Telling my own story

kateriBy Kateri Boucher

Last year for my Sociology senior thesis, I chose to research the interactions between two environmental justice (EJ) organizations in a majority-Black city with a rich and complicated history of EJ work. I had made connections with folks in the EJ movement when I had lived there for a few weeks the previous summer, and I figured that studying these two organizations would be a perfect way to both learn more and get involved in work that I was drawn to. I did some background research, and then traveled to the city for a week to do interviews with members of both organizations. After documenting my findings, I submitted the paper and got a near-perfect grade on the first draft. I was proud of my work, and I was rewarded and praised for it. Continue reading

Remembering King’s Assassination 50 Years Ago

4500

Photo credit: The Guardian

By Bill Wylie-Kellermann

I remember precisely where I was when I got the news of Martin Luther King’s assassination. It was my freshman year in college, a midwestern liberal arts school, and I’d just walked into the lounge of my dormitory when a bulletin broke into regular TV programing. The lone other student, whose face and name I mercifully do not recall, was seated high on the back of an overstuffed black leather chair. He muttered, “Somebody finally got that n****r.” I remember running the length of hall to the pay phone booth and calling my folks in Detroit, weeping into the receiver. In those tears, something shifted in me vocationally that day which bears on who I am. Continue reading

On These Holy Mountains: From Rio Negro to Burnaby Mountain

rionegroBy Emilie Smith. Re-posted from Narrativa Y Ensayo

On this day, as I do every 13th of March, I turn my heart to the women and children of Rio Negro. On this day in 1982, during the peak of the Guatemalan genocide, 177 Achi-Maya women and children were pulled from their homes, forced to march up a mountain, and then made to dance. Then many of them were raped and finally most of them were killed and left in a shallow hollow. Continue reading

Dos ancianos locos una para otra

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAuthor asked to remain Anonymous.The author and her novio have been in relationship for over six years. When people ask why they don’t get married so he can get a green card, her answer is, “It only works that way in the movies.

So we’re walking through slush on a February Sunday

Going up to the drugstore so you can get some medicine for your friend Continue reading

Predators, Profit, and Precarity

el-refugio.pngBy Joyce Hollyday

To get to Lumpkin, Georgia, you have to really want to be there—or be taken against your will. The highways wind southwest of Atlanta, roughly paralleling the Chattahoochee River, for 143 miles. The town is parked on red clay amid tangles of kudzu, its square a cluster of shuttered storefronts next to an abandoned gas station, where the only visible signs of life on a mid-morning in early January were at the courthouse and a store labeled Christian Gun Sales (motto: “Guns Cheaper Than Dirt”). Continue reading

Prayer for the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

USMC-09611By Bill Wylie-Kellermann

Spirit of the Universe, whose moral arc you make to bend toward justice,
thank you for birthing our brother Martin, right on time, into our history, into the journey of transformation for which we yearn. For uttering him in the Word, and forming him in the womb.

We lift him up this day in the communion of ancestors, summoning him from among all who have ever interceded and struggled for justice. Continue reading

When it Rains

rainBy Jordan Leahy

When I was a kid, I was terrified of thunderstorms. Celestial rumblings and quaking ground elicited great anxiety until much later in life than I care to admit. When I saw the clouds approaching, I’d prepare a makeshift nest in the closest beneath the staircase. I’d take books or a card game and hide out until the storm passed.

In adulthood, I find such storms soothing, a relief from summer heat and time to be close with my family. Storms create a time for various activities of stillness and rest. When the clouds come into view, anticipation builds at the coming refreshment. Continue reading