Need in the News, Vol. VI, Issue 2

For the last six years, at the end of every month, I’ve summarized local, national and international “stories of need” from news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials. The following are some of February’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:

CAMEROON — A government-prompted Internet shutdown meant to curb social unrest continued in the English-speaking Southwest and Northwest province.

NIGERIA — In a rare show of dissent 500 or so protestors marched for political and economic change in Lagos.

ROMANIA — Thousands in Bucharest protested corruption in the current Social Democrat government.

CANADA — This North American nation is responding to the world refugee crisis with open arms.

At times, what gets lost in the concern and clamor over major local, national and international events and issues, are ordinary people, communities, businesses and other groups doing extraordinary things. Here are a few I’ve heard about recently:

ST. AUGUSTINE (Florida) — In 1995, the Rev. Rene Robert signed a “Declaration of Life” affirming his opposition to the death penalty, even in the event that he himself should ever be murdered. Last year, Rev. Robert was, in fact, killed.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Civil Rights icon Dorothy Height was honored on a U.S. Postal Service “Forever Stamp” for Black History Month.

LA PAZ (Colombia) — Old and wary enemies are learning to be neighbors in a Colombian city named for peace.

MYRTLE BEACH (South Carolina)Marc Hadden, a firefighter, delivered a baby during an emergency call in 2011. By 2012, he and his family had adopted her.

PHILADELPHIA (PENNSYLVANIA) — A nanny donated part of her liver to the 16-month-old girl she cares for.

OMAHA (NEBRASKA) — Syrian refugees are finding a home in the Midwest.

AURORA (Colorado) Jovan Mays, his city’s first poet laureate, finds inspiration riding city buses.

BOSTON (Massachusetts) & BeyondTiera Guinn, 22, has yet to graduate from MIT, but in a Hidden Figures-like move, she’s already working with NASA.

Stories worth reflection:
A BAN REVISITED — Remembering the WWII internment of Japanese Americans.

A COUNTY’S STORY — Boulder County, Colorado, is planning to build more than 20,000 affordable housing units by 2035.

A WOMAN’S STORY Marie Ganz led protests in New York City during the Food Riots of 1917.

A FAITH COMMUNITY’S STORY — Denver Community Church has been through a difficult time, but by this account, it did so with grace.

AN IMMIGRANT STORY — Budweiser told its own story in a Super Bowl ad early this month.

A REFUGEE COMMUNITY’S STORY — A look at Colorado’s refugee population.

A SANCTUARY’S STORY — A mother fearing deportation sought shelter at the First Unitarian Society of Denver church.

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