As part of a multi-state tour, including both major party conventions, the Nuns on the Bus made a stop in Buffalo on Wednesday. The nuns are using this presidential cycle to call for a new politics of inclusion.
Nuns on the Bus is a project of NETWORK, Advocates for Justice Inspired by Catholic Sisters, based in Washington DC. The group was organized in 2012 by Sister Simone Campbell.
Speaking to a small crowd outside St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown Buffalo, Campbell said the Nuns decided to hit the road for their fifth national tour because they say they're fed up with the hate speech and polarization sweeping the country.
"We're tearing holes in our society by anger and blame and really disturbing everyone with this individualism that just says, 'I've got mine and too bad for anybody else,'" Campbell said.
During their 23-city tour, including the Republican Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, the Nuns on the Bus are pushing for economic policies focused on tax justice, living wages, and family-friendly workplaces. Campbell calls it mending the gaps.
"The good news is under the mess we're in, income and wealth disparity, lack of housing, lack of transportation, lack of access to healthcare...the litany goes on, we all know it. But the good news in the midst of it is, policies created this problem, policies can change it. So we're saying, let's come together as people and get the policies changed," Campbell said.
The Nuns were invited to Buffalo by St. Paul's Interim Dean, Very Rev. Will Mebane.
Membane points out Buffalo is one of the poorest and most segregated cities in the country.
"The most important thing we can do is begin to change the hearts and minds of people to recognize that yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper. If we do that, we can mend all kinds of gaps in this city, in this nation." Mebane said.
ebane says that the City of Buffalo is just one or two incidents away from becoming the next Ferguson, Baltimore or Baton Rouge.