November 2019 Newsletter
Race in America
Despite our stated idealism, that " all men are created equal, "America's actions regarding race have not always been consistent with its values, and the struggle continues. According to the FBI, in 2018 hate groups reached a record high of 1,020 -- a 30% increase over the previous 3 years. Here are some statistics that illustrate a few of the disparities in our culture.

Overall Population
  • White -76%
  • Hispanic -18%
  • Black - 13%
US Census Bureau

Median Household Income
  • White - $67,865
  • Hispanic - $46,882
  • American Indian - $39,719    
  • Black - $30,555
US Census Bureau
Health Insurance Coverage
  • 84% of Hispanics
  • 89% of Blacks
  • 92% of Asians
  • 94% of Whites

US Census Bureau
African-Americans have a median wealth of $13,460 Whites have a median wealth of $142,180

Life Expectancy
White population - 78.8 years
Black population - 75.3 years
Center for Disease Control

Infant Mortality Rate
Black babies are more than twice as likely to die than white babies
Washington Post
Drug Charges
Despite similar rates of illicit drug usage, black people are more than 13 times more likely than white people to be jailed on drug charges.
Washington Post

  • African Americans constitute 34% of incarcerated individuals
  • African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites
  • The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women
  • Nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested, 42% of children who are detained, and 52% cases that are waived to criminal court.

One in 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, a rate more than 4 times greater than that of non-African Americans. Over 7.4% of the adult African American population is disenfranchised compared to 1.8% of the non-African American population.

Sentencing Project

Unsolved Crime Victims
In the past 10 years, nearly 26,000 murders have gone unsolved in major American cities. Of those, 75% , were black.
Washington Post

Capital Punishment
As of 2014, 42% of those on death row in the United States were  black.

Of the executions that have occurred since 1976:
  • 55% were whites
  • 34% were black
  • 8% were Latino

Death Penalty

When the defendant was white and the victim black, 21 people were executed, but when the defendant was black and the victim white, 290 people were executed.
Death penalty

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 38% of Latinos reported that they had experienced harassment and prejudice because of their background in the past year. These included:
  • Discrimination or unfair treatment - 24%
  • Criticized for speaking Spanish in public - 22%
  • Told to go back to their home country - 20%
  • Called offensive names - 16%

For more on Racism , click here.
2019 Nobel Awards
The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to
Abiy Ahmed Ali "for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea."

In addition, 33% of the Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, physics and medicine are immigrants.

Dr. Esther Duflo, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was the 2nd woman in history and the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize in Economics. She shared the award with her husband for their work to develop practical interventions to alleviating global poverty.
For a list of previous Nobel Peace Prize recipients, click here .
Race: The Power of Illusion
A 3-part series from California Newsreel that questions the idea of race as innate biology, suggesting that a belief in inborn racial difference is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth. Yet race still matters. Just because race doesn't exist in biology doesn't mean it isn't very real, helping shape life chances and opportunities.
To watch a trailer, click here .
For more on Racism, click here.
The Marshall Project
A nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. Works with other news outlets and public forums to educate and enlarge the audience of people who care about the state of criminal justice. Learn more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
Zero Tolerance
A PBS Frontline documentary that shows how immigration became a powerful political weapon that fueled division and violence. Based on dozens of on-the-record interviews with current and former Trump and Obama administration officials, immigration advocates and activists, journalists and scholars. Watch now.
For more on Immigration, click here.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
A nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization of over 15,000 attorneys and immigration law professors that provides continuing legal education, information, professional services, and expertise for families seeking permanent residence often on a pro bono basis. Their mission is to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. Learn more. 
For more on Immigration , click here.
The End of Hunger:
Renewed Hope for Feeding the World
Edited by Jenny Eaton Dyer and Cathleen Falsani. Brings together over 30 activists, politicians, scientists, pastors, theologians, and artists on the topic of hunger. Provides a comprehensive picture of the current situation—the latest facts and figures along with stories, both from those engaged in the fight against hunger and from the hungry themselves. There are also steps for action by individuals, families, churches, and communities. The book is designed to inform and inspire readers to get involved in the gospel work of eradicating global malnutrition and feeding the hungry. Read more.
For more on Hunger , click here.
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A resource from National Geographic, that briefly summarizes with text and images what the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is, how it formed and what might be done to reduce it. Learn more.
For more on the Environment , click here.
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
A documentary that looks at humanity’s massive re-engineering of the planet. Explores the industrialization and extraction in astonishing scale and perspective. Anthropocene reflects the dominance of humans on the planet, causing mass extinction and climate change and altering the Earth more than all natural processes combined. Spanning numerous countries, the film reveals how our desire for exploitation defines our relationship to the Earth — and how we have created a global epidemic. The film is a reflection of what drives us as a species, and a call to wake up to the destruction caused by our dominance. Watch the trailer.
For more on the Environment , click here.
Creating a Culture of Encounter: 
A Guide for Joyful Missionary Disciples
A resource from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this Spanish/English guide will help believers live out the call of Jesus to meet those on the peripheries with the Good News of the Gospel for their lives. Offers an organized five-week parish encounter process to help small groups to dig deeper into the Church’s evangelizing mission. In each session, participants take up a new aspect of Jesus’ encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and focus on a different element of the evangelical call to spread the Gospel. Invites participants to See, Judge, Act, Celebrate, and take Missionary Action each week. Can help deepen missionary discipleship in parishes, lay ecclesial movements, schools, parish councils, religious groups, and faith formation teams. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Films for Action
A community-powered learning library for people who want to change the world. Their website has over 4,500 documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched free online, sorted into 40 subjects. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
California Newsreel
The oldest, independent non-profit documentary center in the country and the first to systematically integrate media production and distribution with the media needs of contemporary social change movements. It has become a leading resource center for advancing racial justice through its collection of films on African American and African life and history. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Christ in Crisis:
Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus
By Jim Wallis. Writing in response to our current “constitutional crisis,” urges America to return to the tenets of Jesus once again as the means to save us from the polarizing bitterness and anger of our tribal nation. Provides a path of spiritual healing and solidarity to help us heal the divide separating Americans today. Building on “Reclaiming Jesus”—the declaration he and other church leaders wrote in May 2018 to address America’s current crisis—argues that Christians have become disconnected from Jesus and need to revisit their spiritual foundations. By pointing to eight questions Jesus asked or is asked, provides a means to measure whether we are truly aligned with the moral and spiritual foundations of our Christian faith. Argues that the dividing line and danger facing our nation isn't politics; it's faith. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
A Pilgrim People:
Becoming a Catholic Peace Church
By Gerald Schlabach. Explores how the current trend in Catholic social teaching toward a commitment to active nonviolence will need to take shape. Argues that globalization is an invitation to recognize what was always supposed to be true in Catholic ecclesiology: Christ gives Christians an identity that crosses borders. Reminds readers that to become a truly catholic global peace church in which peacemaking is church-wide and parish-deep, Catholics need to recognize that they have always properly been a diaspora people with an identity that transcends tribe and nation-state. Read more.
For more Peace resources, click here.
Forgiveness, Choosing to Receive and to Give
By Virginia Herbers. Explores three biblical passages that affirm God’s mercy toward us and encourage the kind of forgiveness that will transform us and our relationships. Read more.
For more Forgiveness resources, click here.
Slave Free Chocolate
A coalition to increase awareness through campaigns and education, to end child slavery and the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa farms of West Africa and the entire cocoa industry. Learn more .
For more on Fair Trade resources, click here.
Preaching Truth
in the Age of Alternative Facts
By William Brosend. A book for preachers, teachers, and other leaders, along with students of preaching. Demonstrates how to proclaim honest, faithful, candid sermons, in spite of social and political disagreements. Teaches how to preach in a way that allows the Church to be its best self—a place of commitment, engagement, acceptance and compassion for all God’s children. Read more.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
November 8th
I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.
November 9th
Do everything possible so that liberty is victorious over oppression, justice over injustice, love over hate.
November 9th
Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
November 14th
Only by being a man or woman for others, does one become fully human.
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