Advocacy and Service During Pandemic Times
Below we'll share opportunities we've gathered for advocacy and service during the coronavirus pandemic.
Stand with the Mashpee Wampanoag
Update: The U.S. Department of the Interior has put on 45-day hold a plan to disestablish the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation
As those who are able shelter at home, our neighbors of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe are at risk of losing what is left of their homelands due to recent decisions by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Secretary of the Interior. Also known as the People of the First Light, the Mashpee Wampanoag have occupied the same region for over 12,000 years. Sovereignty, tribal government, health, education, and emergency services are all threatened by the actions of the U.S. government. Learn more here.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has issued a statement denouncing the federal government's decision here.
Care for Those Incarcerated or Detained
Alongside many in our region and around the country, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is calling for government officials across the U.S to protect the vulnerable, especially those confined in detention centers, jails, and prisons, where physical distancing is not possible and coronavirus outbreaks are spreading.
Take action to contact your governor and relevant ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) authorities with the message that we must care for all who are in danger—including those members of our communities who are detained or incarcerated, and their families.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has more information on the particular vulnerability for those incarcerated and in detention, and action steps you can take, here.
Call on the Federal Government to Monitor and Address Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Response
Black communities are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and the long-term effects of racism play a major role.
Several members of Congress—including MA Rep. Ayanna Pressley and MA Senator Elizabeth Warren—have called on the Trump Administration to ensure that more useful data on racial disparities in testing, diagnosis, and care is collected, to help focus the public health response to prioritize those most vulnerable and most impacted, and to ensure that care is not prioritized for those most affluent or privileged.
We urge Friends to contact their elected representatives on this issue, to write to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and refer to this letter to urge further action.
- For an in-process listing of articles by journalists of color addressing racial equity and the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on communities of color click here.
Looking for more legislative action updates? FCNL is maintaining a COVID-19 advocacy page here.
Have an Opportunity to Share?
Aware of other ways New England Friends can support those most vulnerable? Contact Yearly Meeting Secretary Noah Merrill. We'll gather and regularly review and update these opportunities.