Sandi Villarreal 01-18-2017

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, said during her Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 17 she looks forward to understanding the “range of opinions” around Title IX rules for colleges addressing sexual assault on campus. While DeVos agreed with Sen. Bob Casey (D.-Penn.) that “sexual assault in any form or any place is a problem,” she stopped short of saying whether she would uphold 2011 rules laid out in the Office for Civil Right’s Dear Colleague Letter, which requires any schools receiving federal funding to have procedures in place and take immediate action on incidents of sexual violence, harassment, or discrimination.

 

Dhanya Addanki 01-17-2017

Photo by JP Keenan / Sojourners

“We are standing with families who have had their loved ones murdered and families who have had their loved ones executed or put on death row,” said Shane Claiborne, co-director of the Red Letter Christians, who was arrested during the protest.

“Violence is a disease not the cure,” he continued, “as families themselves say, remember our loved ones but not with more killing. That’s our message today.”

the Web Editors 01-17-2017

Image via Stephen Melkisethian/flickr.com

On Jan. 17 the White House announced that President Obama commuted much of Chelsea Manning’s remaining prison sentence, reports the New York Times. Ms. Manning was slated to be released from prison in the year 2045. She will now be released on May 17. As of Jan. 17, President Obama has granted more commutations than any U.S. president in history.

Chelsea Manning was given a 35-year prison sentence after she was convicted for a 2010 U.S. intelligence leak that involved WikiLeaks and exposed information concerning the nation’s global diplomacy and its military. Much attention of the media came Ms. Manning’s way due to her trial and conviction, as well as the fact that, after her sentencing, Ms. Manning announced she was transgender and began to identify as Chelsea.

the Web Editors 01-17-2017

Image via ep_jhu/flickr.com

On Jan. 17 the International Association of Chiefs of Police released their National Consensus Policy on Use of Force, a model policy for officers in the U.S. to follow when considering use of deadly force, reports The Washington Post. The IACP’s model policy includes de-escalation for the first time.

“An officer shall use de-escalation techniques and other alternatives to higher levels of force consistent with his training whenever possible and appropriate before resorting to force and to reduce the need for force,” the policy reads.

Image via Ken Rowland/flickr.com

More than 800 congregations have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, about double the number since Election Day.

Leaders of the sanctuary movement say the pace of churches, and other houses of worship, declaring themselves sanctuaries has quickened, in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 20.

Cathleen Falsani 01-17-2017

Image via Cathleen Falsani.

Some of the boys involved in carrying out those acts in December we know, and we know their parents. The parents we do know are not frothing-at-the-mouth bigots. We can’t imagine their sons learned racist ideas at home.

But they learned them somewhere.

Racists and bullies aren’t born. They are made.

Image via RNS/Adelle M. Banks

Crying out “no justice, no peace,” crowds joined the Rev. Al Sharpton in a weekend march towards the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, vowing not to let President-elect Donald Trump turn back strides made by the civil rights leader.

The mostly African-American throng — smaller than the thousands expected, due to the steady rain — heard from civic and religious leaders about key areas of concern: health care, voting rights, economic equality, and police brutality and reform.

Later today U.S. Senate confirmation hearings begin for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Education. If confirmed DeVos will lead the primary government agency tasked with establishing policy and administering most federal funding for public education and enforcing federal educational laws regarding civil rights.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

“God raised up, I believe, Donald Trump,” said former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann after he won the GOP nomination. “God showed up,” the Rev. Franklin Graham said to cheers at a post-election rally. “God came to me, in a dream last night, and said that Trump is his chosen candidate,” said the televangelist Creflo Dollar.

For those who share this view, Trump’s victory was nothing short of miraculous, especially given that he beat out 16 other in the Republican primaries — some of them evangelical Christians with long political resumes.

the Web Editors 01-17-2017

"Your organization claims to recognize 'the right for professors to say whatever they wish.' Professors like Joe Kuilema don’t say whatever they wish. Instead, we say what we know, based on careful research, the accumulated work of other scholars, and our own direct experience outside the classroom."

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