2022 Virtual Event
Fierce Urgency: Advancing Civil & Human Rights
VIRTUAL ECUMENICAL ADVOCACY DAYS TAKING PLACE APRIL 25-27, 2022
EAD 2022 calls us into solidarity to restore, protect, and expand voting rights in the United States and to realize human rights around the world. As people of faith, we know each person to be created in God’s image, imbued with dignity and having a voice that demands to be heard, heeded, and treated justly. We arise in unity, holding up a mirror to leaders of nations, putting injustice on display and tearing down the veil of oppression that obscures the beautiful, God-born light shining from within us all.
United States policymakers are citing election security to resurrect Jim Crow-era policies that restrict voting rights and further disenfranchise communities of color. States are withholding the right to vote from those with felony convictions, cruelly punishing them beyond the limits of a judge’s sentence. Smaller windows for early voting, reduced ability to vote by mail, and more restrictive ID rules make access to voting – a fundamental right – dependent on where you live. Our vote is our voice at the policy-making table; if a community isn’t represented at the ballot box, the issues affecting that community aren’t on the government’s agenda. This erasure of important voices shatters our national ideals and terminates the path to new creation envisioned by our faith.
We bear witness to a global increase in violent repression of journalists, activists, rights defenders, and social leaders. Political leaders around the world are using the pandemic as cover to boldly steal power and silence opposition through intimidation, torture, and murder. Our government is comfortably complicit in such abuses for economic gain and in the name of “national security,” but true security demands that human rights be protected everywhere. Those asserting the right to speak for their communities and shape policy should be free from fear for their lives. We are summoned by the Holy Spirit to act immediately in solidarity with the world, insisting on an end to repression and drawing attention to God’s image reflected in the rich diversity of humankind.
As we gather in 2022, we are called to reflect the urgency and determination found in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words. In his Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence speech, he reminds us, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late.” As people of faith, we are called to meet the challenges of this moment.
As such, we demand that the U.S. Congress enhance voting rights in the United States; outlaw all practices that limit Black and Indigenous people and other communities of color striving to fully exercise their right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; withdraw U.S. assistance from militaries, police, and other forces that restrict civil space; and support actions around the world that aim to fulfill human rights for all.
At Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2022, we will unite to amplify our Christian voice in advocacy for civil and human rights in the United States and abroad. Won’t you join us?
“He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’ As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.'” (Luke 19:40-42 NRSV)
“[Loving as God does] is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11, NLT)
Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Our goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.