We, members of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and concerned citizens of Portland, OR, would like to add our voices to those of people all over the U.S. and beyond, who are in the streets protesting  the grave injustices and indignities the Black community and people of color suffer because of dual systems of education, law enforcement, employment opportunities, health care, housing opportunities and many others.

We abhor and condemn the violence that some people have brought to these peaceful demonstrations, which does nothing to advance the cause of  the Black community and people of color seeking to achieve parity in housing, education, employment, law enforcement, etc.

We call upon our Portland city officials, the police department  and others to use legal, non-violent means to “weed the trouble makers out” so real progress can be made in advancing the betterment of the lives of the Black community and people of color.   

We believe Black Lives Matter. This saying shines a light on the racial injustices that have been inflicted on our African American sisters and brothers for centuries.  

We ask that steps be taken to peacefully address economic disparity, unfair housing practices, police reform, systemic racism and educational and employment inequity. To do this:

  • We ask that a racially diverse group of public officials, civic and religious leaders, and community members come together to publicly address and take actions on these issues and others that impact the daily lives of African Americans and people of color in our city.
  • We call all members of the Portland community to join together to examine and change systems that have enabled racial injustice to take root and fester in our city and in our country.
  • We are eager to join with others in the Portland metro area to bring the power of justice and peace to end the destructive violence that feeds on hatred and detracts from the Black Lives Matter messages.

Inspired by the words of Congressman John L. Lewis and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both of whom recently died and who all their lives stood up for the underserved, let us continue to join together and speak up.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something, you have to do something.” – John Lewis

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 

Sisters Mary Breiling, Maureen Delaney, Guadalupe Guajardo, Margaret Kennedy and Mary Rita Rohde
Sisters of the Holy Names U.S.-Ontario Province Leadership Team