The Common Good
December 1994-January 1995

Resources for Study and Action

by Jennifer Johnson | December 1994-January 1995

1995 CALENDARS


Searching for thoughtful gift ideas?

1995 CALENDARS

Searching for thoughtful gift ideas? The Church World Service (CWS) and Appalachia Science in the Public Interest (ASPI) have calendars that might fit the bill. While the CWS calender displays extraordinary color photography, capturing the diversity and beauty of the world's cultures in the faces of people from Latin America to Africa, the ASPI calendar features unique black-and-white photography of the Appalachian region and its people. By purchasing these calendars as gifts, you help support two groups committed to peace and justice. The CWS calendar is available for $20 from Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515-0968. Order the ASPI calendar for $6 from ASPI Calendar, Rt. 5, Box 423, Livingston, KY 40455; (606) 453-2105.

Other noteworthy calendars available from groups working toward social justice include: The War Resisters League's "With Peace on Our Wings" calendar ($12 each) from War Resisters League, 339 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012; (212) 228-0450, and Syracuse Cultural Workers' 1995 Peace Calendar ($8.95 each) or their 1995 Women Artists Datebook, In Praise of the Muse ($12.95 each), available from Syracuse Cultural Workers, P.O. Box 6367, Syracuse, NY 13217; (315) 474-1132.

WAR FROM A CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE

If the Mango Tree Could Speak is a moving documentary about how children in Central America have been impacted by war. The video's uniqueness stems from its simple honesty as story after story unfolds from the mouths of the children themselves--voices that often go unheard. Focusing on the countries of Guatemala and El Salvador, the film portrays children, such as Dora, age 12, and Diego, age 14, who have grown up in the midst of war. The documentary goes beyond the larger context of war to depict the issues the children struggle with in everyday life, such as friendships and education.

The video, which was produced by Patricia Goudvis, comes with a 32-page study guide developed by the Network of Educators on the Americas and is a thoughtful and informative resource for high schools, universities, and religious groups. Available in English or Spanish, the video and study guide cost $15 to preview and $60 to rent. The purchase price of the materials for high schools or religious organizations is $89, and the cost for universities is $250. A portion of the proceeds from this video will be donated to educational programs in Central America. The materials can be ordered from New Day Film Library, 22 D Hollywood Ave., Hohokus, NJ 07423; (201) 652-6590.

VIDEOS FOR A CHANGING WORLD

Known for its award-winning video Columbus Didn't Discover Us, Turning Tide Productions has created a new line of videos that strive to build bridges across cultures. With the common theme of working for social change, the subject matter of the documentaries varies from endangered ecosystems and indigenous communities in Arctic to Amazonia, to the personal stories of recovering drug addicts in The Long Road Back. Another video traces the journey of five North American athletes who traveled through Guatemala and Nicaragua sharing the cooperative game Futbolito, better known as hacky sack, with communities of children and adults alike.

Whether dealing with the ongoing threat of nuclear destruction or introducing multicultural forms of art-such as storytelling through music with the use of the talking drum-the videos offer a unique approach to issues of concern in the world today. Other videos available include: Harvest of Peace, Songs of the Talking Drum, A Heritage Within, Straight Talk , Vietnam Stories, They Can't Break Our Union, Call of the Peace Pagoda, Choose Life, and Seabrook 1977. These Turning Tide videos are excellent educational resources for high schools and colleges as well as community and church groups. For a catalog of available films, contact Turning Tide Productions, P.O. Box 864, Wendell, MA 01379; (800) 557-6414.

CONFRONTING VIOLENCE THROUGH EDUCATION

With the growing need for programs concentrating on conflict resolution and alternatives to violence, the ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education has published A Directory of Anti-Bias Resources and Services. This resource, designed for educators, is a guide to materials and programs that work to meet the following goals: mediation and dispute resolution, appreciation of diversity, alternatives to violence, respectful and equitable treatment of others, and emotional control and anger management.

The directory includes an introductory essay addressing the violence and bias that affect students and their education; profiles of 52 key organizations that list their services and topics covered; as well as a 15-page resource section that includes books, periodicals, curricula, audiovisuals, and distributors of anti-bias materials. The Directory of Anti-Bias Resources and Services is a valuable resource to aid educators and community leaders in approaching the conflicts that are rampant in the current educational climate. Copies of the resource cost $8 each and are available from ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Edu-cation, Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027; (800) 601-4868.

Compiled by Rachel Johnson

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