Baltimore

Image via RNS/Reuters/Max Rossi

During our nearly 40 years of friendship, I led several interreligious missions with Keeler, including meetings with then-Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. We co-led trips to Israel, including a visit to a civilian bomb shelter, and a poignant painful pilgrimage to the infamous death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Sometimes public figures can seem distant and impersonal, but that was never the case with the always gracious and welcoming Keeler.

the Web Editors 3-23-2017

The suspect, James Harris Jackson, told police he traveled to New York with the intent to attack black men, according to the New York Times. The Times quoted Assistant Chief William Aubry describing Jackson as having "harbored a hatred of black men for more than a decade." Officials have expressed desire to classify the charge to a hate crime.

Image via RNS/Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche and the Rev. Jason Chestnut

For many Christians who observe the liturgical season of Advent, leading up to Christmas, an Advent devotional is a beloved companion.

Such devotionals typically include a short Scripture reading and reflection on the birth of Jesus.

But most are “crap,” according to the Rev. Jason Chesnut of Baltimore.

Elizabeth McAlister 11-30-2016

IN 1967, I TRAVELED with activist friends from New York to Baltimore to support four people there who poured blood on the 1A files that compelled young men into the military and the massacre in Vietnam. The “Baltimore 4,” as they became known, committed the first of some 100 actions focused on draft boards, the source of cannon fodder in the ever-escalating wars in Indochina. It was during one of these trips that I met Willa Bickham and her husband, Brendan Walsh. Our friendship has been rich, varied, invaluable.

In The Long Loneliness in Baltimore, Walsh and Bickham tell of their nearing 50 years serving the people of Baltimore as the Viva House Catholic Worker. It is a story that needs telling, especially now in this country that is profoundly ruptured by economic and racial conflict.

Try as the politicians and the press might, it is impossible to disengage economics from race. Bickham and Walsh know this intimately, living in the midst of an impoverished black neighborhood. They have experienced drugs, murders, robberies, and destruction right outside their front doors. The alley that runs beside their home, thanks to their creativity, is marked with memorials to men and boys shot and killed there. Repeatedly, after almost every major killing, Walsh has told the press what has become crystal clear to him: that in Baltimore City (as in too many cities), selling drugs is the only job that exists for all-too-many people of color.

In the garden outside Viva House is the Hope Stone. In Bickham’s script, it quotes Martin Luther King Jr.: “We will hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.” That is the invitation to all who come to Viva House for whatever reason, to meet whatever need. Each is sure to receive respectful and caring human interaction, food, fellowship, help with bills, a place to escape the cold or heat or rain, a place of justice and peace.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Patrick T. Fallon

A week after Donald Trump’s stunning election as president sent the country’s governance lurching to the right, the nation’s Catholic bishops sent a message of their own — at least on immigration — by putting Mexican-born Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles in line to become the first Latino to lead the American hierarchy.

But the vote at their annual fall meeting in Baltimore on Nov. 15 also suggested that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is still hesitant to fully endorse the more progressive and pastoral approach to ministry that Pope Francis has been championing since his election in 2013.

the Web Editors 11-14-2016

Image via Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

On Nov. 14 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asked President-elect Donald Trump to implement policies geared toward honoring the humanity of immigrants and refugees, reports the Associated Press. The Roman Catholic bishops made their call to President-elect Trump at the beginning of their annual meeting in Baltimore.

Da'Shawn Mosley 11-02-2016

Image via Debbie Allen's "Freeze Frame - Stop the Madness" Facebook

The project which Allen spoke of, titled Freeze Frame…Stop the Madness, is a work of theatre written, choreographed, and directed by Allen that combines cinema, dance, and music into a stage performance inspired by the issues of race and gun violence in America. Freeze Frame opened at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 27 and, on Oct. 24, Allen visited the Center for American Progress, in the nation’s capital, to discuss Freeze Frame’s creation and the impact she hopes the show will have on the U.S.

the Web Editors 9-26-2016

Image via wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

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.

the Web Editors 7-18-2016
betto rodrigues / Shutterstock

Police watch protestors in Los Angeles march against the death of Freddie Gray. Photo via betto rodrigues / Shutterstock

Judge Barry G. Williams, the same judge presided over the acquittals of Officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson, cleared Rice of involuntary manslaugher, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office.

Eric Clayton 7-13-2016

Image via Maryland National Guard / flickr.com

I remember talking to my mom on my walk into work not long after the death of Freddie Gray. She had been watching the news and was wondering what my sense of things was on the ground.

“Are there protests?” she asked. “Are people upset?”

the Web Editors 6-23-2016
Baltimore Police Department

Officer Caesar Goodson. Baltimore Police Department

Many criminal justice experts believed that if anyone was to be charged in the death of Freddie Gray, this was the one.

Jim Wallis 5-24-2016

Photo by Ryan Stewart / Sojourners

While I am no legal expert on the details of the court decision yesterday or whether the charges against him and each of the other officers were carefully made or effectively prosecuted, nor a spiritual expert on Nero’s motives, nor an administrative expert on Baltimore police training, one fact continues to remain clear: No one has yet to be held accountable for Freddie Gray’s death who was alive and well before being detained and put into that police wagon.

 

the Web Editors 5-23-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

A Baltimore judge found Officer Edward Nero not guilty on all four of the charges he faced in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, reports ABC News.

the Web Editors 4-27-2016

Image via Dren Pozhegu / flickr.com

State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh (37 percent) edged out former Mayor Sheila Dixon (34 percent) in the Democratic primary. They were the top two finishers in a large field of contenders, which included nationally-prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, who finished with two percent of the vote, just behind City Councilman Carl Stokes’ three percent.

Rachel Malinowski 4-26-2016

Image via Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr.

In the last year, the group has met with civic leaders, including four mayoral candidates, police commissioner Kevin Davis, and the governor’s Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council, the council tasked with crafting a plan to reduce the prison population in Baltimore. Several leaders, including Archbishop Lori, went to West Baltimore following the protests to help clean up and lead services. Imam Earl El-Amin of the Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore said several members had developed a relationship with a seniors’ building during the uprising, sharing medicines and food. Rev. Deckenback’s church has been accepting donations over the last year for areas impacted by protests.

Image via Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jim Bourg/RNS

A year ago, when the death of Freddie Gray and resulting unrest in Baltimore filled the news, the Rev. Kathy Dwyer felt she had to do something.

“Every time I turned on the TV, I just felt like I was getting punched in the gut from watching the issue of racism just escalate in our country,” said the white pastor of a predominantly white United Church of Christ congregation in Arlington, Va.

Courtney Hall Lee 4-07-2016

As a black person who has lived and worked in struggling cities like these for most of my adult life, I know that the stakes are high in Baltimore. As a black mom, I will have to teach my child what to do if stopped by the police, even though I have no fear that she will ever commit a crime. As the wife of a black man, I wonder if he will be hassled by the police for shoveling our driveway. As a parent who chose to move to the city to give our child the opportunity to have peers who look like her, I know that I am blessed with choices and resources. For those who lack choices and resources, effective leadership is even more crucial.

the Web Editors 2-04-2016
YouTube / CNN

DeRay Mckesson discussing protests in Baltimore on April 28, 2015. Photo via YouTube / CNN

Minutes before the deadline to file for the Democratic primary in Baltimore on February 3, DeRay Mckesson completed the paperwork and entered the race.

With nearly 300,000 followers on Twitter, DeRay, as he's often known on Twitter, has gained widespread notoriety for his role organizing and documenting the Black Lives Matter movement. A former school administrator and Teach for America alum, DeRay first caught the public eye during protests in Ferguson and Baltimore. He is the 13th candidate to enter the Democratic primary in his hometown.

Screenshot via the White House

In times of rising Islamophobia, President Obama made a plea for religious tolerance at the first visit to an American mosque of his presidency. A lot of Americans have never been to a mosque, the president said as he began his speech, shoeless per Muslim tradition, in the Islamic Center of Baltimore’s prayer hall on Jan. 3.

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