Looking Back, Vol. VII, Issue 1

January 2020

Welcome to my month-end reading, listening and viewing recommendations, plus links to noteworthy news and “everyday epics”…


Viewing, Listening & Reading

Watch — Check out the following 2017 documentary about the Shoshone and Arapaho people of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming:

Listen — After a conversation about local history with a friend, I came across an intriguing audiobook — Jim Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.

Read — Three recommendations this month: An American Sunrise: Poems by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo; Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Fremont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War by NPR’s Steve Inskeep; and Honest to Goodness: An Ethical and Spiritual Odyssey by Martin Prozesky, an exploration of Christian theology outside the bounds of biblicism and dogmatism.

“Food for Thought”

Belongings of a person who is unhoused left in a doorway near the Stout Street Clinic in downtown Denver. In partnership with several local non-profits and the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, the Refuge participated in the annual “point-in-time survey.” (Marrton Dormish)

Shoah — Jan. 27 is “International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” May we never forget.

PIT — The end of January is the time nationally when agencies on the local level do a “point-in-time” survey of people who are unhoused in their area. The Refuge participated again this year and was one of three Broomfield sites conducting surveys.

CTE & the Super Bowl — This story about pro football and brain injuries should change the way we watch (or don’t watch) the Super Bowl.

Who should write what? — The debate over the controversial new novel American Dirt.

“Stories of Need”

At Home — The U.S. Senate conducted a constitutionally required trial to consider the removal of the president in the wake of his impeachment by the House of Representatives…Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter accident.

Abroad — The “coronavirus” caused alarms in China and around the world…The United Kingdom formally left the European UnionFires devastated land and threatened homes in Australia…

“Everyday Epics”

These “everyday” individuals, families, businesses and communities have done or are doing extraordinary things:

DENVER (Colo.) — The Colorado Senate voted to repeal the death penalty in a move very likely to receive the support of Governor Jared Polis.

DUBUQUE (Iowa) — In a move that should be copied by many towns across the country, Dubuque recently examined the whys behind some of its residents’ racist attitudes.

DETROIT (Mich.)Empowerment Plan makes coats and uses people who have been unhoused to do it.

BALTIMORE (Md.) — Two mothers, a son and a call to forgive.

BROOMFIELD (Colo.) — Our city council recently signaled it will allow refugees to resettle in our community, despite attempts by the current federal administration to deter such policies by municipalities.

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