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Sr. Quincy Howard: Fighting for Democracy is Faithful

After leaving the church 25 years prior and planning to never return, Sr. Quincy Howard would accidentally join a silent retreat that would change her life forever.

 

Born in Texas, Sr. Quincy was the youngest of her devoted Catholic family. Her aunt was a Dominican Sister who created a scholarship for women at Dominican University. Even after Sr. Quincy left the church she still identified with Catholicism culturally and followed her aunt’s footsteps at Dominican University, earning her undergraduate degree in mathematics and sociology while studying Spanish, history and politics. 

 

She received her masters degree in urban planning at the University of Texas and joined the National Wildlife Federation. Afterwards, she became an urban planner in New Orleans, she found the business side of her job distasteful so she left for a silent retreat - not realizing it was for women who were discerning formation with the Dominicans. This path would lead to her joining the Dominican Sisters.

 

“I stepped out of my life to go into this formation process,” Sr. Quincy said. “As I was giving my final vows the Black Lives Matter movement grew, the rise of ISIS continued, and the 2016 election came and went -  the world was spiralling downwards with the election of Donald Trump.” It was not the normal sister formation track. 

 

Today, Sr. Quincy works as the Government Relations Coordinator for NETWORK Lobby, a Catholic social justice organization in Washington, DC.

 

The advocate describes her journey as “a really weird ride” as she is still understanding her identity as a sister which can be challenging in the ego-driven world of DC. She works on raising the minimum wage and voting rights reforms. Previously she fought the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and worked tirelessly to make sure the 2018 Farm Bill didn’t cut food assistance - one of the biggest bipartisan success stories of the year.

 

However, in today’s political environment, Howard is deeply concerned for the 2020 election - that is what inspires her to fight for democracy. “We are in a very vulnerable place. With foreign intervention messing with election infrastructure - we [the American people] are asleep on the job,” Howard said. “I am extremely hopeful of the sentiment of the American people.”

Sr. Quincy Howard stands in traditional sister habit awaiting risking arrest after a press conference on the treatment of immigrants in detention centers during a Catholic Day of Action.

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