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This week, Congress took an important step toward addressing the painful legacy of Indian boarding schools.

On Thursday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act (H.R. 7227) with overwhelming bipartisan support.

We hope Congress will move swiftly to bring this bill to the floor and pass it so that we can begin the long overdue work of truth, justice, and healing for Native communities.

As recent Washington Post reporting details, the U.S. government took tens of thousands of Native children from their parents and sent them to abusive “boarding schools” as part of a systematic effort to destroy their culture through forced assimilation. At these boarding schools across the country, Native children faced horrific conditions and physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

The trauma of the boarding schools era continues to be felt by Native communities. But our government has never formally acknowledged this history nor investigated or addressed the harms it inflicted.

That’s why passing this bill to establish a Truth and Healing Commission is critical.

In a powerful moment as the committee chair read the results of Thursday’s vote, Native advocates burst into applause. After years of tireless advocacy, the moment was a milestone achievement and a testament to the powerful work of Native leaders and organizations who have pushed for this bill.

This progress is also a credit to many others in the FCNL community who have supported their advocacy, including hundreds of young people who traveled to Washington to urge their representatives to support the bill during this year’s Spring Lobby Weekend.

As we celebrate this positive step, we must also redouble our work to ensure Congress brings the Truth and Healing Commission bill across the finish line to provide Native communities with the truth, justice, and healing they deserve.


A Crossroads for Gaza

Last weekend, a disastrous Israeli raid in Gaza killed 274 Palestinians, including many children, while freeing four hostages. Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Hezbollah are rising, with increased rocket attacks and artillery strikes over the past several days.

We are at a crossroads. Continued war won’t bring peace or safely return hostages home. We need a permanent ceasefire agreement that releases all hostages and allows urgent aid to reach Gazans facing intense human suffering.

The U.S. needs to apply our leverage to get Israel to take an offramp. We must stop offering Israel unconditional military and political support, especially as the United Nations found both sides have committed war crimes.

Rest in Peace Rev. James Lawson

Civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson died this week at the age of 95. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King called him “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.” He courageously demonstrated the power of peaceful direct action to “expose the immorality and fragility of racist white power structures.” We are honored to learn from his witness.

How can we impact the 2024 elections?

During a powerful network call this week, FCNL’s Bridget Moix led a conversation with Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner and Rev. Adam Taylor about Faiths United to Save Democracy. LaVida Davis, FCNL director of strategic advocacy, explained how we can engage in the 2024 elections.

Upcoming Events: Learn About Interrupting Violence

Community-led violence interrupter programs are an effective tool to prevent gun violence and foster peace. We have two upcoming events to learn about this inspiring work.

Next Thursday, June 20, in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Month, Friends Place on Capitol Hill will host violence interrupters from the Washington, DC area to share about how these programs build safer communities. On June 26, we will hold a Quaker Changemaker Event highlighting the work of two organizers in Denver, CO and Columbus, OH. We hope you can join us for either or both of these!

Bryan Bowman

Bryan Bowman

Social Media and Communications Strategist

Bryan Bowman is FCNL’s social media and communications strategist. In this role, he manages FCNL’s social media platforms, supports the production of FCNL’s digital content, and represents the communications team in coalition efforts.

Greg Williams

Senior Director of Digital Communications

Greg Williams serves as the Senior Director of Digital Communications at FCNL. In that role, he strategizes and implements email and web communications to support the development and advocacy teams.