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In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, students at Carolina Friends School engaged in advocacy for justice. Together, they wrote letters to their senators urging them to advance legislation to address many of the pressing issues of our day, including the climate crisis, access to health care, police brutality, gun violence, and more.

In the words of one group, “On this day of action for Martin Luther King Jr., we are reminded of the importance of standing up compassionately for justice for all. MLK once said that ‘a just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.’ We urge you to advocate for just laws and uphold the moral law.”

Lauren Brownlee, at-large FCNL executive committee member and upper school head at Carolina Friends School, sent us the MLK Day project the students worked on.

Lauren writes: “We grounded ourselves in, but did not limit ourselves to, the FCNL Legislative Priorities for the 117th Congress.”

Excerpts from each group’s letters are below:

  • We believe that addressing the climate crisis is the single-most important initiative for the 117th Congress, due to the impact that it has on every American and, in point of fact, every person on this planet.
  • We will vote in the next election based on how our representatives take action on these issues: Strengthen environmental protections and advance environmental justice, while recognizing the finite capacity of the earth and the need to protect human, animal and plant diversity. Promote sustainable, science-based solutions to the climate crisis and prioritize international cooperation to achieve global sustainability goals and protect vulnerable populations.
  • The main two problems that our community wishes to see addressed in this next congress are prevention of gun/military violence, and universal health care. We have seen these issues become more prominent this past year, and as a community and as a country, we need to help one another and keep each other safe. 
  • Our communities and families will be strengthened by a system that embraces restorative justice, reduces incarceration, and seeks to return rehabilitated offenders to society with their full rights and obligations.
  • First, we want to promote science-based solutions to the environmental crises. Second, we feel that it is time to address the inequitable justice system by eliminating mass incarceration and police brutality. These two issues impact all of us and their pressing nature demands urgent steps to ameliorate past injustices and bring about a brighter future for us and the generations to come. 
  • We feel that a Universal Basic Income could enable the entire U.S. population to afford health care, food, rent or mortgage, and other basic needs. Providing the means for people to care for themselves and their families will enable them to focus on other priorities beyond subsistence and essential care.
  • Our school values Quaker testimonies such as equity and peaceful resolution of conflict. We are calling upon our Senators to uphold these values when discerning and implementing new policies pertaining to our justice system.
  • Our Quaker values of equity and justice have brought us to stand in solidarity with the District of Columbia, Washington DC.
  • On this day of action for Martin Luther King Jr, we are reminded of the importance of standing up compassionately for justice for all. MLK once said that “a just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.“ We urge you to advocate for just laws and uphold the moral law. Please publicly support passage of the Dream and Promise Act, or similar legislation for the rights of immigrants and refugees, in the first 100 days of the new Congress.
  • On a larger scale, our hope is that people in power will be able to communicate peacefully and with respect for one another without having to use violence.
  • The events of the elections of 2020 make obvious the need for these changes to guarantee the right to vote for all American citizens. [In support of the The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act]
  • I feel that with the police force we are currently using, we are not adequately protecting everyone in our community. Not to mention we are actively hurting communities outside of the dominant culture.
  • It is vital that all students receive education about climate change, especially as it threatens to take a devastating toll on the well-being of future generations.

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