Stop policing Catholic spaces and end Dannielle Brown's hunger strike

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This is a petition developed by Catholics, to be presented to Catholics, signed by people of all faiths and none at all.

Dannielle Brown is fighting for her life on Freedom Corner, and a Catholic university is allowing it to happen. It is time for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and USCCB to intervene before Ms. Brown becomes a martyr for justice. Blessed is she who literally hungers and thirsts for righteousness to find justice for her child. A saint is living among us and the people of the Catholic faith are ignoring her. In the name of Mary, Mother of a murdered Son, we demand you listen to this woman.

Our Demands:

1. Publicly support Dannielle Brown’s demands and her fight for justice.
2. Remove police from all Catholic institutions within the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
3. Provide regular and mandatory anti-racist trainings to priests, deacons, and all those who serve in Catholic institutions within the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

We, as people of the Catholic faith, need to admit to our own culpability in ongoing systemic racism and, in the words of our Black Catholic sister Gloria Purvis, say:

"Yes, we have sinned; yes, religious orders owned slaves; we did not speak out in the abolition movement; we pushed some people even in the celebration of Mass to the side or to the back, so they could only receive our Lord when others were done.” 

Beyond that, we need to admit that sanctioning the police killings of Black people is a grave sin and repent. The Catholic Church was founded on Jesus Christ, not violence or white supremacy, and we need to act like it. This begins by defending the demands of Dannielle Brown and working to dismantle the influences of racism in our local Catholic communities. We implore the Diocese of Pittsburgh and USCCB to be voices of racial justice to affirm the dignity of Jaylen, Dannielle, and all of our Black brothers and sisters.

What are we called to do, moving forward? Now that we know there is an opportunity to be a peacemaker, a “Good Samaritan,” will we heed the call? Or will we walk over the body of the victim on our journey to something more important, more worthy of our time and resources? The Church has the moral obligation to uplift the personhood of each human, and this is an opportunity to do so. As anti-racist individuals and as Catholics, it is our duty to fight for Dannielle Brown’s freedom and liberation. We invite you to join us in our fight.

For more information on Dannielle Brown's cause, visit

Click here to view the full letter we are sending to the Diocese and USCCB.

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