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Change happens constantly, mostly without a second thought: The moon changes its phase ever gradually. We change from sleeping to waking. I changed this introduction after receiving edits from my colleagues.
But when change — good or bad — does catch our individual or collective attention, it often presents challenges. For example, what happens when “bad men,” now finally under public scrutiny thanks to the #MeToo movement, seek change in their own lives? What happens when a school and town debating racism tries to change? What happens when a publisher tries to change a historic Black church into a home for his family?
Nearly all of the stories below are about changes, past, present, and future. They are also about knowledge. What we know about ourselves, our enemies, or our history all affect our ability to accept or embrace change.
Consider this need for knowledge as you contemplate the stories of change below. In the words of my favorite writer, James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
1. How Bayard Rustin’s Quaker, AME Faith Shaped the Civil Rights Era
Kept at arm's length for being gay and socialist, Rustin infused nonviolence into the civil rights movement. By Joshua Eaton and Lexi McMenamin via sojo.net.
2. It Started With a Mock ‘Slave Trade’ and a School Resolution Against Racism. Now a War Over Critical Race Theory Is Tearing This Small Town Apart.
The question roiling Traverse City, Mich., is the question roiling America: Is this a racist place? By Hannah Natanson via washingtonpost.com.
3. ‘The Terrorists Perceived Themselves To Be Christians’
In testimony to Congress, Daniel Hodges and other officers described what they saw on Jan. 6 — including Christian nationalism. By Lexi McMenamin via sojo.net.
4. Can ‘Bad Men’ Ever Change?
Would face-to-face meetings between a victim and an abuser — a form of restorative justice — help a society overwhelmed with toxic behavior? By Amelia Schonbek via thecut.com.
5. My Lola Is Decolonizing the Garden of Eden
It is possible to imagine a new ecological reality outside of colonialism. Women are leading the way. By Yanan Melo via sojo.net.
6. Rolling Stone’s Publisher Planned To Convert a Black Church Into His Home, but Residents Fought Back To Preserve It
‘We just could not allow it to fall into the hands of someone who didn’t have the religious respect of the community,’ said Naomi Nightingale. By Alejandra Molina via religionnews.com.
7. Rest Is Holy, Not a Reward for the Productive
Taking breaks necessitates a change of pace — an a laying down of self importance. By Sandi Villarreal via sojo.net.
8. NCR Wouldn't Have Published the Grindr Story. Here's Why.
Not only do the Pillar stories lack confirmation, they raise issues of privacy, newsworthiness and transparency. By Heidi Schlumpf via National Catholic Reporter.
9. As Eviction Moratorium Ends, Faith Groups Brace for Impact
With millions behind on their rent, many could be at risk of homelessness when the moratorium expires on Aug. 1. By Jeff A. Chamer via sojo.net.
10. The Post-Dirtbag Left
For years, Chapo Trap House and other podcasts have paired anti-capitalist ideas with the rhetorical style of social media. Is a new form emerging? By Andrew Marantz via The New Yorker.