Archive for February, 2011

Summit on Peace and Education 3-day Conf

February 15, 2011

Summit on Peace and Education 3-day Conference in Newark, New Jersey May 13, 14, 15 Dalai Lama to headline http://ow.ly/3Wv3S Get tickets now.

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A twist on “guns don’t kill people” B

February 15, 2011

A twist on “guns don’t kill people” Buy it. Hang it up. Start a conversation. People for the Ethical Treatment of Guns Poster http://ow.ly/3Wt0x

Soles4Souls Newark, New Jersey students

February 12, 2011

Soles4Souls
Newark, New Jersey students got brand new shoes thanks to Soles4Souls. http://www.soles4souls.org/news/2011/02-11/newark-nj-students-get-new-shoes

Participate in Social Justice Ink’s Soles4Souls campaign ($1 buys one pair of shoes): (http://www.soles4soulsfundraising.org/socialjusticeink)

Buy a pair of Social Justice Ink sneakers and we’ll donate $2 to Soles4Souls: ( http://ow.ly/3Vika)

Dear Egypt

February 12, 2011

Dear Egypt,

Congratulations on forcing Hosni Mubarak to resign. Millions of you stood up and protested against oppressive rule and you got results. Many of you would like a democracy—or perhaps a representative democracy modeled after the U.S. government—to replace the dictatorship that was in place under Mubarak. Yet, at least as reported by Western newsmen and women, many of you have expressed hostility towards the United States for supporting Mubarak’s regime for over thirty years.

Because the U.S. did not remove Mubarak, it’s at fault? The same could be said about the millions of Egyptians who lived in Egypt during Mubarak’s reign and did nothing to pressure his resignation. That probably sounds tactless to many, as the real blame belongs at the feet of Mubarak and his cronies, and not the victims of his oppressive control. However, why should the United States be blamed for supporting a politician whose own people (by and large) were not crying to have removed from office until recently?

Despite the myth that many have throughout the world, and that the U.S. government propagates from time to time when it seems militarily or politically advantageous, the United States is not Savior of the World. While the U.S. government (and numerous charities within the country) has sponsored numerous humanitarian efforts to help people and even countries in need, government policies are generally dictated by political opportunism and a complex web of negotiations among allies. I place no moral judgments on that; just simply offer facts. Yes, at times that opportunism has led the U.S. to both formally and informally sponsor military campaigns or plots by various agencies to overthrow governments in different parts of the world. That opportunism has also led the U.S. government to actively—if not formally—sponsor efforts to suppress efforts to overthrow governments criticized for being dictatorships. It would be naïve to believe this has not been the case. Finally, this opportunism has sometimes led the U.S. government to sit back and let events unfold before coming out in support of any side in a dispute concerning other sovereign nations.

Whether you believe it is the U.S.’s job to intervene in international conflict or it isn’t, is your opinion. But I ask you to look at the track record of U.S. intervention in other countries’ political unrest. Following are but a handful of examples. The Bay of Pigs fiasco, which was supposed to overthrow Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba, was a spectacular failure. Certainly the Iranian students who led a revolution in the late 1970’s did not appreciate the U.S.’s support of the Shah of Iran. The U.S. government’s overt, and later covert, support and financial backing of the Contras in Nicaragua (who committed gross human rights violations) was not popularly supported. Countless Iraqis are bitter at the U.S. for invading Iraq and removing a ruler who, by all accounts, committed gross abuses against the populace. Afghans, en masse, are not dancing in the streets grateful for the U.S.’s efforts to eliminate Al-Qaeda and curb abuses by the Taliban.

So, exactly, what would you have hoped for with U.S intervention, Egypt? Eventually, groups of you fed up with abuses by your government stood together and protested loudly and united. You got the attention of the international community. You got the attention of the U.S. government, who did encourage and pressure—perhaps in not the way you desired—Mubarak to step down. The U.S.-suggested timetable for his resignation might not have met with your approval, but your desire won out. Be proud of your efforts and work to establish a democratic government that provides security to all citizens. Fight against forces who will want to replace Mubarak with their own brand of oppressive rule.

Harboring grudges against the U.S. government—that you seek to emulate—is counterproductive. The only group that had a right to overthrow the government of your sovereign nation was a group from within. Being angry at the United States for not doing what was your right and duty to do is unreasonable.

The Jeneba Project (Do Something)

February 8, 2011

The Jeneba Project via Do Something http://ow.ly/3Ri4L Improving education internationally

What Does It Mean To Be ‘Ex-Christian’?

February 7, 2011

What Does It Mean To Be ‘Ex-Christian’? I hear it all the time among people I know. This article discusses people who grow up Christian and then leave that faith. http://ow.ly/3RhmP

Justice and Religion, Pretty Universal

February 6, 2011

Justice and religion are pretty universal, across faiths http://ow.ly/3RgGN.

It’s when those faiths get distorted that injustice waltzes in.

ELEMENTary Hip Hop Skool

February 6, 2011

ELEMENTary Hip Hop Skool keeps alive the true tradition of hip hop in addressing societal ills. It’s about addressing the blight, not sporting the bling. http://ow.ly/3Rf7v

Social Justice Curriculum for Youth

February 6, 2011

How can we raise more socially conscious and empathetic children? We can help promote social justice through building healthy relationships. In British Columbia, school districts implemented curriculum that promotes social justice for students in grades 6-12. The assessment of the program (Respectful Relationships), which measured surveys taken before and after program implementation was very positive, indicating significant gains in socio-emotional growth for students. Students self-reported enjoying the program and learning a lot from it. The program was spearheaded by the Saltspring Women Opposed to Violence and Abuse (SWOVA) Community Development and Research Society,

http://ow.ly/3Reh7

Human rights abuses continue in Darfur.

February 5, 2011

Human rights abuses continue in #Darfur.

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/africa/satellite-images-show-grave-crimes-continue-in-darfur/