February 2018 Newsletter
For the 4th year in a row, the number of migrants who drowned crossing the Mediterranean Sea surpassed 3,000 people -- despite an overall drop in the number of refugees making the journey.

The International Organization for Migration has called the Mediterranean "by far the world's deadliest border," as more than 33,000 people trying to migrate to Europe have drowned since 2000.
In addition, according to Amnesty International, nearly 20,000 other people were intercepted by the Libyan Navy and handed over to criminal gangs that traffic them.

For more on Refugees , click here .

According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 2,089 people were killed and 8,605 were injured by landmines last year. Almost 80% of these were civilians and over 40% were children.

The number of fatalities was 25% higher than in 2015 and twice the number from 2014. Most of these occurred in Afganistan, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine where there are current conflicts, but people were also injured by these devices in 48 other countries. For example, in Vietnam 40,000 people are thought to have been killed and 60,000 injured by American landmines since 1975 -- 43 years after the war ended there.

In 1999, an agreement was reached to ban creating, stockpiling or the transfer of landmines and was signed by 163 countries with the exception of China, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The U.S. is estimated to have 3,000,000 of these devices on hand.

For ways of making your voice heard regarding policies that affect the vulnerable,

This site provides information on where a wide variety of products are produced -- searchable by company, category & country -- enabling consumers to make informed decisions and be responsible shoppers regarding the environment and
human rights.
For more on Fair Trade click here .
For information about Simple Living, click here
or Socially Responsible Investing click here.
World Vision
This organization partners with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
For more on Poverty, click here or Economic Injustice , click here.
Incarceration Nations
This book by Baz Dreisinger is a first-person account of prison systems around the world. Relates stories of incarcerated men and women and those who imprison them, creating a unique point of view while exposing an American export: the modern prison complex. Examines the world behind bars with both empathy and intellect and ends with lessons about the past, present, and future of justice. Read more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
A Monk in the City:
The ABC's of a Spiritual Journey
A book written by Mary Lou Kownacki from the inner city of Erie, Pennsylvania -- surrounded by poor families trying to survive and keep hope alive amidst drugs, violence, and despair -- observes the world in short poetic meditations, written with the passion of a prophet and the heart of a mystic.
For more on Justice, click here.
Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better
This book by Maya Schenwar shows how the institution that locks up millions of Americans and decimates poor communities is destroying the ties that, if nurtured, could foster real collective safety. Makes the case that incarceration takes away the very things that might enable people to build better lives. Also looks at community-based initiatives that successfully deal with problems, through connection rather than isolation. Read more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
Portrait of a Radical: The Jesus Movement
This film from the Center of Action and Contemplation, features three theologians (Richard Rohr, Huston Smith and Allen Dwight Callahan) who explore the truly radical, dynamic, and passionate message of Jesus. Includes a small group discussion guide. For more information, click here. 
For more on Justice , click here.
What the World Eats
A photo-book by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel, that uses images to highlight the disparities of the food people eat in various cultures around the world.
For more on Hunger , click here.
What Do Faith Communities Need to Know?
This website from Trinity Church Wall Street, features an on-demand video teach-in for people of faith to learn about current issues related to immigration, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), temporary protected status, and sanctuary. Watch now.
For more on Immigration , click here.
Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully About Racism
This book by Carolyn Helsel, offers tools to embrace and explore anxious feelings about discussing racism, including:
  • Personal stories around racism that invite empathy and awareness
  • Introduction to racial identity development theories
  • Spiritual practices that offer specific ways to pray about race issues
  • Questions for reflection and discussion at end of each chapter
  • A free study guide with video introduction
For more on Racism , click here.
I Will Not Fear:
My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire
This book by Melba Pattillo Beals -- one of the "Little Rock Nine"-- offers her account of how faith in God sustained her during the darkest days and inspired her to become a civil rights advocate.
For more on Racism , click here.
Mending the Divides:
Creative Love in a Conflicted World
This book by Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart, uses biblical and current-day illustrations of everyday peacemakers to equip disciples of Jesus to move toward conflict and seek the restoration of relationships, communities, and the world -- offering practical steps to engage in the kingdom-building work of waging peace. Read more.
For more on Peace , click here.
Lenten Prayers for Hungry People
A free resource from Bread for the World, includes prayers and actions for each week of Lent as well as Holy Week. Read more. 
For more on Hunger , click here.

From the Ashes
This award-winning documentary focuses on Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be. From Appalachia to the West's Powder River Basin, goes beyond the rhetoric of the "war on coal" to present stories about what's at stake for the economy, health, and climate
of the country.
For more on the Environment , click here
Take a Stand Center
This website is based a permanent exhibit of the Illinois Holocaust Museum Education Center, that highlights "upstanding people" around the world who are working on social justice issues. It provides resources for Advocacy, Raising Awareness, Giving and Participating.
For more on Public Witness click here , Legislative Advocacy click here , Community Organizing c lick here or Volunteering & Service , click here .

I Am Not a Tractor!:
How Florida Farmworkers Took On the Fast Food Giants and Won
This book by Susan Marquis features the story of the Fair Food Movement, including conversations with the Coalition of Immokalee Worker (CIW) staff and auditors from the Fair Food Standards Council, stretching from the earliest days of CIW’s organizing to the emergence of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility model today. Read more.
For more on Labor , click here .
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
February Birth Date Unknown

Though black people are no longer subject to barter and sale, they are surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all of their movements.
In their downward course they meet with no resistance, but their course upward is resented and resisted at every step of their progress.
If they come in ignorance, rags and wretchedness, they conform to the popular belief of their character, and in that character they are welcomed; but if they come as ladies and gentlemen, scholars and statespeople, they are hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning their race and their coming is resented as impudence.
In one case, they may provoke contempt and derision but in the other, they are an affront to pride and provoke malice.
 February 3rd
For any human being, freedom is essential, crucial, to our dignity and ability to be fully human.
February 4th

You must never be fearful about you are doing when it is right.
Each person must live their life as a model for others.

February 4th
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.
God will not hold us guiltless.
February 7th
When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist .
February 11th
Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.
February 12th
I don't want to flee, nor do I want to abandon the battle of these farmers who live without any protection in the forest. They have the sacrosanct right to aspire to a better life on land where they can live and work with dignity while respecting the environment.
February 23rd

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

February 27th
None of us is responsible for the complexion of our skin. This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality of the person underneath.
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