The CSJ Community in their 2019 St. Paul Province Directions affirmed their call and their commitment to “promoting peace and non-violence” along with “seeking justice for families experiencing homelessness” and our dear neighbors impacted by the systemic influences of poverty.
The CSJ and Carondelet Village Community hosted a recent conversation with MN Senator John Marty about the impacts of poverty on the lives of many Minnesotans, especially children. Senator Marty was one of the co-chairs of the bi-partisan Legislative Commission to End Poverty by 2020. We reviewed the JRLC Poverty in Minnesota Progress Report from 2019. Acknowledging the limited progress made by 2020, Senator Marty shared from his perspective the obstacles and challenges to ending poverty in Minnesota as not a lack of resources, but a lack of will. He invited us to raise our voices to make a difference as we approach the 2022 legislative session in supporting anti-poverty programs with our elected officials and especially with committee chairs.
A simple zoom recording of the conversation can be seen on the CSJ YouTube channel.
Rev. Dr. William Barber II shared with the Twin Cities community that poverty is violence. He challenged us to see that this violence is systematic and has been with us for a long time. For example, there are more than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions. Back in August, the House passed protections to restore the Voting Rights Act, yet challenges in the Senate abound.
The 2021 Virtual 10 Days Free from Violence awarded Rev. Dr. William Barber II with their Good Trouble Award. The award video with Rev. Dr. Barber’s comments is below. Before you dismiss this as just another “I’d like to thank the Academy” speech, know that it is so much more (also, learn more about Rev. Dr. Barber below).
First, who is the Rev. Dr. William Barber II and why did he get the Good Trouble Award? A life-long pastor, social justice advocate, and author, he helped relaunch MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign in 2018. Barber has been focused on ending five interlocking injustices: systemic racism, systemic poverty, war economy and militarization, ecological devastation and Christian nationalism by doing M.O.R.E. – mobilizing, organizing, registering voters and educating.
The start of Rev. Barber’s story is reminiscent of the wisdom and boldness of the CSJs. He shares that after paying off the church 22 years ago, they took on new debt to invest in the poor and low wealth members of the community with phenomenal results. He continues with an enlightening yet brief history lesson from the mid 1800’s to today which:
Naming that “voter suppression is a form of violence,” Barber exclaimed, “one of the greatest non-violent things you can do is fight for the full protection of the Voting Rights Act.” He calls on all of us to “call poverty what it is – a form of policy violence.” May we, as a CSJ Community, continue to find ways to support this critical work for justice.
The CSJ community supported the Twin Cities 10 Days Free From Violence again in 2021. Continue to seek peace and nonviolence year round while we look ahead to the 2022 Twin Cities Nonviolent’s 10 Days Free from Violence events.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Paul Province, condemn all forms of violence, whether rooted in hate, ideology or discrimination. Peace and nonviolence are expressed in the CSJ community’s profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction. The community in the 2019 St. Paul Province Chapter committed to “promote peace and non-violence.“ The CSJ community has and continues to raise their voice for peace and nonviolence including: