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After Republican presidential hopefuls ignored the #BlackLivesMatter movement during a debate this week, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) said it’s up to the Democratic Party and faith leaders to fight for social and racial justice.

“It’s the Republican Party and that is not what’s most important for them,” the longtime Democratic representative told NewsOne on Thursday, a day after CNN hosted the debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. “That’s why I’m a Democrat.”

The comments came during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation convention in Washington, D.C., and just before the group’s annual prayer breakfast on Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, prompting NewsOne to ask lawmakers to reflect on the role faith plays in their leadership.

“In the march for social and racial justice, lawmakers are blessed to have many allies, including faith groups, community organizations, and passionate advocates,” U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) told NewsOne in an email response about the significance of faith in public service. “As we work to address the many challenges facing our nation, we need all members of our community, including people of faith, to raise their voices, demand change, and fight for social justice and racial justice.”

Last month, Lee held a community forum at Brookins AME Church in Oakland, California to discuss policing, church shootings, and racist policies in America, drawing dozens of youth.

“Each and every day I’m trying to 1. Change the laws that are causing the racist policies that have been perpetrated over the years,” she said in a YouTube video recording of the event. “2. I’m working every day to bring resources away from the Pentagon, which has a huge budget into my community to create jobs here.”

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), who also has a long track record in the fight for civil rights and racial justice, said that faith is the cornerstone of his public service.

“It is because when all seems wrong and progress seems slow,” he told NewsOne in an email statement about the role faith plays in his work, “it is faith in God that reminds me I am just his servant and must continue to work to make this country and world a better place.”

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the prayer breakfast, and the Miles College Choir of Fairfield, Alabama is slated to perform at the event. For the second year in a row, NewsOne will livestream the event, which draws about 3,000 attendees each year.

PHOTO CREDIT: Congressional Black Caucus


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