Grief, Commitment, and Justice After the 2016 Election

CONTACT: Drew Konow,, 203-222-0055

November 9, 2016

This morning, many of us woke up to a reality we never imagined. This grueling campaign season has ended, and it has ended with President-Elect Trump.

This does not embody the moral vision so many faith leaders stood up to articulate. This election season has revealed to all of us what many people in this country experience every day: sexism, heterosexism, misogyny, trans-misogyny, racism, Islamophobia. Today, we call to mind lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, and queer people, women, immigrants, Black and brown people, people with disabilities, people who have experienced sexual assault, and so many others for whom this election season and its conclusion bring fear, anxiety, and trauma.

Let us spend the time needed to care for ourselves and each other. Let us not be too hasty to move from our very real grief, and let us hold space for others to grieve and process as well. And then, when we are ready to begin again, let us be centered in our values and our commitments.

Throughout this election season, the Religious Institute has joined faith leaders and people of faith in calling for social change that benefits all people, not just the strong, powerful, or wealthy. Together, we have put forth a moral vision for our future, challenging political leaders to create policies that strengthen the common good. Rooted in our faith, we have spoken out against the suffering caused by oppression based on gender, sexuality, or reproductive decisions.

While we lament that these values are not evident in the rhetoric of the President-Elect, we will not give up our hope. We will continue to work for justice for all people. There is no doubt that sexual, gender, and reproductive justice will be threatened in the coming years. There will be efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to overturn Roe v. Wade, and to enact more restrictions on access to reproductive healthcare and contraception. The bodies of Black and brown people will continue to be targeted by policing policies, racism, and discrimination. The bodies of transgender and gender-nonconforming people will continue to be targeted in public spaces.

Our faithful voices will be needed now more than ever. Our religious traditions teach us that healing is possible. As people of many faiths, we believe that each of us—individually and collectively—can help bring about a more just world. May we move forward together and may we join together, as people of faith, to bring hope and justice to the world.

Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey
President and CEO

Posted in News, Press Releases.