Nuns on Bus Leader to Speak February 3

Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the Nuns on the Bus campaigns

February 3, 2014: Get a taste of what Sister Simone Campbell will have to say tonight in today's radio interview with WHMP's Bill Newman.

Sister Simone Campbell—religious leader, attorney, poet, and organizer of the Nuns on the Bus campaign—will speak on “A View from the Bus: Women of Faith in the Public Square” on Monday, February 3 at 7 pm in Chapin Auditorium.

Campbell has served since 2004 as executive director of NETWORK, an organization of Roman Catholic nuns who lobby for federal policies and legislation that promote economic and social justice. She drew national attention during the 2010 debate over U.S. health care reform when she penned a letter to congressional leaders that was signed by 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters to urge the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

“We have witnessed firsthand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children, and people who are poor,” she wrote. “We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays. We have counseled and prayed with men, women, and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies. We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment.”

The effort was credited by many as a critical factor in the adoption of the Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama subsequently invited Campbell to attend the ceremony when he signed the bill into law.

In 2012, Campbell continued her high-profile lobbying by organizing the Nuns on the Bus tour of nine states to oppose the “Ryan Budget” approved by the House of Representatives—a budget authored by former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan that dramatically cut programs intended to provide assistance to people in need. In 2013, she led a second cross-country Nuns on the Bus tour, this one focused on comprehensive immigration reform. 

Over her career, Campbell has lobbied in Washington, D.C., on issues related to peace building, immigration reform, health care, and economic justice. She has been featured in the national and international media, including recent appearances on 60 Minutes, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In addition, she has been the keynote or featured speaker at numerous large gatherings, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Prior to leading NETWORK, Campbell served as the executive director of JERICHO, the California interfaith public policy organization that works like NETWORK to protect the interests of people living in poverty. She also participated in a delegation of religious leaders to Iraq in December 2002, just prior to the war, and was later (while at NETWORK) part of a Catholic Relief Services delegation to Lebanon and Syria to study the Iraqi refugee situation there.

Campbell’s memoir, titled A Nun on the Bus, will be published in April. Her visit is sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Weissman Center for Leadership.