Looking Back, Vol VI, Issue 4

Welcome to my monthly summary of international, national and local “stories of need”, “everyday epics” and “food for thought” referenced online by news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials…

“Stories of Need”

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — XXXX…A recent report found that people of color are more likely to be arrested after Boulder (Colo.) police stops…Racial segregation seems to have become the norm at “elite” universities…The United States remained No. 1, by a large margin, in worldwide military spending…So far there have been 121 mass shootings in 2019, including another shooting at a synagogue and on a college campus…And military officials are planning for the eventual deaths of detainees at the infamous Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, prison camp…

WARNINGS & HOPE — The U.N. issued a warning about the overuse of antimicrobial drugsDamning documents from U.S. college fraternities again made news…The indigenous Waorani people of Ecuador won a legal case against three government bodies attempting to profit off of their land.

WELCOME & UNWELCOME — In Sri Lanka (and elsewhere), false fears stoke assumptions by ethnic majorities that they are being overrun, outbred and replaced…These are 100 people who are displaced or designated “refugees”…Dozens of Syrian refugees were evicted from their temporary camp during a Lebanese anti-pollution drive…More people who are migrants are on the way from Central America to Mexico and the United States.

STABILITY & UNRESTIn Venezuela, opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for a national uprising against embattled President Nicholas Maduro…In Sri Lanka, hundreds of people were killed by suicide bombers on Easter…In Burkina Faso, spreading violence forced tens of thousands from their homes…In the Sudan, massive civil protests toppled the regime of Omar al-Bashir, but the humanitarian situation there has deteriorated.

PEACE & WAR — “New” World (Mexico) and “Old” World (Spain) argued over the legacy of the conquistadores…Old and young generations, alike, grapple with the legacy of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda…A Belarus building excavation yielded a mass grave from the Holocaust…

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of one of our “members,” the Refuge is now partnering once a week with a local shower ministry to offer showers for our friends who are on the street or living in their car. (Marrton Dormish)

“Everyday Epics”

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

GRANADA (Colorado) — A team of students from the University of Denver are using drone technology to help facilitate the eventual reconstruction of a WWII concentration camp for Japanese-Americans.

MANHATTAN (New York)Chef José Andrés doesn’t wait for permission to help feed people who are hungry through his non-profit World Central Kitchen.

AUGUSTA (Maine) — Maine became the latest state to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

ATLANTA (Georgia) — A new “transitional” state prison aims to prevent recidivism and help former inmates find housing.

KATUWAPITIYA (Sri Lanka) — Families who lost loved ones in the recent Easter bombings are fighting back, with peace.

LAS CRUCES (New Mexico) — The city of Las Cruces is leasing a military facility to welcome and help process U.S. asylum applicants.

“Food for Thought”

Issues and topics worth reflection:

WEDDING ON HOLD — This is what it’s like for Palestinian women who plan to marry men serving long-term sentences in Israeli jails.

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON WOMEN OF “ILL REPUTE”Telluride (Colo.) poet Kierstin Bridger takes a new look at the lives, stories and perspectives of prostitutes in the “Old West.”

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