothers and sisters in need.

A communiqué released by the Apostolic Almoner quotes from the Pope’s Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et misera, at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy: “The desire for closeness to Christ requires us to draw near to our brothers and sisters, for nothing is more pleasing to the Father than a true sign of mercy. By its very nature, mercy becomes visible and tangible in specific acts.”

So, Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski noted: “Here is a concrete sign wanted by the office of Papal Charities: a place and a service to give concrete form to charity to restore dignity to so many people who are our brothers and sisters and who are called, with us, to build a city we can trust”.

Pope Francis’ Office of Papal Charities has already set up showers, a barber shop, a dormitory, a healthcare clinic and a pharmacy for the poor in the eternal city. What was missing, until now, was a laundry service, an urgent need indeed as Krajewski explained: “One of the greatest difficulties for those who live on the streets, along with that of finding food, a place to spend the night and public baths, is to wash and dry the clothes they wear, in many cases the only ones they own”.

The laundry room is located at the “People of Peace Center” run by the Sant’Egidio Community at the old hospital complex of San Gallicano, in the central Trastevere area of Rome.

The press release offers the information that the laundry boasts six, latest generation washers and six dryers along with several irons donated by the Whirlpool Corporation.

Other commercial detergent producers ensure the full and free supply of soap powder and fabric softener.

 

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Violence against Native Americans in Arizona

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 by .

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Native Americans, who make up 5.2 million or 1.7 percent df141037c0274a28ab3fa88575bdfb70_18-1of the country’s population, are the only group that saw a rise in deaths due to police shootings, from 13 in 2015 to 24 in 2016, according to the Guardian’s The Counted.

In 2015, Native American deaths were measured as 5.49 per one million people. Blacks killed by police were 7.69 per million. Last year, the number for blacks was 6.66 per one million, while the number for Native Americans rose to 10.13 per million.

Every other racial group saw a decrease, including those whose race is listed as “other”.

Continue reading here

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Pope Francis TED Talk: Why the only future worth building includes everyone

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 by .

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A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you, says His Holiness Pope Francis in this searing TED Talk delivered directly from Vatican City. In a hopeful message to people of all faiths, to those who have power as well as those who don’t, the spiritual leader provides illuminating commentary on the world as we currently find it and calls for equality, solidarity and tenderness to prevail. “Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the ‘other’ is not a statistic, or a number,” he says. “We all need each other.”

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Tell Congress: Do No Harm

Posted on 30. Apr, 2017 by .

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You’ve likely heard about what’s going on in Washington, D.C. this week. Members of Congress, faced with a deadline that could come Friday or slide into next week, are negotiating a FY17 spending bill that could further threaten human needs programs.

In recent years, Congress has cut domestic and international spending by more than $100 billion. The result is that we are serving fewer people and serving them less well. Fewer people are receiving low-cost child care. Fewer people have access to affordable housing. Fewer people have access to job training. The list goes on and on.

We’ve heard this song before. We need you to take action. Tell your Representative and Senators to pass a funding bill with the right investments and without poison pill riders.

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