April 2021 Newsletter
Issue #50
Volunteering & Service
This year National Volunteer Week is April 18-24.  How we spend our time and energy is a prime indicator of what we truly value and one of the best ways to show compassion to those in need is to be present with them.

  • 25% of Americans (about 82 million people) volunteer.
  • The average volunteer in the U.S. donates about 137 hours per year.

  • In 2020, volunteer time was worth an average of $27.20 per hour.

  • In total, Americans give more than 8 billion hours of service annually, providing a service worth over $200 billion.

  • Individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 are the most likely to volunteer and those under the age of 24 account for over 22% of the total.

  • The benefits of volunteering may include:
  • Decreasing the risk of depression
  • Providing a sense of purpose and teaching valuable skills
  • Helping stay physically and mentally active
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Meeting others and developing new relationships
  • Helping volunteers live longer

  • There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S.

For more on Volunteer & Service, click here. 
Catholic Volunteer Network
Promotes full-time domestic and international faith-based volunteer service opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skills. As the leading membership organization of Christian volunteer and mission programs, CVN supports and enhances the work of its 185 members through volunteer recruitment, training and resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy. Utilizes an online database that helps sort through programs based on criteria and offers the complementary
publication, Response. Learn more.
For more on Volunteer & Service, click here.
Points of Light
Works to inspire, equip and connect nonprofits, businesses and individuals ready to apply their time, talent, voice and resources to solve society’s greatest challenges. Offers one of the largest volunteer networks in the world that can be searched by opportunity, issue, zip code and key word.
For more on Volunteering & Service, click here.
Works to make service to others an indispensable part of the American experience. Members serve directly with nonprofit organizations to tackle the nation’s most pressing challenges by focusing on these areas: education, economic opportunity, disaster response, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, veterans and military families. Learn more. 
For more Volunteer & Service, click here.
Rescuing the Planet:
Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth
By Tony Hiss. Sets out on a journey to take stock of the "superorganism" that is the earth: its land, its elements, its plants and animals, its greatest threats--and what we can do to keep it, and ourselves, alive. Makes the case for why protecting half the land is the way to fix our environmental problems. Highlights the important work of the many groups already involved in the fight, such as the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the global animal tracking project ICARUS. Introduces us to the engineers, geologists, biologists, botanists, oceanographers, ecologists, and other "Half Earthers" who are allied in their dedication to the unifying, essential cause of saving our own planet from ourselves. Read more.
For more on the Environment, click here.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
A presentation from the Family Action Network featuring Richard Rothstein, the author of The Color of Law, who argues against the idea that white and Black people live separately by choice by showing how the racial segregation in every metropolitan area in this country was created by racially explicit government policy, designed to create racial boundaries. Watch now.
For more on Housing, click here.
What If Gentrification Was About Healing Communities Instead of Displacing Them?
A TED Talk featuring Liz Ogbu, an architect who works on spatial justice: the idea that justice has a geography and that the equitable distribution of resources and services is a human right. She asks, "why is it that we treat culture erasure and economic displacement as inevitable?" She calls on developers, architects and policymakers to instead "make a commitment to build people's capacity to stay in their homes, to stay in their communities, to stay where they feel whole." Watch now.
For more on Housing, click here.
The Problem of the U.S. Bail System
A short animated TED Talk featuring Camilo Ramirez who shows how the cash bail system in this country disproportionally hurts people in low-income communities and communities of color. Watch now.
For more on the Criminal Justice System,
What We Don't Know About
Europe's Muslim Kids
 A TED Talk featuring Deeyah Khan who as the child of an Afghan mother and Pakistani father raised in Norway, knows what it's like to be a young person stuck between your community and your country. In this powerful, emotional talk, she unearths the rejection and isolation felt by many Muslim kids growing up in the West -- and the deadly consequences of not embracing our youth before extremist groups do. Watch now.
For more on Religious Intolerance, click here.
Racism Has a Cost for Everyone
A TED Talk featuring Heather C. McGhee, who argues that racism makes our economy worse -- and not just in ways that harm people of color. From her research and travels across the US, she shares insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential -- and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. "Our fates are linked," she says. "It costs us so much to remain divided."
For more on Racism, click here.
Reconstruction in America
A short animated video from the Equal Justice Initiative, that examines the 12 years following the Civil War when lawlessness and violence perpetrated by white leaders created an American future of racial hierarchy, white supremacy, and Jim Crow laws—an era from which our nation has yet to recover.
For more on Racism, click here.
True Justice:
Bryan Stevenson's Fight For Equality
A documentary from HBO, that provides a portrait of the public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it. Educational materials and resources to complement the film, including an engagement guide, lesson plans, a photo archive, and three additional hours of interview footage are also available. Watch now.
For more on Racism, click here.
Domestic Violence:
Encouraging and Preparing Faith Leaders
to Respond
A 4-part media resource from Healing the Healers; intended to support clergy, laity, social workers, first responders and other spiritual care providers facing community-level trauma. Provides insights and strategies for care, along with practical tools to building a strong network of support in faith communities. The series can be used for self-learning, workshops, trainings, as well as in the classroom and community. Includes a written guide that navigates the complex issue of domestic violence to encourage and support faith leaders in creating safe and trusted communities for victims and survivors. Featured faith leaders include survivors of domestic violence and leaders who have bravely worked through this complex issue with those affected and their broader community. Accompanied by a discussion guide including written reflections by scholars, clergy and other experts. Learn more.
For more on Domestic Abuse, click here.
LoveJustice International
Trains and places monitors at borders and transit points to identify and stop trafficking as it is occurring, before people are exploited and sold into slavery. Learn more.
For more on Human Trafficking, click here.
What We Can Do About the Culture of Hate
A TED Talk featuring Sally Kohn who says that we all hate -- some of us in subtle ways, others in obvious ones. As she confronts a hard story from her own life, she shares ideas on how we can recognize, challenge and heal from hatred in our institutions and in ourselves. Watch now.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Feeling Through
An Oscar nominated short film about a late night encounter between a homeless teen and a deaf-blind man at a New York City bus stop that leads to a profound connection. Watch now.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
April 2nd

Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.
April 10th

The Peace Corps left today and my heart sank low. The danger is extreme and they were right to leave...Now I must assess my own position because I am not up for suicide. Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could, except for the children, the poor, bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart could be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and helplessness? Not mine, dear friend, not mine.
April 21st

I saw the suffering and I let myself feel it… I saw the injustice and was compelled to do something about it. I changed from being a nun who only prayed for the suffering world to a woman with my sleeves rolled up, living my prayer.
April 21st

I'd rather be in the mountains thinking of God, than in church thinking about the mountains.
April 23rd

I hope that you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for – maybe even worth dying for, something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can’t tell you what it might be – that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search.
April 26th

It is in community that we come to see God in the other. It is in community that we see own emptiness filled up. It is community that calls me beyond the pinched horizons of my own life, my own country, my own race, and gives me the gifts I do not have
within me. 
April 27th

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace and a soul generated
by love.
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