Seeds

Resources for Study and Action

Welfare Watchdogs

The Welfare Watchdogs and the American Friends Service Committee have produced a game kit designed to educate churches and community organizations about who really benefits from welfare. As the games reveal, large corporations are the biggest beneficiaries of government assistance. The games are designed to use facts and humor to correct public misperceptions about welfare recipients. The game kit sells for $15 and includes a series of skits and activities with scripts and background information. Contact Welfare Watchdogs, Upper New York State AFSC, 420-1/2 Gifford St., Syracuse, NY 13204; (315) 475-4822.

Peace Calendar

The War Resisters League still has available its 1999 Peace Calendar featuring the words and drawings of children from many countries of what they see and what they'd like to see in the world around them. The 128-page, spiral-bound calendar is 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" and features peace resources and international contacts. The cost is $12 each or 4 for $44. To order the Peace Calendar, contact the War Resisters League at 339 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012.

Resources for Kids

Viva!, a children's education project of the Mennonite Central Committee, has produced a learning and activity box designed to acquaint North American children with faces, stories, crafts, games, songs, and recipes of children of Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Haiti, and Mexico. Teachers' guides for each country provide ideas adaptable for grades one through seven, for use in Sunday schools, vacation Bible schools, classrooms, and cross-cultural fairs. The guides explore issues vital to children in these countries, such as caring for creation, child labor, debt, and conflict resolution. A map, music cassettes, storybook, and two videos are included.

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1999
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Resources for Study and Action

Architects Building Better Communities

Design Corps, in partnership with the Corporation for National Service, announces a new community internship program that will allow architectural students and recent graduates to directly apply their expertise to help low-income families and small communities who do not have other access to designers. Both funding and placement services for the yearlong, full-time, community-based internships will be provided. The program has been established to match the desire of many architecture students to improve the quality of life in communities with the great unmet need for affordable architectural services. Those interested should contact Bryan Bell, Executive Director, Design Corps, 217 East Middle St., Gettysburg, PA 17325; (717) 337-1447; design@cvn.net.

Congregations Against the Death Penalty

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 1999
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Resources for Study and Action

Shop With a Conscience

The fair trade movement in the United States began with a few organizations willing to give producers a fair price for their goods and to engage in ethical and non-exploitive purchasing and marketing practices. Several alternative trading organizations have been practicing fair trade for more than five decades and provide important alternatives for gift-giving.

Alternative Gifts International is an interfaith non-profit agency that provides gifts that empower people in crisis and help protect the environment. Mayan Hands, a fair trade enterprise working with Maya artisans since 1989, is working with Pastors for Peace to make available high quality products for sales at churches, schools, or offices. Contact Alternative Gifts International at P.O. Box 2267, 9656 Palomar Trail, Lucerne Valley, CA 92356-2267; 1-800-842-2243; fax (760) 248-2195; www.altgifts.org. Mayan Hands can be reached at 92 Brookline Ave., Albany, NY 12203; (518) 489-4593; fax (518) 438-6354.

Making Corporations Accountable

The National Labor Committee, an independent human rights organization focused on protecting worker rights, kicked off a "Holiday Season of Conscience/ People’s Right to Know" campaign on October 3 to raise consumer awareness of how to protect human rights. This is a joint campaign with the People of Faith Network.

The two-year People’s Right to Know campaign will focus on corporate disclosure-holding corporations accountable for the conditions under which their workers labor and their products are produced. It will also focus on empowering consumers to defend worker rights through education and activism targeting companies with the worst human rights records, such as Wal-Mart.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 1998
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Resources for Study and Action

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 1998
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Resources for Study and Action

Debt Relief
Jubilee 2000/USA Campaign
calls for the cancellation of debt as proclaimed in Leviticus 25:10-12: "And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants....That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you." For our time, this means the recognition of crushing international debt burdens in countries that borrowed heavily to become industrialized (see "For a Dignified Life," May-June 1998). Numerous church and secular organizations are cooperating to bring relief to those so burdened; a national conference will be held October 1-4 in Washington, D.C. An education packet is available for $5 (includes shipping). Send check or money order to Jubilee 2000/USA, 222 E. Capitol St. NE, Washington, DC 20003-1036; (202) 783-3566; coord@J2000usa.org.

When is Enough Enough?
Curing Affluenza is a series of six videos produced by United Methodist Communications that address the current American epidemic of shopping, overwork, debt, and the pursuit of more money. In the first video of the series, Abundant Life: What Is It? evangelist and educator Tony Campolo interacts with a small group to ask "when is enough enough?" With the widening global economic gap between rich and poor, Christians need to find ways to address a "disease called affluence." Endorsed by many of the major U.S. denominations, each video is available for $29.95; the whole series is $159.90; rentals are $18 each, from EcuFilm, 810 Twelfth Ave So., Nashville, TN 37203; 1-800-251-4091.

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 1998
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Resources for Study and Action

Resisting the Death Penalty

Wrenching concern for the accelerated use of the death penalty in the United States prompted a Bruderhof community to sponsor the "Children’s Crusade to Death Row" last August. Seven hundred people participated in a three-day, 35-mile protest march to SCI prison in Pennsylvania. A descriptive, 68-page booklet about the march is available from Plough Publishing House for $5; an 18-minute video is $12. To order write Rt. 381 North, Farmington, PA 15437 or call 1-800-521-8011.

Do you want to be on record as opposing capital punishment? Cherish Life Circle is circulating a "Declaration of Life" statement for signature that indicates your opposition as well as your intent, should you ever be a murder victim, that the assailant should not be in jeopardy of the death penalty. The declaration is available from Cherish Life Circle, Convent of Mercy, 273 Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205. Your statement must be notarized. Application cost is $1.

A visual resource is the book Final Exposure, the culmination of a six-year project photographing and interviewing 27 death row inmates by award-winning photographer Lou Jones. It is available from The Other Side, 1-800-700-9280, $40 (paperback).

Plant a Piece of History

American Forests is a non-profit organization caring for trees and forests since 1875. A free catalog, Famous and Historic Trees, describes trees’ importance to clean the air, purify water, hold soil in place, and provide habitat for wildlife. Selected trees may be purchased to tie in to historical events and famous personalities. Tree kits include a planting zone map, complete instructions, and a lifetime guarantee. Contact American Forests, 8555 Plummer Road, Jacksonville, FL 32219; 1-800-320-8733.

Countering Corporate Power

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 1998
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Resources for Study and Action

Poverty and Race

Resources are always needed to help guide and sustain a commitment to racial justice. Poverty and Race is a bimonthly journal that includes a multiple-page listing of additional resource materials. A sample copy is available upon request from the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, 1711 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 207, Washington, DC 20009; (202) 387-9887.

Human Rights

The Amnesty International USA Steering Committee has produced 10 Human Rights Resource Notebooks, which are collections of activities and resources on topics including children's rights, the death penalty, race and ethnicity, and conflict resolution. Selected activities for elementary, middle, and high school students are also available. Each resource is $5 from Human Rights USA Resource Center, 310 Fourth Ave. South, Suite 1000, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1012.

"All Too Familiar: Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons," a free guide providing information for advocates of protective legislation, is available from Human Rights Watch, 1522 K St. NW, #910, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 371-6592. "A Community Checklist: Important Steps to End Violence Against Women" suggests actions for people to take in their own town or area to prevent violence against women. It is available from the Violence Against Women Office, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room 5302, Washington, DC 20530; (202) 616-8894.

Landmines

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1998
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Resources for Study and Action

TOWARD ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE

Bread for the World has recently released Hunger 1998, an exceptional collection of documented information, providing study materials for churches and organizations in an effort to make the world economy work better for hungry people. It’s available for $18 from the Bread for the World Institute, 1100 Wayne Ave., Suite 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910; (301) 608-2400; www.bread.org

Co-op America’s National Green Pages is a directory dedicated to the creation of a just and sustainable society by harnessing economic power for positive change, or "buying green." It cites thousands of products and services from "green" businesses and offers hundreds of special discounts. The price is $7.95 (including postage and handling) or free if one becomes a member of Co-op America for $20. The latter includes their quarterly newsletter and other membership services. Contact Co-op America, 1612 K St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006; (202) 872-5307.

WHEN I WAS IN PRISON...

Prison Visitation and Support is a volunteer nationwide alternative ministry to prisoners, sponsored by many religious and peace organizations, and is the only program authorized by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Department of Defense to visit all federal and military prisons. Two hundred PVS volunteers provide friendship, encouragement, and a listening ear to prisoners who get no, or few, visitors. An excellent 20-minute video filmed in six of the prisons shows PVS in action. It is available on loan or as a gift to contributors of $25 or more. Contact PVS, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; (215) 241-7117.

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 1998
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Resources for Study and Action

As part of a worldwide boycott of all old-growth redwood products, the World Stewardship Institute (WSI) is urging faith communities to ban the use of redwood in the construction of worship facilities.

"WSI is a faith-based environmental organization working with other groups to block the harvest of the redwoods of Headwaters Forest in Northern California and save them as an international treasure. Old-growth redwood, durable and lacking knots, is in large demand by the construction industry. Much of it is produced by Pacific Lumber, the owners of Headwaters Forest. This is one of the last remnants of the temperate rain forests that blanketed the Northern California coast just 200 years ago.

"For more information on the boycott and how you can set up an environmental stewardship program in your congregation, contact WSI, 409 Mendocino Ave., Suite A, Santa Rosa, CA 95401; (707) 573-3160.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 1997
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Resources for Study and Action

CHALLENGING RACISM

One of the four major efforts of the Call to Renewal network is the dismantling of racism. Here are several resources to help toward that goal.

Reconcilers Fellowship in Jackson, Mississippi, has opened the Perkins Training Center. Workshops at PTC focus on racial reconciliation, community rebuilding, and concern for the poor by bringing people of different races together in unprecedented ways. Reconcilers also offers a quarterly magazine of the same name, which is free upon request. Contact them at P.O. Box 32, Jackson, MS 39205; (601) 354-1563; or e-mail reconcile1@ aol.com.

Walk Together Children is a new ecumenical resource by Baptist Peace Fellowship for local congregations who want to form partnerships across racial lines within their communities. The 76-page guide has lots of how-to advice and more than a dozen stories on current partnerships. The cost is $6.95 plus $2 postage. Order from BPF at Box 280, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745; (704) 456-1881; or e-mail bpfna@ primeline.com.

Ending Racism—Working for a Racism Free 21st Century is a video produced by Crossroads Ministry, an interfaith ministry for racial justice. The video and companion discussion guide can be used by civic, educational, religious, and business groups to begin to understand racism’s impact on their communities and institutions. Crossroads also provides training to multiracial teams for facilitating discussion on this topic. Order for $30 plus $5 shipping from Crossroads Ministry, 425 S. Central Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60624; (312) 638-0166; or e-mail xroads@igc.apc.org.

REFUGEES IN PERIL

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 1997
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