Deeohn Ferris 09-26-2016

One critical lesson from the environmental justice movement is this: Racial inequity and economic disparities are intertwined fault lines running in different directions, crisscrossing the everyday lives of people of color. History shows by what means the two interact and the consequences. These crisscrossing forces downgrade the quality of life and narrow opportunities for health, housing, and financial stability. Meanwhile whole communities suffer. Remember Flint, Mich. Consider the Sioux Nation’s historic push against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Summer’s gone, and with it the breezier reading of the beach and the hammock. In its place comes a more serious reading list — more literary, less lightweight. Here are seven books where religion plays a role — though not a proselytizing or a self-help one — to read between the falling leaves.

 

the Web Editors 09-26-2016

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The number of student suspensions for the 2016-2017 school year at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., as well as the number of student suspensions at the school for the 2015-2016 school year, is zero. This downward trend began when the elementary school incorporated a focus on meditation into its day-to-day routine. Instead of being punished for disruptions or misbehavior, students are sent to the “Mindful Moment Room” where they meditate and do breathing exercises.

Laura Jesson 09-23-2016

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I hear from others that telling our stories is the way to freedom. I keep hearing that sharing our testimonies is how we grow and change, connect and love. I keep hearing LGBTQ people say that coming out was the best thing they ever did. I keep hearing that hiding and pretending is harmful, dangerous and unhealthy. I keep hearing that it’s so much better to be real and live out your identity.

I hope they’re right.

the Web Editors 09-23-2016

1. WATCH: 6-Year-Old Boy Asks Obama to Bring Syrian Boy to Live With Him

You need this today.

2. The Price of Mass Deportation

The U.S. could lose $4.7 trillion if every undocumented worker were deported.

3. Michelle Alexander Leaving Law to Teach at Union Theological Seminary

The New Jim Crow author says, of her decision, “This is not simply a legal problem, or a political problem, or a policy problem. At its core, America’s journey from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration raises profound moral and spiritual questions about who we are, individually and collectively, who we aim to become, and what we are willing to do now.”

the Web Editors 09-22-2016

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The District Attorney of Tulsa County announced on Sept. 22 that Officer Betty Shelby will be charged with manslaughter in the first degree for fatally shooting Terence Crutcher.

Officer Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16 after Crutcher’s SUV stalled on a street and police arrived to investigate. Dashcam and helicopter footage of the shooting was released by the Tulsa Police Department on Sept. 19.

Elaina Ramsey 09-22-2016

There is an unmistakable energy when women come together. In my experience, a boldness and brilliance fills the space in rich and surprising ways when women are gathered.

Such was the case as more than 1,500 women from across the country attended the recent We Won’t Wait summit in Washington, D.C., to organize and strategize for a better life for their families and communities. But this was no ordinary conference.

Sammi Sluder 09-22-2016

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It is time for the American church to engage in this liberation for singles. As we have seen with racism and imperialism, cultural ideologies can transform into oppressive theologies, which then need to be answered with a call for liberation. This must include repentance and reconciliation, relinquishing of power, and making room for a new system to be put into place — a system that is made by, cares for, and affirms single people.

Karen Gonzalez 09-22-2016

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As an immigrant woman and a Christian, I’ve loved the book of Ruth ever since I realized Ruth was an immigrant, welcomed into the family of God. And I’ve often been surprised by the interpretations of the Biblical story, in which Boaz is the hero and no one else has any agency. I find this odd because, as I read Ruth, what I see is that Boaz did nothing more heroic than exactly what was required by God’s law: He welcomed an immigrant from a neighboring community.

Jim Wallis 09-22-2016

Footage before Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by police. 

The protests that break out on the streets in the aftermaths of killings are not just about the latest individual case, but the lack of trust in a system of policing and criminal justice that justice needs to be put back into. The protests are about accountability in an age where police who use excessive force and act outside the law that they pledge to protect are almost never held accountable.

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