Tag Archives: Activism

Chaplaincy & the Movement to End Poverty

This blog first appeared on the Poverty Initiative Union in Dialogue Blog: A New & Unsettling Force.

Below are two pieces by Poverty Initiative leaders discussing the different contexts in which they have served as chaplains and how this work is connected to the broader movement to end Poverty.  The first is a reflection by Jennifer Wilder about her work with the Union protest chaplains who have been serving in Zuccotti (Liberty) Park for the past several weeks of Occupy Wall Street.   Jenn’s reflection is followed by an excerpt from a reflection that Union alum and Poverty Initiative leader Onleilove Alston wrote about being a chaplain over the years with the Poverty Initiative, “on the field of battle for justice.”

CHAPLAINCY IN ZUCCOTTI PARK FOR ‘OCCUPY WALL STREET’

As I focused on our prayer, I could hear the Occupation Wall Street People’s Mic start not two yards away from us.  Between my eyes half-closed, I could see a camera flash, irreverent yet commonplace at Occupation Wall Street, taking a picture of the two of us.  The lady, (lets call her Glory) who now clasped hands with me in prayer in the middle of roudy Zuccotti Park, had participated that morning in her first-ever protest, which was in Harlem opposing the stop-and-frisk protest policy.  Glory told me her own humiliating experiences of being stopped, frisked, and accused of prostitution.  Glory was pregnant with twins, and she looked forward to telling them what she had done while expecting them to prepare the way for them to have better conditions.

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A New-Old Call to Radical Christian Community!

This is a prophetic call to Christian Intentional/New Monastic communities from a fierce Christian Sister Eda Uca-Dorn who is the deacon/director of Hosanna! People’s Seminary. A first generation American of Turkish and Arab descent, she has lived in intentional communities and works on the Christian Peace Witness steering committee and Women’s Ordination Conference anti-racism team. Eda is also currently editing an anthology of Catholic Worker writing for Rose Hill Books. Her theological passions are mostly in the realm of postcolonial/anti-oppression peace and justice work. She lives in New York with her husband Mike

This article was first posted on Jesus Radicals

“Community”, “Radical Discipleship”, “Prophetic Witness”: An urgent and self-giving Christianity has taken hold of the imaginations of a new generation of the faithful. Group houses of sincere young folks earnestly desiring to live for Christ and serve the poor are springing up like daisies after a summer rain. It is humbling to witness the movement of the Spirit in their work. Yet it is mournfully apparent that the language, aims, and means of our Christian communities are often defined by a narrow contingent of the movement or what might be the movement if our communities were accountable to anti-oppression work and in solidarity with those under the foot of kyriarchy in its many forms. In fact, the voices of women, queer people, people of color, those of immigrant or non-North American status, the economically disadvantaged, and the disabled are often secondary to the voices of celebrated white heterosexual North American men. And while certainly, our God’s cause is the cause of the poor, there is something troubling about our communities rhetoric and movement “to the margins”: it is a dangerous sense of entitlement that gives some of us the notion to obtain property and create ministries and services- often while lacking training or outside accountability. Many community houses have been started without the members having first developed a meaningful relationship with the community leaders and projects already underway, without having been invited to come nor having undertaken a serious analysis of the kinds of unjustly gained power that make some service providers and others receivers of services.

For the entire post visit: A New-Old Call to Radical Christianity

The Great American Waste

Hello all,

It has been ages since my last post.  Something tells me you haven’t been waiting with baited breath to see what I would write. So without further ado…

While at my mother’s house in Connecticut spending a lovely Christmas holiday, the idea for this post started to take root.  Driving through the town my mother lives in that I affectionately dubbed “East Bumblejoe”, a local company sign caught my eye.  The name of the company was “Great American Waste”. It is a sanitation company, of course and a patriotic one at that.  And while it is probably difficult to come up with a clever name for a waste company, the name “Great American Waste” certainly speaks volumes beyond the intended purpose. Continue reading

Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights PASSES in NY State!!!

Today the NY State Assembly finally passed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights:

“It will mean that we will have protection, that the work we do will be recognized,” said Patricia Francois, 51, who left her job as a nanny a year and a half ago because, she said, her employer beat her. “We take care of the sick,” Ms. Francois said. “We take care of the elderly. We take care of their worldly goods.”

MANY congratulations and blessings to the domestic workers of NY, especially those from Domestic Workers United who were the driving political and moral force behind this bill’s passage!

Queering our understanding of Christian accountability to the poor

by aaron

Queers for Economic Justice, an NYC-based group of low-income queer and trans people, recently released a 3 year study on struggle, survival, and community-building among low-income queer and trans New Yorkers.

This research is super crucial!!  Please give it a read.  I think it’s especially important that they’ve collected data on the numbers of low-income queer and trans folks who have been  abused by service providers and/or refused access to social services… while at the same time *clearly* showing that these folks are HUGE assets to their communities and neighborhoods in terms of all the work they contribute to improving quality of life for EVERYONE.

Destroying West Virginia, One Mountain At A Time Christians battle King Coal to save Appalachia. By Onleilove Alston

posted by Onleilove

This article was first published in the June 2010 issue of Sojourners Magazine.

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency announced rules that could significantly reduce mountaintop-removal mining in the U.S. For longtime activists like Allen Johnson, co-founder of the group Christians for the Mountains (CFTM), it’s proof that “hope is not always in vain”—but only one step of a long journey towards environmental and economic justice in coal-mining areas of Appalachia. Continue reading