March 2020 Newsletter
Issue 37
Welcoming Refugees
  • The world is currently in the midst of the largest refugee crisis on record. There are over 70 million people displaced from their homes -- up from 68 million in 2017 and 65 million in 2016.
      U.N. Refugee Agency

  • Over 50% of refugees are under age 18.

  • Refugees differ from immigrants in that they are unable or unwilling to return to their homes because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin.

  • 40% of refugees live in refugee camps. In protracted situations, some refugees can spend decades in a camp and it is common for children to be born and grow up there. 

  • In Central America current homicide rates are among the highest ever recorded in the region. 66% of the migrants fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras had a family member murdered, kidnapped or "disappeared."

  • The number of people fleeing for their lives from Central America has grown by 10 times in the past 5 years.

  • In 2018 alone, at least 4,843 refugees died in the journey. 2,934 drowned and 194 people died from dehydration. At least 1,871 people have died on the border between Mexico and the U.S. in the last 5 years.

  • The U.S. used to lead the world in refugee resettlement. The U.S. enacted the first refugee legislation in 1948 to help 250,000 Europeans after the Second World War. Later laws helped people fleeing communist regimes.

  • The Refugee Act of 1980 provided permanent, systematic procedures for admitting refugees to the U.S. in both regular and emergency situations and authorized federal assistance for refugee resettlement. Since 1975, the U.S. has resettled 3,405, 564 refugees. As recently as 2016, the U.S. welcomed 84,995 refugees.

  • In the last 3 years however the U.S. has reduced the number of refugees allowed into this country and is proposing just 22,000 for 2020.

  • The U.S. government has forced 57,000 asylum seekers and migrants, including at least 16,000 children and 500 infants to return to Mexico under the “Migrant Protection Protocols”—better known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

  • As of January 21, 2020, there were at least 816 publicly reported cases of murder, rape, torture, kidnapping, and other violent assaults against asylum seekers and migrants forced to return to Mexico. Among these reported attacks were 201 cases of children returned to Mexico who were kidnapped or nearly kidnapped.

  • 51% of Americans say that the US has a responsibility to accept refugees, but the Refugee Protection Act, introduced in November, 2019 is stalled in Congress.

For more on Refugees , click here.
Caravan of Hope
A resource from National Geographic that features photos of people fleeing violence in Central America to build a better life in the U.S. Read more.
For more on Refugees , click here.
Missing Migrants Project
Tracks deaths of migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers, who have gone missing along mixed migration routes worldwide. Developed into a hub and advocacy source of information that media, researchers, and the general public access for the latest information. Learn more.
For more on Refugees , click here.
Kids in Need of Defense
  • Works to make sure that no child appears in immigration court without high quality legal representation;
  • Advances laws, policies, and practices that ensure children’s protection and uphold their right to due process and fundamental fairness;
  • Promotes in countries of origin, transit, and destination durable solutions to child migration that are grounded in the best interests of the child and ensures that no child is forced to involuntarily migrate.
For more Immigration , click here.
The Chinese Exclusion Act
A resource from PBS The American Experience, that examines the origin, history and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens. The first in a long line of acts targeting the Chinese for exclusion, it remained in force for more than 60 years.
For more on Racism , click here.
We All Have Implicit Biases.
So What Can We Do About It?
A TED Talk featuring Dushaw Hockett, who suggests that we all have biases. They are rapid & automatic responses that operate at the subconscious level and run contrary to our conscious beliefs. He offers 3 reasons why it's a good idea to look at our biases: it can provide a diagnosis of why we act the way we do, it can be predictive and preventative of future behavior and it can reduce shame for both ourselves and others. Watch now. 
For more on Racism , click here.
What Does My Headscarf Mean to You?
A TED Talk featuring Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who in a funny, honest, empathetic way, challenges her audience to look beyond initial perceptions, and to open doors to new ways of supporting others.
For more on Religious Intolerance , click here.
The Price We Pay:
What Broke American Health Care --
and How to Fix It
By Marty Makary MD. Drawing from on-the-ground stories, research, and experience, paints a picture of price-gouging, middlemen, and a series of elusive money games. Shows how much of health care spending goes to things that have nothing to do with health and what one can do about it. Challenges the medical establishment to remember medicine's noble heritage of caring for people when they are vulnerable.
Offers a road map for everyday Americans and business leaders to get a better deal on their health care, and profiles the disruptors who are innovating medical care. Argues that the movement to restore medicine to its mission is alive and well -- a mission that can rebuild the public trust and save our country from the crushing cost of health care. Read more. 
For more on Health Care , click here.
Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange
Aims to build a shared knowledge base for managing natural and built systems in the face of rapid climate change by:
  • Vetting and organizing the best information available
  • Building a community via an interactive online platform
  • Creating a directory of practitioners to share knowledge and strategies
  • Identifying and explaining data tools and information available from other sites
 For more on the Environment , click here.
Why Doesn't Everyone Have a Voter ID?
A brief Frontline video that answers the question that many people have about a growing voting requirement. Watch now.
For more on Voting Rights , click here.
The Trace
An independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to shining a light on America’s gun violence crisis. Website features an interactive map plotting the locations of nearly 40,000 incidents of gun violence nationwide. Learn more.
For more on Gun Violence , click here.
Witness at Tornillo
A documentary about Josh Rubin's vigil to close a child internment center in Tornillo, Texas and the Homestead child camp in Florida. Watch the trailer.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
Supreme Inequality:
The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle
for a More Unjust America
By Adam Cohen. Surveys the most significant Supreme Court rulings since the Nixon era and exposes how rarely the Court has veered away from its agenda of promoting inequality. Contrary to what Americans like to believe, the Court has done little to protect the rights of the poor and disadvantaged; in fact, it has not been on their side for fifty years. Many of the greatest successes of the Warren Court, in areas such as school desegregation, voting rights, and protecting workers, have been abandoned in favor of rulings that protect corporations and privileged Americans, who tend to be white, wealthy, and powerful. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Evangelical Theologies
of Liberation and Justice
Edited by Mae Elise Cannon. Brings together the voices of academics, activists, and pastors to articulate evangelical liberation theologies from diverse perspectives. Through critical engagement, these contributors consider what liberation theology and evangelical tenets of faith have to offer one another. Evangelical thinkers survey the history and outlines of liberation theology and cover topics such as race, gender, region, body type, animal rights, and the importance of community. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul
By Susan K. Williams Smith. A soul-care manual for social justice-seeking believers who stand in constant vigilance against all forms of racial, class, and gender oppression. Has ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement.
For more Peace resources, click here.

Prayer for Refugees

God of grace,
Watch over all refugees
Embrace them in the pain
Of their partings.
Into their fear and loss, send love.
Open our eyes that we might
see You in them.
Open our hearts that they might
See You in us.
Open our arms that we might
Welcome refugees to new homes.
As You stretched out Your arms
And invited everyone home.

Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
Exact Date of Death Unknown
I don’t want to live in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!
 March 2nd
We who say we dwell in Christ, should walk just as he walked.
March 3rd
I believe much trouble would be saved
if we opened our hearts more.
March 5th
The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Him with their mouths and deny Him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.
March 13th
Many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off of war.
March 14th
The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
March 24th
A church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what gospel is that?
March 31st
History will judge societies and governments and their institutions not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and powerful but how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.
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