Activism

Speeches are Fine, but Real Change Takes a Movement

It was a warm spring afternoon when Martin Luther King addressed tens of thousands gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the largest gathering to date in the growing struggle for civil rights.

King rallied the crowd with his stirring refrain: "Give us the ballot!" He called for the government, white liberals, white Southerners, and finally the African-American [...]

China Bars Olympian and Darfur Activist from Attending Summer Games

Looks like Joey Cheek -- a winter Olympics medalist who co-founded the organization Team Darfur to protest the genocide incited by the regime in Khartoum -- will not be going to Beijing in support of the Team Darfur athletes about to compete in the Olympics. China, which buys Sudan's oil and often runs interference for the Khartoum regime in the U.N. Security Council, has revoked Cheek's visa and told him to stay out.

But, to paraphrase Matthew 15, it's not what goes into [...]

MoveOn at Ten

MoveOn.org pioneered the art of online political advocacy. As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, it can look at enormous successes and a host of new questions. Do politicians take mass e-mails seriously? Is advocacy by e-mail being replaced by text messaging and social networking? Can online activism be turned into on-the-ground organizing? They're questions that face [...]

Band-Aids or Cures?

The prophet Isaiah says that the Lord will be a stumbling block for many, meaning that the majority of us will have difficulties living the way we ought to. Working in the field of social justice only seems to add another dimension to that difficulty. Poverty, economic inequality, and eradicating racism, sexism, and the like are all issues that "progressive Christians" care about, but how much do we really say about how things got this way?

From my experience, the progressive [...]

Crazy for Justice

This Training for Change conference was a good experience, one that I did not expect and that challenged me deeply. One of the tools we practiced was learning to tell our personal stories to build relationships with each other. I'm not very good at that, and I have a hard time finding the desire to open up to strangers.

But the more the ideas of "relationships" and "stories" were [...]

Many Tribes, One Kingdom

I, like most, have multiple tribes of which I consider myself a part. This weekend I ate with, spoke with, worshiped with, learned from, and was amazed by a new tribe of people. There was kinship, and a sense of shared experience, struggle, fear, and hope among this new tribe.

I was glad to hear something in Brian McLaren's session on "scared to talk politics in church?" It wasn't something Brian said but rather something from someone who doesn't look like me, and [...]

Sharing Our Stories

Yesterday I was in a class where we were trying to frame up the story of ourselves--not just an idealistic fluffy tale--but one that when you told it, others would understand in their gut why you felt the way you feel and maybe even get a glimpse of the "real" you and move a little bit closer to you as a person. A gentleman shared with me his negative feeling of experiencing that vulnerability. I do believe that most people feel this way...scared to go deeper....scared to really talk about [...]

Get Rich or Die Trying

A few years back 50 Cent starred in the movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" about a young drug dealer who leaves his dealing to pursue a career as a rap star. The contrast is stark: utter poverty or incredible wealth. No matter the level of material poverty or wealth, believing that more "toys" is the goal will never overcome widespread poverty.

I ran into an acquaintance here at Pentecost 2008 who reminded me of how this "get rich or die trying" message is ingrained in our psychology at [...]

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