Karla is originally from El Salvador however the city of Angels has been her home (Go Lakers!) for most of her life. She graduated from Biola University in 2009, with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Intercultural Studies and Biblical Studies. This last year, Karla worked as an after school Assistant Program Director and mentored neighborhood youth in inner city Los Angeles.
Aside from the work aspects and community aspects of the internship program, Karla is excited about the opportunity of being a year round pedestrian and walking commuter. Karla loves spoken word, gardening, foods from different cultures, knitting, hearing people’s stories, looking for fun vegetable recipes, learning more about God’s heart for justice and is an avid fan of cupcakes.
Karla feels honored to be a part of the Sojourners community this year.
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Hunger Action Day in California
Where there is hope, there is future.
Today is Hunger Action Day.
For many in my beloved Golden State, today will go unnoticed. It will be what it always is — a Wednesday full of its special nuances with perhaps homework, meals and snacks, pleasant weather, and most definitely, a dose of stressful traffic. It will be normal. Life will be as it always is. For others however, myself included, this is the day we have been waiting for. In fact, you could even say, that this is the day we’ve been hungry for.
More than 300 California residents from all around the state — from the beach towns to the gritty parts of the city — have committed their day, their energy, and their hearts to visiting with their representatives to advocate for their neighbors and friends who every day face hunger. To these few hundred residents who have taken the time to journey to Sacramento, the opportunities that today provide could be life changing for thousands.
Protecting the Sacred
Sacred the land,
Sacred the water,
Sacred the sky,
Holy and true,
Sacred all life,
Sacred each other,
All reflect God who is good.
– Franciscan Brother Rufino Zaragoza, OFM
Last Friday night was the first time I uttered this refrain. As I sang, I felt a sense of gratitude to know the significance of these words and to feel the conviction of knowing that I have a responsibility in protecting that which is sacred.
Unfortunately, celebrating the arts isn’t a priority today. This is especially apparent when ongoing budget cuts threaten robust art programs.
When looking for places to cut, art and music school programs are the first to go in schools. Recently in Los Angeles, the Board of Education approved a preliminary $6 billion budget, a plan that would eliminate employment by the thousands, close school districts’ adult schools, cut after-school programs and cut art programs.
These cuts continue, even when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan insists dance, music, theater, and visual arts "are essential to preparing our nation's young people for a global economy fueled by innovation and creativity,” according to GOOD.
The Selling of America's Children
An estimated 27 million people are held in slavery today, and human trafficking is expected to pass drug trafficking as the largest criminal industry in the world. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 slaves (Salvation Army), many of them children. So we sang “All creatures of our God and king lift up your voice and with us sing, Oh Praise him”, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’ve come” (“Come Thou Fount”) and “How great is our God.”
Green Card is the Green Light to Jobs
Every 100 immigrants with advanced degrees who worked in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields created an additional 262 jobs for U.S. natives according to Zavodny’s research. The numbers increased even more when those immigrants had degrees from U.S. schools.
Human Circles of Protection: 16, 23, 24 is the Combination to Guard the Needy Against Budget Cuts
On November 23, the Congressional Super Committee appointed to reduce the national deficit must decide where to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.
Many of their proposed cuts the Super Committee is contemplating strike fear in my soul -- a visceral forboding of injustice.
That's because the proposed billion-dollar cuts will affect after school tutoring programs, job training for unemployed adults, Head Start and child care programs, energy grants that help low-income families afford heat and many other programs that benefit the least of those among us.
It is for this reason that many organizers, parents, students, community leaders and people of faith will assemble across the nation at noon (in every time zone) on November 16 to form human circles of protection around the buildings of organizations and agencies that have dedicated their lives to helping the poor and are in jeopardy of losing essential funding from the federal government.