Individuals across the United States are signing a new pledge to take personal responsibility for protecting others as cities and states reopen despite widespread concerns about how to do so safely and responsibly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"The pledge functions to help people pause and think about how they will act in the context of our states and cities starting to reopen and what that means for themselves and the larger community," said Johnny Zokovitch, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA which designed and is promoting the pledge. "It also articulates the desire of the vast majority of the public to demonstrate consideration for how our actions affect others, how we are taking personal responsibility to protect friends and strangers, and how we are prioritising the common good, including making personal sacrifices."
Early signers of the pledge include Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Archdiocese of Detroit; Sr Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA; Ronaldo Cruz, former executive director of the USCCB Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs; and theologian and author Megan McKenna.
People taking the pledge commit to following "the advice of healthcare workers and scientists," listening to "the voices and expertise of those most vulnerable," advocating with "those working in conditions that jeopardise their safety," and supporting "elected leaders who honour their responsibility for our communities by seeking ways to bring us together" during the pandemic.
"It may seem strange that this basic message has to be articulated, but people are telling us that it does," stated Vicki Vernon Lott, PhD, a member of Pax Christi USA's National Council. "The pledge is an assertion that people can use to stand against that other narrative which seeks to blame and castigate others, trafficks in racism, threatens violence, foments fear, and only considers self-interest."
The pledge and resources for promoting it can be found at: https://mypledgetoprotect.org/
A list of signers and testimonies as to why people are signing are published on the site.
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