The Common Good

Weekly Wrap 1.17.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Female Methodist Pastor Performs Anointing Ritual for A Roman Catholic Cardinal
While the Roman Catholic has not moved toward officially ordaining women, one U.S. Cardinal recently honored the ministry of Rev. Anne Robertson, a United Methodist minister in Massachusetts. Cardinal Sean O'Malley asked Robertson to administer a baptism reaffirmation ritual to him.

As the war on poverty has reached its 50th year, the U.S. still faces significant issues of income inequality.

2. WATCH: Making House Calls, To People Without Homes
Dr. Jim Withers, one of the pioneers of street medicine, treats homeless people on the streets of Pittsburgh in this heartwarming video by NationSwell. “We would have to stretch ourselves,” Withers said, “And care enough to stretch ourselves into their world, into their reality.”

3. Wealthy Women Can Afford to Reject Marriage, but Poor Women Can’t
Higher-income "single ladies" often push back against "patriarchy." But the statistics don't lie: Low-income, unmarried women face significant economic challenges when they stay single.

4. It Is Expensive to Be Poor
Minimum-wage jobs are physically demanding, have unpredictable schedules, and pay so meagerly that workers can't save up enough to move on.

5. Dead Broke, Not Deadbeat: Baltimore Rethinks Welfare Policy 
Aid can create a wedge between mothers and fathers, experts say, and Maryland officials are trying to change that. “We shouldn't have to say we were separated to get help,” said Darnell, a married man whose wife conceals her married status. “They are saying they want the father involved but won't help you if the father is involved. That is backwards.”

6. How the Haiti Earthquake Launched 'Digital Humanitarianism'
Internationally, new communication techniques helped relief workers connect directly with those who needed help in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. “With the use of the Internet and mobile phones, survivors in Haiti sent out cries for help through tweets, texting, Facebook, and other digital media.”

7. Mexicali has Become Mexico’s City of the Deported as U.S. Dumps More People There 
In Mexicali, Mexico, “the deported sleep in parks, abandoned buildings, and along the train tracks that run through town.” Due easy access to a nearby airstrip, the U.S. has deported at least 113,539 people to the city in the past two years.

8. WATCH: Former 'Lost Boy' Returns to South Sudan
Daniel Majok Gai escaped violence in Sudan, received a Masters degree and became a U.S. citizen. 15 years later he returned to help build schools, only to find South Sudan amidst more fighting.

9. Don't Demonize Gangsters – They're Human Too
Dreda Say Mitchell works with young offenders to improve their writing and find gifts and skills they didn’t know they had. “The truth is that all crime has a backdrop. And in the case of gangs, part of that backdrop is poor communities that have been on a downward curve for decades.”

10. WATCH: 'I Have a Dream'
Finally, in memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this short movie gives a dramatic presentation of his “I Have A Dream” speech from the March on Washington.

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