“Our agenda is set by listening to people who are pushed to margins. It is a culture of listening and accompaniment,” Novak says. “We travel all over the country to meet with people through rallies, interviews, and Nuns on the Bus trips,” when Sisters tour the country by bus, tackling political issues such as voter rights and income inequality as they go.
Novak’s current agenda has four parts: dismantling systemic racism, cultivating inclusive community, building an economy based on solidarity, and transforming American politics.
It’s a lot. But already there are successes: A bill to reduce disparities in prison sentencing for drug-related offenses has bipartisan support in the Senate.
NETWORK is also championing legislation to improve access to voting and tear down barriers that exclude people of color from participating in the democratic process. “The system to dismantle systemic racism is democracy,” Novak says, “and if democracy is not working, nothing will change.”