Subject: NCC Newsletter: Virtual Advocacy

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Virtual Advocacy
NCC Newsletter
October 23, 2020
From NCC Staff
Christian Watkins, NCC's new Justice Advocacy and Outreach Manager, previously served as the inaugural Wendland Fellow for Faith and Justice with the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. He has written a hopeful message for their Faith In Action publication entitled, Hallelujah Anyhow: Virtual Advocacy in a Tumultuous Time. 

As he looks back, he shares about his experience and offers this encouragement, "Covid-19 has indeed made some personal matters harder, yet it has also made advocacy and public witness with our elected officials easier to access and accomplish. The connectivity through social media and communications platforms and free flow of information leads to more hands-on-deck to do this work of justice so sorely needed in our country and world."

Call for Action on the Continued Conflict in Armenia/Azerbaijan
Since NCC issued a Statement on September 30, 2020, calling for an immediate end to the Armenian/Azerbaijan conflict, the violence has continued and escalated. Two cease fires have immediately been broken. In coordination with Russia and the U.S., France has attempted to intervene to end the fighting. We continue to ask that the U.S. undertake diplomatic measures to halt the conflict.

This week the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness issued an Action Alert which described the current situation, "According to authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh, around 70,000-75,000 civilians (nearly half of the region’s population) have been displaced by the violence, including 90 percent of women and children. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, along with other humanitarian organizations, have called for a ceasefire to distribute humanitarian aid, which has largely been restricted by ongoing fighting."

If you wish to take action, PCUSA asks, "Please contact your Representatives and urge them to support House Resolution 1165 condemning Azerbaijan’s military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh, denouncing Turkish interference in the conflict, and calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Also contact your Senators and express the urgency of a peaceful resolution respected by all parties."
Minnesota Council of Churches Adopts Plan to Repair the Damage of Racism 
The Minnesota Council of Churches' Board of Directors adopted a 3-Point Action Platform: "Dismantling the Structures and Repairing the Damage of Racism in Minnesota." The purpose is to build a structure for racial equity in the church and the State of Minnesota through initiating a process of truth telling about racism, educating within the denominational communions, and investing in repairing the damage done by racism in Black and Indigenous communities. Read the full announcement.
Prayer for the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations
The United Nations will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter, signifying the official founding of the United Nations on October 24th, which is officially known as United Nations Day. To mark the occasion, Presiding Bishop Curry of the Episcopal Church invites prayer in solidarity through the “Prayer for Peace Among the Nations” from the Book of Common Prayer.

Almighty God, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Trusted Election Resources
US Crisis Monitor
The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) and the Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) at Princeton University have launched the this joint project to provide the public with real-time data and analysis on political violence and demonstrations in the United States.The project provides an evidence base from which to identify risks, hotspots, and available resources to empower local communities in times of crisis.

Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law (ICAP)
Provides information for local jurisdictions to understand their role in fostering First Amendment activity while protecting the safety of protesters and the public.ICAP has fact sheets for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive. Also available is a fact sheet on voter intimidation laws, what kinds of conduct could constitute voter intimidation, and what to do if a person experiences voter intimidation.

Democracy for President
Is a project of More in Common that provides cutting-edge data and unbiased information on the electoral process to foster civic engagement. They provide the resources to spark conversations and address shared concerns about the state of our democracy. Helpful dialogue is provided to discuss topics such as mail-in-voting security, election accuracy, voting safety, and violence.
Be Sure to Watch and Share NCC's Recent Events!
Christian Unity Gathering (CUG): Breathing New Life Into Our Nation

Opening Remarks from Dr. James A. Forbes and Session 1 - Repentance with Keynote Speakers Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes and Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Watch Repentance

Session 2 – Re-formation: Protests, Policies, Polls and the Pandemic Watch Re-formation

Session 3 – Reparation: Looking Back-Looking Forward Watch Reparation.

The Impact of the Trump Administration on the Churches in Cuba 

Last week's webinar is now available with Spanish subtitles: Webinar with Subtitles in Spanish
Job Listing
The Global Voices program of the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions seeks a Climate & Racial Justice Program Coordinator to work remotely as an independent contractor for roughly equivalent to 10 hours/week.
Letter from the President and General Secretary
We look forward to Jim Winkler's message when he returns next week.
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