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Sojourners Magazine: June 2015

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FORMER U.S. POET Laureate Kay Ryan, in her poem “Waste,” wrote, “Nothing is exempt from resurrection.” That insistence on redeeming the past—on refusing to allow what’s come before to determine our fate—shines through several articles in this issue. Richard Twiss, a Lakota activist and pastor, tells stories of the former demonization of Native drumming and other Indigenous music—and how Native Christians today are finding new meaning, and new life, in old traditions.

Former jail guard Tobias Winright has gone back to prison—to teach college classes to both inmates and guards in the Missouri state prison system—and discovered that education is one of the most effective ways to help released prisoners stay out for good. And Dee Curry is no longer homeless—and is clean and sober—thanks to help she received from “housing first” advocates, proof that the past isn’t necessarily prologue.

WE’RE USED TO hearing that we shouldn’t just spend our money, but rather we should make our money work for us. Most Americans have little choice but to do the former, but many of those who are able to save for their retirement often do so without paying too much attention to where their money is going. People who are strongly committed to working against, say, climate change and nuclear war might be surprised to find that the mutual funds in their 401(k) accounts contain shares of fossil-fuel companies or weapons manufacturers.

We may be clear about our convictions and values, about the injustice we oppose in this world—but we may not realize that we’re helping to pay for it.

In this issue, we explore four examples of campaigns that are encouraging us to “move our money”—to make our investments reflect our values and serve as tools to bring about change. Money talks, it is said, but when it walks it speaks even louder. 

Cover Story

Various campaigns have adopted the tactic of divestment to compel action toward a safer, more just, and more sustainable world. Does it work? 

Feature

The Housing First model gives formerly homeless people the stability of housing and ongoing support to get back on their feet. 
350 .org / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Defunding climate change is "an idea whose time has come." 
A foreign woman creates a scene in Tyre. 
Divestment by a few institutions based on the same ethical objection can have a significant impact on a company's strategic direction. 
Two underserved populations are earning college degrees in prison these days. Only one of them is incarcerated. 
Tackling their finances is perhaps the most effective way of restricting terrorist groups. 
Church bodies in the U.S. are removing financial support for the occupation of Palestinian territory—but some Jewish groups still see divestment as delegitimizing Israel itself. 

Commentary

Presbyterians vote to accept marriage equality.
Utility companies promote laws that seek to prevent rooftop solar systems. 
It's in the interest of us all to protect the right of labor to organize. 

Columns

"The old hatreds shall someday pass; the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve." 
The Bible calls us to create multiracial communities of faith. 
A Brief History of Time is a great read, especially the one page I understood. 

Culture Watch

"Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn't Going Broke and How Expanding It will Help Us All," The New Press 
How Native Christians are reclaiming tradition to create an "Indigenous hymnody" 
"Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World," Fortress Press
Four June 2015 culture recommendations from our editors
Fraternities have become the tail that wags the dog in U.S. universities. 
Lest we forget, The Sound of Music is a story of hope triumphing almost unimaginable odds.
"Carrie & Lowell,"  Asthmatic Kitty Records

Web Extra

An infographic illustrating mass incarceration